Mogwai – Birmingham O2 Institute – Sunday 19th February 2023
Mogwai follow their UK number one album and masterpiece As The Love Continues with a UK tour. I got a ticket for Christmas and for a rare occasion was accompanied by both the photographer who had well and truly indoctrinated me into the cult of Mogwai and my other half too. We weren’t going to review, but this is what we thought..
I have no notes for this, I didn’t take my notebook as I didn’t intend to write it up. This one was for me to just be there and listen. But, some things need to be written about. The photographer took his little camera and as you can see, the results were excellent, so I had to write.
The house lights go down and they wander onstage, Stuart thanks us for coming after introducing themselves as Mogwai from Glasgow, Scotland and the music starts. To be completely honest, I don’t need to say anymore really. I mean, I will, but the sound really does speak for itself. If you were there you already know what I mean.
The songs range from quiet, peaceful and tiny, to layer upon layer of sound lovingly coaxed into position and crafted to take your breath away. They don’t move much, but then you’ve not come to see them break into perfectly choreographed dance steps have you. Seriously, I’m lost almost immediately and so are the rest of the crowd from the looks on their faces. This is a seriously beautiful wall of noise.
Some people are seriously going for it and others stand entranced but whatever you do, it doesn’t matter, the music flows into you and takes you away. Just utterly utterly brilliant. They are humble, they thank us after every song, they talk about the support band and the tour and they play like demons possessed. Mogwai, gig of the year already and it’s only February.
All pictures by Martin Ward
All words by Adrian Bloxham