When I read the tour announcements of Scottish Post Rock titans MOGWAI I was like… yeah, finally, my first MOGWAI show is coming up. And I wanted to try hard to catch them. A little later I was forced to realize that I had already seen them as headliner of a festival. It was a great show back then, as I could read, but so long ago that I already forgot about it ;)
However, I eventually got my accreditation and once again hit the road towards Cologne to the :: E-Werk ::. The ride was quite relaxing this time, great weather and hardly any traffic jams. I arrived so early that I got a parking more or less in front of the door and could even have some coffee prior the show. The hall was meanwhile filling slowly. I hadn’t checked out the support act, otherwise I wouldn’t have wondered ;)
:: pics :: SACRED PAWS ::
On this tour, Mogwai got supported by London/Glasgow Indie Pop duo :: SACRED PAWS ::, with Rachel Aggs on guitar and Eilidth Rodgers on drums.
And I wasn’t prepared for their uplifting and joyous sound that was a colorful fusion of Afro-beats, sunshine Pop, Funk and Punk, with sugar-laced melodies and opposing vocal lines. Imagine Paul Simon’s Graceland played with doubled speed in a Post Punk makeover. Their openness to musical styles is breathtaking.
These two girls spread so much fun and energy, sort of innocent glee and airiness – they were downright infectious. Song by song more people in the audience started dancing and swinging. Rachel Aggs hopped animatedly from one foot to another and shook her explosive mop, while Eilidth Rodgers was the shy, the introverted one, fighting her mic that permanently become loose. But she had fun too. Visibly. Only her voice was way too quiet. It took many tracks till the sound engineer got it and changed it to the better. For a few songs SACRED PAWS were joined by guest bassist Moema Meade. Saxophone and trumpets, as heard on CD, were left aside.
Of course, SACRED PAWS focused on their debut album Strike A Match, which was released early this year and already won some awards. I’m sure they played all of the songs from this one and even more, as the duo played for around 40 minutes.
So, how does such band get on the bill of a Mogwai tour? With the patronage of those Glaswegians as they were signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action imprint. And I’m sure the guys are very proud of their protégés. Entertaining and refreshingly different show! :)
:: pics :: MOGWAI ::
Nevertheless, people were here to see and feel :: MOGWAI ::. The concert hall was now packed with an audience as colorful as the music of the support band. MOGWAI have just released their ninth record, called Every Country's Sun, its majestic melodies they now want to pour over Europe. MOGWAI played two thirds of the new songs, spiced with classics from all records back to Mogwai Fear Satan from the 1997 debut Mogwai Young Team. Ah, I see an anniversary here that should be celebrated with a special tour or show, right? So it will happen on December 16 in Glasgow with a massive show at The SSE Hydro.
Once again, MOGWAI delivered a titanic wall of sound and an excellent light show. Onstage, the members remained rather stoic and unagitated, the way they do it for 20 years now and for what they are loved for. Stuart Braithwaite intoned the smashing Party In The Dark, otherwise, the micro was only used for plain thank you’s. And Barry Burns occasionally hit strings instead of keys. Oh, by the way, Martin Bulloch sat out this tour and was replaced by the lively Honeyblood drummer Cat Myers. That’s all the action we got, but there is actually no need for. This kind of music, (like the Sigur Rós show a couple of days ago over the road) is best enjoyed with open senses and closed eyes. And so everybody found itself engulfed in atmospheric soundscapes, with rising and ebbing dynamics. I just missed a bit that kind of a raging blizzard of noise.
Every song was recognized by the first tones and more or less honored. But there was no frenetic applause or behavior among the crowd, which acted likewise stoic and unagitated. You see, they understand each other ;) What a fabulous show!
Setlist: Crossing The Road Material, I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead, Brain Sweeties, Party In The Dark, Rano Pano, Hunted By A Freak, Don't Believe The Fife, Battered At A Scramble, 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong, We're No Here, Every Country's Sun, Old Poisons // Remurdered, Mogwai Fear Satan
With the MOGWAI show my personal 4-days-4-shows-birthday-run came to an end. And what a fabulous ran that was, beginning with Nick Cave & The Bad Sees, followed by Sigur Rós and Alter Bridge and finally concluded by MOGWAI. You can’t celebrate a birthday any better, right? Should make a ritual out of this ;)