October 25, 1997 16:13

CUM ON FEEL THE WHITE NOISE! Mogwai Tickets

MOGWAI live in Preston by James Oldham

CUM ON FEEL THE WHITE NOISE!
Mogwai

Preston Adelphi

Blood streams from bruised fingers, ragged strings hang from shaking guitars and still the volume increases. Half the band are kneeling on the floor, half are assaulting their amps. Sweat flicks from their heads, and the white-noise howl threatens to engulf the venue and everyone in it. It's an astonishing finale. Except it's not. You see, it being Mogwai, this is the start of the gig: a psychotic ultra-metallic version of 'Like Herod', and a perfect way to introduce themselves to the people of Preston. It's also a brutal demonstration of just why they're 1997's most radical musical force. Superficially, what we're witnessing isn't the height of originality. It's music with an obvious lineage, one that begins with the stark emotions of Joy Division and snakes through the late-'80s guitar-distortion of Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3 (whom they pay tribute to tonight with a cover of 'Honey').

There's nothing here that intrinsically separates them from a hundred other of their wilfully inaccessible post-rock counterparts. The difference, however, is that Mogwai realise that simply owning (and replicating) those records isn't enough. Which is why, for all their experimental pretensions (their set tonight is almost entirely instrumental) at heart Mogwai remain a classic rock'n'roll band. It's there in everything they do: from the Zeppelin-esque heaviness of their drums through to the adrenalised gear-changes of their guitars, it's even there in the gang connotations of their album title, 'Young Team'. But most important of all, Mogwai are not conscientious objectors to the idea of performing. In fact, their prevailing attitude towards guitar abuse is thankfully more MC5 than Stereolab. And that's equally true, whether they're negotiating their way through the gonzoid cacophony of 'Stereo D' or the more gentle, melodic repetition of 'A Place For Parks' or 'Angels Versus Aliens'.

The idea that the band stubbornly cling to throughout is that their gigs should be entertaining rather than educational, chaotic rather than incompetent and, above all else, defiantly confident - and the sudden departure of Brendan O'Hare has done nothing to alter that. Even though many of their songs come to a fuzzed-out conclusion that's met with confused applause, and halfway through someone yells, "You sound like fucking Ride!!" (in fact, they don't look at their feet once!), Mogwai press on regardless. Their final three songs are a masterclass in controlled noise; the sound of 'Psychocandy'-era Mary Chain colliding with the monotony of Neu!. As the original version of 'Summer' fades into the symphonic harmonies of 'Helicon 1', it becomes clear that Mogwai are rapidly assuming the status of their heroes.

Such is the alternating beauty and ferocity of these songs, and such is the passion with which they're performed that the band's two remaining gigs this year have every chance of being the equal of, say, MBV on the 1991 Rollercoaster tour or Spiritualized at the Royal Albert Hall this year. They finish as they began. Strobe lights flash, a photo of Hiroshima disappearing under a mushroom cloud is projected behind them, and Mogwai bulldoze their way through 15 minutes of oscillating noise. More strings are torn from guitars, sheets of juddering distortion appear then are immediately swept away. Finally, the whole band is left crouched on the floor as the final notes of 'Mogwai Fear Satan' echo around. This time, it really is an astonishing finale.

[b]James Oldham

Read More On This Artist

Mogwai Tickets
Date/Time Venue Seetickets Viagogo


Buy Mogwai Tickets

from £25

Buy Mogwai Tickets


Buy Mogwai Tickets

from £23

Buy Mogwai Tickets


Buy Mogwai Tickets

from £25

Buy Mogwai Tickets


Buy Mogwai Tickets

from £26

Buy Mogwai Tickets

back to top

More News
The Co-op to return to playing chart music following staff complaints
Jack White throws first pitch at Detroit Tigers game – watch
Damon Albarn's contribution to 'Lucy' soundtrack revealed – hear 'Sister...
Primus preparing to release 'Willy Wonka' tribute album
BBC Introducing Stage line-up announced for upcoming Reading and Leeds festivals
TV On The Radio announce new album 'Seeds'
Two more Led Zeppelin albums to be remastered and reissued
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett release duet ahead of new collaboration album
Timbaland confirms work on new 'game changer' single with Missy Elliott
Beck walks with his past self and the Grim Reaper in video for 'Heart Is A Drum'
Mitch Winehouse to release new Amy Winehouse charity album
Metallica's Lars Ulrich tips AC/DC for next year's Glastonbury
Blink-182's Tom Delonge selling setlist from band's first ever gig
Damon Albarn: 'New Blur album may just be one of those records that never comes out'
BBC Radio 1 deny claims that La Roux was excluded from playlist for being 'too old'
Confusion surrounds Lil Wayne's involvement with Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo
One Direction's Zayn Malik gets death threats after #FreePalestine tweet
Michelle Shocked releases silent album with tracks named after digital music executives
Further Ted Nugent casino performances cancelled over 'racist' comments
The Co-op staff complain as supermarket switches to only playing music by unsigned artists
Muse say 'heavy' new album will be released next summer
Lady Gaga appears as waitress in new 'Sin City' trailer – watch

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Featured Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read News
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today