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
Drenge say Royal Blood are 'too poppy' for them
The Game, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, P Diddy and others release track addressing Ferguson shooting
Lady Gaga joins Adam Lambert and Queen onstage in Sydney – watch
Reading and Leeds organiser on next year's headliners: 'Every band we're talking...
Production issues delay latest Paul McCartney Archive Collection releases
Arcade Fire cover Bo Diddley during Chicago gig - watch
The Coral to release eight year old album 'Curse Of Love'
Grimes dances in the desert in Dante's 'Inferno' inspired 'Go' video -...
2:54 announce new album 'The Other I'
Echo And The Bunnymen announce November UK tour dates
Christopher Owens reveals new song 'Never Want To See That Look Again' – listen
The Killers' Brandon Flowers reveals details of 2015 solo album
Midweek chart update: Royal Blood set for Number One with debut album
Hudson Mohawke and Action Bronson preview new collaborative track – listen
Suge Knight shooting investigation moved to LAPD homicide department
MTV's VMAs drop 1.8 million viewers compared to 2013
Miley Cyrus condemns media for 'going after' homeless VMA guest following reports of...
Manic Street Preachers to play 'The Holy Bible' tracks for BBC Radio 4
Rick Rubin produces arty ALS ice bucket challenge video
Morrissey, Courteeners, The Kooks and more – O2 Priority Tickets available now
Audience reacts to Kate Bush's Before The Dawn comeback show
Kate Bush hails return to stage 'a great adventure' as ultra-theatrical show launches...

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