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 Script score third Official Albums Chart Number 1 with 'No Sound Without Silence'
Jake Bugg: 'Manufactured pop bands don't have any soul'
Lauryn Hill's London comeback show subject to harsh Twitter criticism
Tatu's Lena Katina responds to bandmate's homophobia: 'People should be free to...
Producer Tony Visconti says he was misquoted over 'new David Bowie album' comment
La Roux: 'I've never made any money from record sales'
Kendrick Lamar downplays guest appearances on new album
Jamie T: 'Damon Albarn told me to write from the heart'
Stevie Nicks unveils title track from '24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault' - listen
Kanye West shares photos from his community service fashion class
Will Ferrell and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith cover The Rolling Stones - watch
Foo Fighters announce January 2015 live dates
Johnny Flynn stars in new trailer for Channel 4 sitcom 'Scrotal Recall' - watch
Bishop Nehru and Doom preview NehruvianDOOM album with new track 'Caskets' – listen
Matt Bellamy hints at World War 3 theme and guitar solos for new Muse album
SBTRKT previews new album 'Wonder Where We Land' at iTunes Festival in London
Iceage reveal new song 'How Many' - listen
Trent Reznor previews 'Gone Girl' soundtrack ahead of cinema release
Members of Arcade Fire, The Strokes and Bon Iver form Pop All Star Band supergroup
Lil Wayne and Drake hit the road in 'Grindin' video - watch
SBTRKT streams new song 'The Light' featuring Denai Moore - listen
George Ezra covers Cyndi Lauper's 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' - 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