Mogwai: Isle Of Bute Rothesay Pavilion

Mogwai bring 'Rock Action' to the UK, sort of...

In a world of compromise, musical, artistic and commercial, Mogwai are one of the few bands that refuse to sell out. Like the space station Babylon 5 they are a beacon and a symbol of real punk rock hope in the brand saturated universe that our music scene has become.

Which is perhaps part of the reason that a few hundred die hard Mogwai fans boarded the Saturn ferry for an hour’s trip across the Irish Sea to the Isle Of Bute for Mogwai‘s UK live debut of material form their third album ‘Rock Action’. Partly an act of Proustian reconstruction (many of the band members and their fans holidayed here as children) and partly a typical act of defiance, tonight they prove again and again that no matter where they play, remote Scottish Island or Shepherds Bush Empire, Mogwai are the best live band in the world.

The slower sort of exploding starts with ‘Sine Wave’ and the venue (usually used for Scottish dancing classes and aerobics sessions) begins to shake. The tender violence of oldie live favourite ‘Xmas Steps’ raises the air pressure inside to near ear imploding point.

Stuart Braithwaite steps to the mic for ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ and sings of seeing “Spaceships over Glasgow” and it seems the most natural sight in the world.

Gruff SFA joins up for Welsh language ‘Dial: Revenge’ while encore ‘My Father My King’ ( previously known as ‘Jewish Song’ which debuted at All Tomorrow’s Parties last year) proves that no Mogwai show is over until guitarist John Cummins says it is. He’s still on stage ten minutes after the rest of the band have evacuated in splendid noise and feedback.

The ferry departs on the stroke of 10pm and a few are left behind still reeling from Buckfast and the intensity of the show. So it’s with a cheery wave from stranded youngsters the good ship Saturn returns to port. Why can’t anyone else be bothered to do something as original and brilliant as Mogwai on the Isle Of Bute? All our respect is due.

Neil Thomson