Mogwai – HMV Institute, Birmingham 24/2/11

How best to describe the performance from Mogwai last Thursday night at the Institute? It was the first time I’d seen them play live, however, I already had high expectations, and they didn’t disappoint me.

This turned out to be one of the most intense and moving musical performances that I have had the privilege of watching during the twenty odd years that I’ve been watching live music.

I was prepared for loudness, the Institutes acoustics are perfect for this, however as the evening progressed this became more like a prolonged attack on my central nervous system, like having your stomach jumped upon repeatedly by a very large, unforgiving man. Despite the gut wrenching sound attack, you cant help but be taken in by the sheer depth and beauty of their sound. To those who know and love their music, Mogwai are not your average band; they very rarely use vocals, and yet this seems perfectly normal.

Highlight of the evening for me was an amazing performance of  “How to be a werewolf”, (see below), however this was just one of many high points during what turned out to be an awesome night. Amazing sonic soundscapes, sometimes brutal, always beautiful.

This is a band not to be missed on any count. Hopefully their commercial success will soon match their critical reputation.

Their latest album, “Hardcore will never die, but you will” is out now.

Mogwai – “How to be a werewolf”

Mogwai – “Letters to the Metro”