Glaswegian instrumentalists Mogwai are ostensibly touring to promote their new album ‘Rave Tapes,’ following its release back in January, but long-term fans didn’t need to worry about them eschewing the old classics in favour of new material. The show’s setlist – a mere fourteen tracks long – packed in a smattering from ‘Rave Tapes,’ but also tracks from their vast back catalogue, including ‘Travel Is Dangerous,’ ‘2 Rights Make 1 Wrong,’ ‘I’m Jim Morrison I’m Dead’ and ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice.’ In 2015 Mogwai will have been releasing music for twenty years which gives them enough material to play for uninterrupted days, but if you fancy making a Greatest Hits playlist, this set would be a good place to start.
As anyone who’s seen Mogwai live before will know, their preferred volume is ear-splitting. Even at the back of the Dome’s hall, the sight of audience members wincing and adjusting their earplugs is pretty common, though the sight of people moving away or going for a pint in the bar definitely isn’t. The Brighton Dome plays temporary home to many events: theatre productions, graduations, dance performances. The cavernous roof and gilt trimmings add a certain old-school glamour to them all, but there’s something brilliant about seeing a band such as Mogwai perform in these surroundings, as the sheer volume of their set reverberates through the building, making hairs raise and eardrums vibrate simultaneously. Strobing LEDs carve patterns on eyelids, pulsing with the rhythm of their thundering basslines. Mogwai’s live show is a full-body experience.
After the encore closes with an expansive, enveloping rendition of ‘Mogwai Fear Satan,’ the fans trail into the darkness outside in respectful, dazed silence. The ringing in their ears won’t stop for hours, but that’s okay.
Brighton Dome, Sunday 26 October 2014
Words by Jessica Marshall McHattie