Scottish band Mogwai came out of their year-long break in touring to present to a sell-out Tuesday night crowd their fresh batch of (mostly) instrumental songs from their recently released record Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.
The five piece made a modest introduction to themselves briefly before diving in to an almost non-stop mixture of new and old favourites, rarely interrupting their flow and allowing the music and visuals to speak for themselves. Opener White Noise brought about the serene addition of a guest violin, but was unfortunately mostly buried beneath the bevy of layered keyboard and guitar distortion.
The stage was bathed in striking burnt-coloured lights, washing over the intermingling guitars and unobtrusive though innovative patterns of drummer Martin Bulloch. This made for an almost dream-like aural experience when coupled with the occasional vocoder-laden vocals from keyboardist Barry Burns and the sight of many punters swaying over the surrounding balconies.
A wide-screen sheet back dropped the stage with alternating images of ambiguous shapes, sweeping country landscapes and busy city freeways. The cinematic aide perfectly complimented the music and supported the overall aesthetic of the band’s set-up, whilst momentarily leading me to feel as if I was watching a film in a vintage theatre with an overpowering soundtrack.
Their set stopped short of just under two hours, filling each minute with their trademark dynamics of balancing calm instrumental phrases with sudden bursts of prevailing distortion. Obvious fan favourite Auto Rock opened one of two encores and sent the drowsy crowd home in satisfaction.