Mogwai - Sage, Gateshead 12.02.2023
Mogwai are one of the bands that saw me through the height of the pandemic/lockdowns. I’d have them either soundtracking me working from home or blasting in my headphones when out on necessary masked up bus journeys. So having them back at the Sage tonight felt a bit of a special occasion. 'To The Bin My Friend Tonight We Vacate Earth' starts the evening the first of four tracks from latest release 'As The Love Continues' that we are treated to over the set and it’s just a joy to see and hear in a live setting. The plaintive piano intro of 'I’m Jim Morrison I’m Dead' draws me in from the start and I’m smiling so much lost in it that I almost forget to try and take photographs as I stand there in the photo pit. And that is the crux of many a Mogwai tune, they draw you in and you can totally lose yourself every time. Whether it’s the guitar assault of 'Drive The Nail' or the soundscape of 'New Paths To Helicon pt 1' you look around the Sage auditorium and everyone is transfixed by the Glaswegian five piece .
If the beautiful melody and rhythm at the start of 'Midnight Flit' had been stumbled upon by some mainstream artist it most likely would have been a huge chart hit it’s so catchy! And again that’s the beauty of this band they can be so gorgeous in melody and brutal in riffs, sometimes at the same time but making total sense.
There’s very little movement onstage and only a few humble “ thank you’s “ between songs each band member focussed solely on the music allowing it to do the talking enhanced with a very effective lighting show and huge loud sound! Despite having seen many a Metal gig in my time Mogwai are always high in my list of loud shows.
'Rave Tapes' favourite 'Remurdered' kicks in and could easily be from a John Carpenter thriller with its brooding almost 'Tangerine Dream' like synths which has all heads bobbing in unison amongst the crowd
The wonderful vocal led Ritchie Sacramento starts the encore and has everyone dancing like no one is watching paving the way for the epic 'Mogwai Fear Satan' to finish the night and the majority of the audience already standing, as all the seats had been taken out, were swiftly joined by the rest in a deserving ovation.
The last time Mogwai played here Stuart said it felt like playing a church as you could hear a pin drop in some of the quieter passages. Well this February Sunday evening they delivered another fine sermon!
Mogwai - https://www.facebook.com/mogwai
Photos & Review - G's Gig Shots