Mogwai shake London indie mecca The Garage to its core – review

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Iconic North London venue, The Garage hosted two sell out nights from Glasgow rockers Mogwai. An expectant crowd cheered on opening band Bdrmm who appeared in a plume of smoke. An impressive five-piece from Hull, they were full of youthful exuberance, their unusual name coming from the fact that they recorded their first demo in their bedrooms.

Having recently signed to Mogwai’s record label Rock Action Records, they ended their set by saying “Thank you to Mogwai for having us, not just tonight but last year and forever- please don’t drop us”.

True to their word, the band watched Mogwai’s mesmerising set from the front of the crowd, clearly having the time of their lives.

Landmark music venue The Garage continues Its series of 30th anniversary shows with Mogwai, followed by The Futureheads, to mark three decades as London’s indie mecca.

Mogwai fans say that their 1997 set was the loudest that the venue had ever staged.

Mogwai entered the stage to loud applause and cheers with a languid climactic opener building up to a dirgy riff, the loud bass shuddering.

The dramatic drum beats of Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home, complimented by melodic keyboard throughout the track, with thundering noise causing the intimate room to vibrate.

It’s a credit to the musical skill of the band that they can create such a pulsating atmosphere with instrumental songs alone.

There are very few singalong choruses at a Mogwai gig, and the set started with purely instrumental tracks which had the crowd nonetheless transfixed.

In-between song patter was limited to cursory, thank yous, but the band did thank the venue for having them back as apparently last time they performed there they “F***ed the place up”.

Stunning strobe lighting effects added to the atmospheric, a perfect foil to the distorted and disorienting vocals combining with heavy lead guitar creating a richly layered sound.

A real one-off in the rock landscape, the mesmerising tempo changes with no lyrics developed a sonic soundscape, and an ambitious arena sound whilst also seeming incredibly intimate.

For the encore, the band invited fellow Scottish rock royalt Brendan O’Hare from Teenage Fan Club to the stage.

At one point, they were four guitarists, playing a real unique wall of sound.

Set closer My Father, My King was a phenomenal assault on the senses, the rich guitar sound building to a magnificent, roaring crescendo.

Tonight’s crowd left elated, ears ringing with a clear sense that Mogwai have lost none of their power.

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