mogwai @ royal albert hall, london, uk
poster by whitehaus
killing all the flies
friend of the night
travel is dangerous
i know you are but what am i?
mogwai fear satan
hunted by a freak
two rights make one wrong
we're no here
my father my king
support from kid606
royal albert hall
press release from l&si, the lighting designers:
last night was an amazing show. one of the best moments was during travel is dangerous - there was a big white sheet behind the band which had swirling colours projected onto it during the first part of the show, then during the "chorus" the sheet was dropped to the floor to reveal the giant lighting rig, in the shape of the 'young team' logo, and a frenzy of lights. nice stuff. 2 rights was great, as was that segue between 'tracy' and 'fear satan'. i think it may have been luke sutherland playing violin on xmas steps but i could only see a silhouette from where i was standing. ended with a loud 'mfmk'.
absolutely incredible gig. in my opinion, perfect setlist, amazing setting, and a brilliant performance all came together. and i was pleased they managed to be so loud as well!
oh yes, mogwai delivered. this was the first time i saw them tonight and i was blown away. they played an awesome rendition of my favourite, 2 rights make 1 wrong. and the encores were great.. and i was getting worried that they weren't going to do mega-snake but they left it 'til the end, very nice! absolutely superb gig.
holy crap, but what an amazing night it was!
the young team motif light rigging was hilarious, a real highlight from all the 'gwai sets i've seen.
possibly the best live version of 2 rights i've heard. the guys were really on form and at times even looked as though they were enjoying themselves. was exactly what you come to expect (want) from a mogwai show. loud (natch) and a lovely feedback frenzy at the end of both were no here & mfmk which is still ringing in my ears as i type.
the crowd were a little stale but very relaxed, would probably be the rah plush seats. was surprised how much room there was on the arena floor whether this was paranoid ticket allowance or poor ticket sales i dont know but i'm not complaining as it was nice not to be crammed in and enabled me to enjoy the show even more. opening with xmas steps is a real godsend as well, most shows ive attended there's always some idiot calling for it between every song!
two thumbs up!!!
the gig last night was a belter. finishing with mfmk way past the 10.15pm curfew was beyond words. lots of people had left well before that, though. luke sutherland made a brief appearance on violin on 'xmas steps'. i even managed to get the last of those great tour posters at the end! a great night all round. cheers mogwai!
mogwai were f***ing amazing last night
"tracy" was absoluetly gorgeous, and "acid food" is starting to make more sense. i must admit to being one of those who thought it was over after "we're no here", and feeling a tad sheepish going back in for "my father my king" -- still, what a finale!! they even managed to make my tonsils rattle during "2 rights...", the bass was so heavy (although i couldn't hear as much bass guitar as i would have liked - my only quibble).
kid606 was full of good tunes, and made the floor shake on many occasions -- but one guy with a laptop ain't much of a spectacle. still, £20 for 2 and three-quarter hours of supreme live entertainment in london = a bloody bargain.
pleased to hear the show was good. got too drunk and can barely remember being there. balls.
just to confirm that luke sutherland did play violin for xmas steps - although the sound engineers didn't have him switched on until half way through his solo!
i must say it was one of the finest 'gwai perfomances i've seen over the 8 years i've seen them live, they seemed to be having a cracking time and it was one of the most polished performances i've seen.
here's hoping they were recording it as it sounded fantastic with the acoustics too.
just returned from london where i freaked out in the albert hall. welcome to the holy church of mogwai! no more words needed, a smashing gig!
seen the band something like 5 or 6 times now, never been to the rah before. i was looking forward to this for months and months, since tickets went on sale, i had really high hopes for the gig.
i was chatting to some kids just before the band came on, "mogwai... royal albert hall.. can't believe it!" "this is gonna be intense" "we'll look back and say 'i was there'". oh yeah, this is going to be a good night. seconds into the first song, it finally dawned on me just how mighty the gig was going to be. the rah capacity is, what, thousands? i wasn't the only person awed into silence: you could have heard a pin drop. from the opening notes of xmas steps to the end of the epic mfmk i was glued to the spot in awe. last night the band commanded respect and got it. truly epic.
i'll look back and say 'i was there'.
to count the amount of times that i've now had the pleasure of witnessing 'gwai… now spreads across two hands. undoubtedly, the spunk records boat party on sydney harbour, australia is numero uno but 'gwai's performance at the royal albert hall, london comes in a very close… in fact, bugger it… equal first!
the range of songs that they performed… opening up with my ultimate favourite 'xmas steps'; to the giant white backdrop sweeping frantically down to expose a giant lighting rig in the form of MYT when performing 'travel is dangerous'... it was truly an overwhelming, and at times emotive gig!
having secured 2 floor tickets, i was fortunate to position myself front stage right… amongst a non-jostling, total awestruck audience who politely whispered between songs (overheard: "that song they just played… that was 'tracy', I've got this great wee music box that plays that"; he-he, me too J.)
i have to admit that i was little nervous, would a venue such as the royal albert hall be able to take on the enormity of sound that 'gwai produces? would 'gwai be able to deliver the goods? would my mogwai-virgin friend whom i had dragged along be able to handle both? yes, yes and yes! this was a performance that i will never forget!
as for my mogwai virgin friend? needless to say he's just gagging for more!
i thought the albert hall show was pretty tame, i was really disappointed. having not seen mogwai live for a few years, i was quite excited about going, but it was just identical to any time that i have seen them in the past, with the exception of the new really cheesy piano-driven material (which might actually have sounded better if they had made the effort to get a piano instead of the really synthesised keyboard they used) which made me think of michael nyman.
i don't understand the mindset of a band/musician playing the exact same material for like 12 or 14 years or whatever, and it still sounding note-perfect. how can you not get bored of that and have to do something different with it?
the light rig they were using with the curtain dropping off it halfway through to display the massive 'm y t' was completely spinal tap over the top uselessness. i was right at the front for the show, and none of the band looked like they were enjoying themselves, it all seemed too cliched, and that they were taking themselves too seriously. all in all, i just thought it was too predictable.
from ruairi, posted on the http://www.matadorrecords.com/matablog/:
to begin with, the royal albert hall is massive. massive. i’d never been before and it’s just…massive. it usually plays host to operas and orchestral stuff. we got in about 10 minutes from the end of kid606’s opening set, and it sounded remarkably like jesu. does his new album all sound like that? it was very good, and considering the last two times i saw him he did 40 minutes of scorching noise and 1 hour of gabba respectively, it was nice to hear him kick back a little bit. 20 minutes later, the lights went off and stuart came on to pluck the opening chords of ‘christmas steps’, one of many moments tonight where i thought ‘they’re doing this? wicked, i can’t wait til it gets to the noise bit’. as a set, it was a perfect summation of mogwai’s music - they did quiet stuff, they did the loud stuff, they did old and new stuff in equal measure. hearing ‘tracy’ live for the first time in aaaages was lovely, even more so when it transformed into ‘mogwai fear satan’. it’s kind of useless to repeat the same things that everyone says about mogwai (live or recorded), but they are so visceral live it’s untrue. during the closing ‘my father, my king’ (oh yes) it was noise heaped upon noise, and when you think it can’t get any louder, someone steps on another pedal and it feels like they’re taking a drill to your eardrums (in a good way). ‘my father, my king’ was so good, that when it was over it felt as if i hadn’t breathed for the previous half hour. really, when mogwai are good there’s not much that’s better than them. when they’re bad, they still fucking rule.
mogwai at royal albert hall has to be one of those moments where you come out of it with an awareness that you have just witnessed one of the greatest live performances ever. mogwai were on top form, sorting out a set that was similar to leicester, seeing that was more of a warm up gig, but with the inclusion of the ultimate crown of the mogwai jewels, 'my father my king'.
so i didnt manage to get standing tickets for this one, but after last night's tiring leicester gig in which i had to camp out at leicester bus station till 4am to wait for the coach to london (bloody freezing as well!), having a posh seat was a welcome break. better still my seat was directly behind the sound desk and facing the stage. so great location, good view of the band and as all you giggers out there should know the best spot for getting the best "sound" at a gig is to position yourself near the sound desk. also another bonus was spotting the setlist on the sound desk and of course the unmistakeable 'my father my king' printed neatly at the bottom of it (a lot of people thought they ended at 'we're no here' and just walked off, what a bunch of boffins)
mogwai opened again with 'xmas steps', played against a white background which the excellent light system was projecting psychedelic images onto. halfway through 'travel is dangerous' the white banner dropped to reveal a giant mogwai young team logo (their own bizarre logo featured on the cover of that album) with even more synchronised lights on it. top stuff! the acoustics of rah and the giant dome-shaped design of the building made mogwai sound like some grand orchestral band playing in the middle of a hurricane (not bad eh?). 'mogwai fear satan' sounded like it was being fed through a thx system, the combination of distorted guitars, bass and drums were swirling all over the venue. 'helicon 1' sounded like the most beautiful, grandest piece of music ever. 'killing all the flies' and 'hunted by a freak' were 100 times more intense than the versions dished out in singapore. the band was just well and truly on form and there was no stopping them. the electronic mayhem of '2 rights make 1 wrong' coupled with the awesome light show which was previewed at leicester and fully unleashed at rah. 'we're no here' must have got the rah staff anxious that the ceiling might just cave in any minute.
of course after 10mins of deafening feedback at the end of 'we're no here', mogwai returned to play the ultimate mogwai tune to end it all, 'my father my king'. what a monster of a tune it was, just unbelivable, everyone was just stunned into silence and awe at the sheer intensity of it. i thought i had heard the best version at glastonbury 2003 but this beats em all. the part where stuarts guitar kicks into the egyptian style solo during the second part was just pure bliss
not to mention i did manage to nick the setlist as well from the sound desk, and i was walking back to high street kensington tube station all deaf and smiling. fkin amazing stuff mogwai!
photos by andy parsons:
photos by warby:
photos by 'bob underexposed':
photos by james.
click on the image for larger version.
photos by neil azzopardi: