The tweet I wrote after this gig pretty much sums up this whole experience and I call it an experience because it was like no other gig I've ever been to.
Now before I launch into the review let me provide you with a little background info. Mogwai are a post rock band from Glasgow and are famous for their dramatic guitar music and ear splitting loud gigs. If you follow me on twitter you are probably well aware of my obsession with Glaswegian bands, that city just keeps breeding amazing musicians (by musicians I really mean singers with sexy accents) but that's really by-the-bye. Mogwai have been on my radar since my first year of uni but I never really gave them much notice as I was more interested in songs with lyrics... Now I'm kicking myself for not giving them the time of day and missing out on what would have been many a special gig, but honestly there is no point dwelling over 8 years worth of missed opportunities because that's just silly.
In 2006 Mogwai wrote the musical score for the film 'Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait' and about a month ago I discovered that they would be performing the soundtrack live to the film at the Barbican. I managed to buy the last two tickets for me and my boyfriend (he's a huge Mogwai fan) and going into the gig on Friday night I remember him saying to me, 'Mogwai and a film about football, this is going to be totally out of your comfort zone!' Oh how wrong he was!
I'd not been to a seated gig in a very long time or one where a film is projected onto the back of the stage for that matter but as the band performed for two hours I was completely and utterly mesmerized. It's actually quite hard for me to describe the gig, watching an entirely instrumental set is something I'm not used to and even though I don't enjoy football all that much the music worked so well with the film that I loved it. The film is basically a football match focused on Zidane showcasing his incredible skill using 17 different camera angels. I didn't even know that Zidane was such a big deal but even a football novice like me could tell he had mad skills. One of the highlights of the gig was during half time in the match where footage from around the world at the same time was shown. As the volume of the music increased to almost deafening levels I was transfixed, I knew this gig was going to be loud but I wasn't prepared for just how much, it was amazing! A band like Mogwai deserve a venue with exceptional sound quality and the Barbican did not dissapoint, even with our terrible seats the band sounded incredible. At times I wasn't even paying attention to the film because I was so infatuated with the noise.
After the film finished the band did a 3 song encore including the extremely loud 'Helicon pt 1' as the finisher. I came away thinking I need to see a proper Mogwai gig as soon as possible but unfortunately they aren't really touring properly at the moment. I am so glad I bought these tickets on a bit of a whim because it really was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. I like loud music, I like music so loud that my ears want to bleed and Mogwai proved beyond doubt that they can deliver magnificent melodies at stupidly high volumes!
If you've never really listened to Mogwai before I really recommend this Guardian Music playlist x