Mogwai, RIDE at The Hydro, 16/12/17

Truth be told, when it was first announced that Mogwai were playing the often soulless soup bowl of The Hydro, venue listings were double checked and fears slightly assembled that a sound so delicately crafted spanning three decades could be lost in such a persecuting and dangerous surrounding.

These fears would eventually be laid to rest (and waste).

Support act tonight RIDE have quite the legacy themselves, long standing veterans at the game – tonight they do exactly what is asked of them – setting the scene beautifully with soundscapes which herd wonderfully over a quickly assembling Glasgow crowd.

Scottish poetic folklore legend Aidan Moffat appears dressed as Santa Claus, his amusing and humorously pessimistic dull-set tones not familiar with someone in the fat man costume yet tonight it’s exactly what we need when introducing Mogwai.

There is an unspoken of slightly less than rapturous reaction as the post rock hometown heroes take centre stage and burst into a venomous ‘Hunted by a Freak’, perhaps firstly down to the uncomfortable vulnerability which a venue such as The Hydro places on a band of Mogwai’s stature and credibility – there is something deeply unnerving and untrusting to a fanbase which has become accustom to career defining nights with this band in the likes of Glasgow favourite the Barrowlands; lastly tonight is a set which features six songs from latest album Every County’s Sun.

Every Country’s Sun is absolutely fantastic and on many levels a sonically impressive record that encapsulates everything we have come to expect from a great Mogwai record, yet, tonight does not get into top gear until the classics are rolled out.

‘New Paths To Helicon, Pt. 1’ and ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ are as vital now as they were in the late 90s, spanning a generation of musicians and song writers in its wake – guitarist Stuart Braithwaite chairs a semblance of unadulterated blossoming racquet which somehow still manages to sound as unique and poignant – every bristle of guitar and build up to a thudding break down of drums capturing the anticipation and flooding enthusiasm of a delighted and appreciative crowd.

Ironic that tonight should end on ‘We’re No Here’ from the brutally absorbing Mr. Beast, Mogwai are very much still here and on the evidence of tonight going nowhere fast; that in itself is something we can be very thankful of in 2017.

More Photos

Words: Chris Kelman
Photos: Tim Gray

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