Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Anson Rooms, Bristol

Pesky little tykes, Mogwai. From the moment they haul their not inconsiderable bulk on to the stage, they prove to be a perplexing concept, the aching succour of Low played by prematurely balding, angry young men in Kappa and football shirts. One moment they’ll soothe you with their delicate structures, the next they’ll try to knock out your teeth and force firecrackers into the bleeding cavities.

Despite stooping to such commercial prostitution as actually having lyrics, ‘Cody’ gently caresses the heartstrings, only for the pile-driving rampage of ‘Like Herod’ to sever them with a machete and feed them to a passing pit bull terrier. A clever trick that they then follow by losing both the songs and the plot in such a heavy wash of effects and tempestuous feedback that even the drummer can no longer find a rhythm, leading to a mind-numbingly indifferent performance, which is only rescued by the appearance of Luke Sutherland for an epochal rendition of ‘Christmas Steps’.

However, having been seen alongside a musician who hasn’t yet needed to join Weight Watchers, it seems that the plump little chaps are left feeling a bit self-conscious, and so turn on the strobes for the duration of ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’, just so we can’t look at them any more. If they were to use all that free sports-wear for its intended purpose and get some exercise, they may finally be able to catch up with the consistency that has kept recently escaped them. Should that happen, Mogwai could be rightfully remembered for their melancholic, malevolent beauty rather than for being a bunch of slap-heads with big mouths and even bigger waistlines.