Mogwai at Usher Hall was about as much as a statement gig as you could get to finish off a year; an embrace of that wall of noise, vibrations that resonated and amplified in the acoustics of the iconic Edinburgh venue. And in the year that acknowledged 25 years of Mogwai Young Team and Stuart Braithwaite shared his memoir, Spaceships Over Glasgow, there really was no better way to conclude 2022.
Hull-based indie boys, bdrmm were just the support you would expect from a Mogwai gig, with all the energy of Mogwai Young Team when they first hit the scene, tight and already accomplished. With tones of Mogwai and notably Radiohead’s The Bends, bdrmm, northern shoegaze lads with a touch of the contemporary, are a band to keep an eye out for in coming years.
Mogwai, however, were the band that everyone was there for in the Usher Hall this very night, with many eagerly anticipating a set that none could second guess. Stuart and the lads took us on a journey, a dalliance through several albums as we were indulged with revved up versions of ‘How to Be a Werewolf’ and ‘Cody,’ along with many others. Accompanied by lights that felt alien and interrogatory, the war of the LEDs, an atmosphere fuelled feeling with vibrations screaming through you. Tracks like ‘Ratts of the Capital’ and ‘Like Herod’ calculatingly lured you in before spitting you right back out with their terrorising unleash of noise.
Inevitably, they finished their set with an encore that included ‘Christmas Steps’ that gave a little hope before they whacked out ‘My Father, My King,’ a die-hard favourite at any gig of these Lanarkshire/Glasgow lads.