Mogwai: Concert Hall Celtic Connections 2014
When I arrived at the concert hall it was very unusual to see the place busy with thirty something rock and indie fans rather than the older audience that more often attend Celtic gigs. The air was full of anticipation as people waied for this iconic Glasgow band. This was a gig of two parts and RM Hubbert is worth seeing in his own right.
Guitarist and singer songwriter RM Hubbert supported Glasgow band Mogwai at the Glasgow Concert Hall. I had read that Hubbert’s 2013 album had won the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY) 2013, so I came along with high expectations.
Hubbert is a genuine and unassuming musician, whose music was all about his guitar. He played mostly instrumental tunes and a few songs. For his second song he played his own very good interpretation of I Once Loved a Lass, a favourite folk song of mine. His next tune had moody beating drums, guitar and he sang in a husky voice. He showed a clear understanding that music is firstly about what moves us and secondly about techniques.
He played his tunes with unexpected subtleties – dancing fingers, slow pauses and with questioning notes and at other times with strong strumming. He also managed to hold the audience’s mattention throughout with both his chat and well crafted tunes.
On one particularly emotional tune, For Joe, he spoke first about his parents’ death and that he felt able to speak to an audience – and I guess he gets to speak through his music too. This tune had talking guitar and expressed the many complex feelings of grief and loss – from missing you to happy memories and returned to missing you feelings.
The singer Aiden Moffat joined Hubbert on stage for Car Song which was another highlight.
I was truly impress and even bought the CD – this doesn’t happen a lot!
Hubbert is a member of Scottish post rock band El Hombre Trajeado, and has also been a member of the Glaswegian DIY music scene since 1991.
Mogwai were the main event at this concert hall night. The band have recently released their studio album ‘Rave Tapes’ to excellent reviews and with the album making the top ten UK. I had heard of Scottish indie rockers or post rock band Mogwai but had never managed to see them live.
It made a change to see packed concert hall full of a younger crowd and everyone standing. Mogwai play a wall of blistering power driven guitar and synthesizer rock (or post rock). The band played mostly instrumental tracks. Their music was heavily atmospheric with driving beats, thunderous bass, deep walls of sound and strong dynamics with energetic percussion and steady beats.
The band were led by guitarist Stuart Braithwaite who played his guitar with a deep strength. They also performed slower song with only guitar, slow paced drums and hypnotic voice. For their encore set they added an electric violin.
Their sound reminded me of futuristic films such as the iconic Blade Runner. and made me think of Icelandic band Sigor Ros who I saw live here a few years back – I went to look up what post rock is and sure enough Sigor Ros are also post rock!
This was the loudest gig I’ve ever been to at the concert hall! It was good to see the younger crowd at Celtic Connections. I’m not sure of the Celtic connections of their music except they are one of the biggest Scottish bands – they are far removed from acoustic singer songwriters or those fiddle reels. The high quality and diversity of music we have coming out of Scotland these days makes you proud.
Photos and Review Pauline Keightley – http://pkimage.co.uk/
This section: Celtic Connections 2014, Music Reviews, Pauline Keightley
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