They’ve come a long way, those Glasgow post-rock scamps, once unfairly dismissed by some sections of the music press as mere Slint copyists. Who would have thought that the wee tykes, who used to regularly perform in Kappa trackies, would have endured so long, let alone be blowing a hole through the Royal Concert Hall ceiling? Yet here we are, over two decades, many tours, ever-evolving sounds, soundtracks, and a SAY Award later, in this most lovely auditorium.
There is not such an emphasis tonight on the Krautrock-inspired tracks from the nineties and mid noughties. Instead of course, much of the material is taken from the recent number one album, As The Love Continues, which is a glorious melding of noise and beauty. There is a teased out, shimmering Dry Fantasy, its chiming, hazy keyboard invoking the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra and ambient composers like the late Harold Budd. The hypnotic dream pop of Drive the Nail sits at odds with more accessible, almost indie pop fare like Ritchie Sacramento, sweetly sung by Stuart Braithwaite.
But the highlights are a molten Hunted By A Freak from Happy Songs For Happy People, which sounds incandescent, gorgeous and really rather sexy, with its caress of layered rippling guitar reverb from Braithwaite and Alex Mackay rubbing up against Barry Burns’ eerie keyboard lines and vocal effects. Also, the anthemic fan favourite from debut Mogwai Young Team, Mogwai Fear Satan, is still the ultimate in the soft/incendiary paradox which fuels so much of their sound. They came, they saw, they shredded, and left everyone happily punch-drunk. Plus ça change then, but long may they reign.