Mogwai - Green Man Festival 2012 review
'Cathartic and beautifully dark'
Kai Jones - 18 August 2012
For a band that revels in the cacaphonic power of slow-burning crescendos it's surprising it took Mogwai 14 years to write a song called 'White Noise'. Disassembling white noise into
constantly churning post-rock symphonies is a speciality of the Glasgow band and 'White Noise', the opening track
of 2011's beautiful 'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will', is a perfect trademark; an ethereal signature stretched
out over five glorious minutes.
Green Man gets 'White Noise' twice today. It says a lot about Green Man as a beautiful, affable festival that Mogwai do their own soundcheck at ten in the morning before a few dozen people enjoying their breakfast and a rare treat of sunshine. It's all very sedate and relaxed, a stark contrast to tonight's white light white heat, ear-pummelling.
Playing a 75 minute set that stretches over midnight, Mogwai's headline set is as cathartic and beautifully dark as the torrential rain and crow-black skies that has pestered the Green Man valley for most of the day.
Keeping the between song chats to a minimum, this is a dominant performance, covering most of their seven albums. 'I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead' from 'The Hawk is Howling' feels even more introspective and epic next to the battering-ram sludge of Hardcore Will Never Die's 'Rano Pano'; while '2 Rights Make 1 Wrong' from 'Rock Action' is beautifully soft and tender, the band obscured by red and orange lighting, like they're playing through the last dying embers of a once proud fire.
The whole set is one long triumphant highlight, but if there's one moment where Mogwai raise the bar, it's Young Team's 'Like Herod'. Draped ether side by trees lit up in translucent green, they bathe an adoring Green Man with 12 gorgeous minutes of evolving, sublime turbulence. Beautiful.
Click here for our full Green Man Festival coverage.
We want your Green Man Festival reviews!
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and reply to our review posts with your thoughts, insights, opinions and full-on reviews.
Send tweets to us with your reviews or comment on our Facebook page, or in the comments section below with your thoughts.
This isn’t about getting nasty if you don’t agree with our journalists, but an opportunity to leave your own appraisals, with the best ones getting published on the site.
So, what are you waiting for? Let us know your thoughts!