Photo credit: Ryan Buchanan

Mogwai – Leith Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, August 22, 2018

A midweek gig in a historic building, on the verge of becoming a major new music venue and Mogwai nearly blew the roof off. Leith Theatre was the venue for their energetic and gusty performance and how fitting they were top of the bill at the world’s best known arts festival.

The band have come a long way since their early days and this gig was monumental for both new and die hard fans alike. They now have a certain maturity to deliver the ultimate jaw-dropping performance.

To start the show, Heard About You Last Night was a quiet and captivating taster to what was ahead. Then came Cross the Road Material, with powerful guitars and a melody which made you want to cross the road to hear it.
In the middle of the set, the atmospheric I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead – a pace changer from a slow, to uplifting then guitar laden sound, building the tension with full bass. It delivered beautiful simplicity with a hard, raw edge.

Towards the end of the set, the guitars got louder and more forceful. Showcasing what they do best – heavy bass, guitar and brilliant drumming from the now returned Martin Bulloch who recently took time off, due to ill health.
Old Posions a mixture of loud guitar swirling melodies, demanding bass – delivering a blistering almost heavy hardcore sound. The hall sounded like an aircraft was taking off.

Remurdered from their album Rave Tapes was a welcome breather, but only for a bit – as it turned into another dramatic and enchanting tune.The audience were in awe when the opening chords to favourite Like Herod began – which happens to be Stuart Braithwaite’s favourite song of their 1997 Mogwai Young Team album.
This was a hard track to beat but then came the encore. And what an encore to behold. As if one was in an apocalyptic dream, New Paths certainly delivered.

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Finally My Father, My King – over twenty minutes of pure brilliance. The track, know to be taken from an Jewish prayer recited on Jewish New Year, The Day of Atonement and certain fast days. It certainly sounded in the right place – echoing around the walls of an historic theatre. Simply put, they were rock royalty playing in the most regal of settings.Slowly building up, teasing as it got louder and eventually distorted guitars picking up the melody until an abrupt ending. Fans would have been delighted to hear it being played again.
Mogwai’s music now features on major TV shows and this gig proved their worldwide reputation is well and truly deserved.

The buzz on the streets of Leith afterwards was electric. Everyone shouting about how “amazing” the gig was – loud because they could not hear themselves speak. Long may Mogwai continue to be the soundtrack to the fortunes, misfortunes, twists and turns of every day life.


  1. Heard About You Last Night
  2. Crossing the Road Material
  3. Party in the Dark
  4. Cody
  5. Kids Will Be Skeletons
  6. Don’t Believe The Fife
  7. I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
  8. Coolverine
  9. Old Poisons
  10. Remurdered
  11. 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
  12. Like Herod

13. New Paths to Helicon, Pt. 1
14. My Father, My King

Photo credit: Ryan Buchanan
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