Roughly seventeen years ago, on a hot summers day, at the commencement of the year 2000, I had taken a leisurely stroll through Carlton North to a friend’s house. Upon entering the shambolic share house, my ears were drawn to music coming from the bedroom of one of my friends’ housemates. I abruptly entered the room and demanded to know what the music was. The guy smiled and said “It’s a band called Mogwai”. He was playing the track ‘Stanley Kubrick’ from the recently released ‘EP’. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the music and declared that this music defined my taste in music. I went out the next day and bought ‘EP’, and a few weeks later, also acquired ‘Come on Die Young’. Up to that point in time, I was twenty years old, and had lived in ‘the big city’ for three years. Having moved from the country, my world had been pulled apart with the revelations of new music and local bands. Prior to discovering Mogwai, I was bathing myself in the sweet sounds of local bands such as Art of Fighting, 2 Litre Dolby, Gersey and By Ferry or Steamer. I quickly realised that a large part of what drew me to these bands were their forays in to extended instrumental sections in their songs, that they were all paying some kind of homage to bands like Slint, Karate and American Football. For me, Mogwai took all the elements of these bands that I loved and ran with it. I became a post-rock addict.
Two years later I would go on to form a record label, and sign and manage a post-rock band called Radiant City, who I worked with over almost the next decade, promoting their amazing instrumental sounds. During that time I also fell in love with the then Melbourne post-rock scene. I made every effort to go out and watch bands like International Karate, Laura, Season, Because of Ghosts, This Is Your Captain Speaking and countless others. Delay was my drug of choice, and whenever I needed inspiration, needed to be pumped up for an event, or needed a means of relaxing, I would turn to Mogwai. A miracle cure perhaps. My favourite LP is The Hawk is Howling, and a highlight of my twenties was purchasing the Batcat 12” single from Rough Trade Records in London. My favourite track is from the same album; ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’. When I last saw Mogwai live, at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, they opened with this track and ‘Heard About You Last Night’ and it was a surreal experience. I’ve experienced the ear bleeding bliss of Mogwai at Hamer Hall, a venue traditionally used for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as well as at The Forum, Melbourne’s best venue, and at the Meredith Music Festival. I can assure you that if they come back to Australia, I will be there, ready to experience every second in eager anticipation. If anyone ever asks me for a music recommendation, Mogwai is usually the first cab off the rank.
About the author
Observations and opinions of popular culture, covering everything from music, film, television, people and other things.