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The first time I saw Mogwai live they were sat at a table heckling me. I was presenting an award at the NME Brats. It was a good idea turned bad. I used to do a John Peel impersonation on a late night TV show. The impression came from love not scorn. The idea was that I would go out dressed as Peel, start giving out the Godlike Genius award to Shaun Ryder and then John Peel would come out and say “who’s this dick” and kick me off the stage. Unfortunately, about an hour before, Peel pulled out. I suggested that it might be better to can it, but was told to go out anyway and, without the punch line of the great man, I sank fast in an alcohol flooded room, the jeering led by a favourite band. I didn’t listen to any Mogwai for a good year after that.
Unlike many of the elated and wired whippersnappers in that music press gathering, Mogwai have not faded or seen their admirers change T shirts for other bands, 2017’s Every Country’s Sun was their biggest seller and now they are playing arenas. I last saw them at The Leith Theatre in 2018, its lightly cracked veneer but functional toilets make it a beguiling venue where the ghosts of previous headliners Mott the Hoople and Thin Lizzy occasionally mumble during the fourth pint. AC/DC tap you on the shoulder during the fifth.
Ten records in and still no disappointments or mistaken creative left turns. You may know what to expect from Mogwai, but you will never get the same. This album remains a transcendent soundtrack to whatever movie you are making in your head.
Unable to perform the album for the time being, Stuart hopes the music can take you from somewhere different to where you are, “unless you are somewhere really amazing and then why are you listening to some weird music like this?” Stuart still feels excitement at people hearing this record, a gift for this horrible year.
As The Love Continues shows that Mogwai are still offering solace from the mundane.
If they are at times inscrutable, they never meant to be.
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