There was a full moon, it was bitingly cold, there was siren-singing over loudspeakers at dusk with weird lights on the horizon across Hobart, the town at the edge of the southern world. The streets were filled with roaming packs moving from one art installation to another, amassing at the indulgent medieval Winter Feast and at venues scattered around the town. In the midst of this strange, slightly deranged and eclectic Dark Mofo Festival, Mogwai were the perfect headlining act.
Opening with “Coolverine”, the first release from their forthcoming album, “Every Country’s Sun” (due in September this year), they played a blistering, emotive one-and-a-half hour set, mixing in old favourites like “Reno Pano” with songs from the new album. A spectacular light show gave full force to the sonic range emitted by the band – one minute playing delicate refrains, next blasting the venue with a fuzzy, dirty wall of invigorating noise. It amazes me that given there was only one song with vocals (in this set), how much passion and feeling was created by the sound scapes.
There was little banter – an introduction, a shout out to the Dark Mofo festival – much instrument swapping and a deep concentration throughout the mesmerising performance.
Mogwai played at the fairly new Macq 2 venue perched on the edge of the Hobart harbour port. It was a vast edifice made close and cosy by the ethereal music and filled with a loving crowd. Dark, gothic and edgy – the music, the festival, the town. A perfect night.
Here’s a taste of what’s to come – the enigmatic video of “Coolverine”: