It was an excellent night. The gig was at the Institute in Digbeth - a wonderful Victorian building now sadly reduced to commercial ownership, but at least the owners (a well-known and near-bankrupt chain of music shops) have done a decent job. Lots of gilt-painted carving and pillars - a real miniature old theatre space.
The music was magnificent. Mogwai specialise in long periods of very quiet delicate bits, followed by a massive assault of complex noise. It reminds me of two things: the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster
"The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."
and falling into a wormhole (sorry about the quality - I thought the internet would be full of Star Trek clips, but apparently not. How disappointed am I?).
So the music was at times beautiful and at others utterly pummelling. Just what I wanted. I must say though that the band are a right miserable bunch. Apart from Stuart, who has a happy (and quite high) voice and at least spoke occasionally, the band spent their time grimacing at their fretboards or angrily gesticulating at the sound guy: at no point did they look like they were enjoying it, which was a shame. Partially understandable - they did have some technical problems.
As for the crowd - well, it was a classic post-rock one, in that it was mostly balding mathematicians. I'm pretty sure there were enough maths PhD's in the room to have a pretty good stab at solving the Poincaré Conjecture between the support act and Mogwai. Still, there were also more young and female people than I'd have expected, so they've clearly got an audience.
So if you like music which goes melodic-quiet LOUD LOUDER LOUDEST they're the band for you (and me).