Mogwai, Special Moves/Burning
…the DVD was released to give, those of us unlucky enough to have never seen Mogwai live, a morsel of comprehension to what it must be like to bear witness to this lumbering giant of a heavyweight of the post-rock/instrumental rock fraternity….
I’m kind of wondering what the hell is up with Mogwai..(oh great…here’s comes a rant you’re all thing….) they’re releaseing stuff at a nice steady regular rate, they’re doing interviews and being nice to music hacks, they’ve, more or less, stopped bitching about other bands and, well it all seems like they’ve settled down. Are they getting wisdom with age? As the years fall by is the yearning desire to piss people off fading away? I was expecting a full-on assault when Blur reformed, I hoped (and prayed) that they’d re-release their Blur Are Shite t-shirts. Blur are shite by the way at least that hasn’t changed.
Now, we’ve a DVD. Actually it’s a dual release you get a DVD and a CD with the songs too, but lets focus on the DVD. It’s a Mogwai DVD, let that settle there for just a second, I don’t know but I’m having difficulty computing that. It doesn’t quite sound or look right does it? A Mogwai DVD. But that’s just me and my stupid muso ego, I don’t want Mogwai to become more well-know, I’d prefer if only us geeky-bearded post-rock obsessed dweebs retained possession of them. I don’t want to share this band, why would I? Why fuckin’ should I?
I’ve got to confess something too. I detest watching music, I hate music videos, can’t stand them, if the missus has MTV or something similiar on, I’ll grab the remote and either switch off the tele or switch onto something incredible boring like a Nat Geo Wild, something that’s the pure opposite of having crap music monophonically belted into my temples.
But let’s not begrudge Mogwai their first DVD release. How dare I expect them to rest on their laurels when the suit-coats say there’s more money to be made. I want to get away from looking at this so cynically. I suppose the DVD was released to give, those of us unlucky enough to have never seen Mogwai live, a morsel of comprehension as to what it must be like to bear witness to this lumbering giant of a heavyweight of the post-rock/instrumental rock fraternity.
This DVD does more than that though it takes you right into the very heart of the band and into the very essence of the performance that occured over the weekend of the 27th, 28th & 29th of April 2009. If you watch this and are satisfied then there’s something fundamentally wrong with you and your human brain. Please attend a doctor’s surgury immediately and try and get yourself some of that medical strength marijuana that’s around. This DVD upset me no end. Simply, it wasn’t enough.
I was there for ever drumbeat, every pluck of every string, every single nod of love from the crowd, every time a distortion pedal was activated, every muted vocal and every bead of sweat. I stared into the whites of the eyes of the crowd…..but I wasn’t there physically. I feel nothing but enduring jealousy for every member of the crowd that attended the weekend of shows in Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. What they witnessed was an unholy mammoth of shows and I can feel nothing but hate and loathing for every member of the 3-day-audience as I wasn’t there to experience it first hand.
The DVD is directed by Vincent Moon (who also directed the REM thingy at the Olympia, not that anyone seen that, do people actually still listen to REM?) and by Nathanael Le Scouarnec, who nobody seems to know too much about other than he’s got some cool stuff on his Vimeo page.
It’s all been shot in black & white so you get a lovely art-house film noir atmosphere to it. The choice of using black & white was a stroke of genius. You’re focus cannot stray away from the band or, more importantly, the music by a wash of colour. Obviously the double-team of directors set out to get you feeling intimate and involved with the band and its a dog-awful cliché but you become completely and utterly immersed. You’re a crowd member, you’re the photographer, you’re the security monkey but ultimately, you’re part of the band.
There’s only 11 tracks here and it’s never enough, and they achieve that worldcup winning golden goal that bands cannot do anymore, they leave you baying for more, nay, baying, crying, yammering and whooping for more.
There are no single highlight moments, this is a DVD that is an album, every track is perfectly placed and the sound is galactically cosmic. It’s everything a Mogwai concert is supposed to be.
Extra tracks are available on the vinyl version but if you buy the DVD/CD then you’ll get a download link.
One final thing, the credits go backways at the end, that’s pretty cool.