EVEN at their own 20th birthday party, Mogwai are not ones to make a fuss or draw attention to themselves, preferring to use the occasion to collect donations for local foodbanks or commission comedian Limmy to record a special voiceover introduction by his adventure game character Falconhoof.
It is simply accepted that Mogwai are never the most visual of bands nor animated of performers, preferring to pummel or lull the audience with their surround soundscapes.
Almost all the power of their performance is in their harnessing of volume. So the glacial opener Black Spider, with its unhurried but purposeful drumming and glistening keyboards, gave way to the controlled explosion of Summer and looming menace of I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead.
The instant gratification of San Pedro was a fine example of their increasing flirtation with melodic hooklines which has given rise to their most immediate track to date, the shoegaze pop number Teenage Exorcists.
Even a modest party needs guests so there was a cameo from their old friend Aidan Moffat on R U Still In 2 It and a guest flautist struggling for definition on Mogwai Fear Satan. This loud-quiet-loud sandwich is still one of their most ferocious assaults though set-closer Batcat is also an effective bruiser.
The mighty Remurdered with its tasty analogue synths could herald a new chapter for Mogwai as sophisticated composers but they chose to end with My Father, My King, an extended hymn to noisemongering which took the faithful to nirvana (and partial deafness).