BID FOR GREATNESS Post-rock kingpins get heavy at intimate hometown fundraiser
AS IT IS welcome Manchester to the era of The Great Depression
■ With As It Is’ new, gothed-up image, and latest album The Great Depression covering subjects like mental health and toxic masculinity, tonight is all about Patty Walters and co embracing their inner darkness. But despite pain having inspired As It Is 2018, this performance isn’t a dark night of the soul, more a joyous celebration of emotion and vulnerability.
Openers Holding Absence are no strangers to a cathartic display themselves. After they impress with a blend of dreamy alt.rock and visceral post-hardcore, St. Albans pop-punks Trash Boat keep the energy levels high, throwing out the likes of Shade and Old Soul and sparking multiple pits in the process.
Arriving onstage dressed in a classic Gerard Way-style suit, Patty Walters has never looked more confident as he orchestrates Manchester through opener The Handwritten Letter. He’s repaid with a level of loud devotion that’s something to behold. The Fire, The Dark swells with an arena-sized pomp, while the familiar pop-punk sugar rush of No Way Out and Hey Rachel spark absolute pandemonium. That said, As It Is do still need to find a sound that’s truly their own. Tonight, there are
more than a few moments where things feel a tad derivative, but the rapturous response they get throughout demonstrates how their fans have got behind this recent emo-punk evolution.
“You mean the fucking world to us,” comes the cry from one audience member midway through the show. “You mean the world to us, too – you have no idea,” comes Patty’s reply. As they strut through the remainder of a triumphant show, As It Is demonstrate that, whatever the music sounds like, what they do best as a band is truly connect with their fans. JAKE RICHARDSON
■ With great power comes great responsibility. As Scotland’s pre-eminent post-rock force, Mogwai wield more than most. Tonight’s instantly sold-out fundraiser for Eurythmics legend Annie Lennox’s Scottish Circle women’s charity – supporting the Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis and Cape Town’s Nonceba Shelter – highlights the benevolence underlying their sonic brute force. This close-quarters outing is a prime opportunity, too, to be reminded of the depth, complexity and tinnitusinviting inexorability at the heart of their compositions. They start tentatively, as Friend Of The Night’s juxtaposition of scourging six-strings and elegant keys fascinate, before Cody spills into a world of dreamy melancholia. A more measured complexity emerges in the epic sweep of Every Country’s Sun, continued with the stabbing tech-noir of Remurdered. It’s not until Rano Pano – with layers of guitar building to an ecstatic cacophony – however, that they hit stride. From there, the set builds a juggernaut force. Like Herod erupts in spasms of heart-stopping volume, while cataclysmic closer My Father, My King builds up a phenomenal severity. It’s music as a tactile experience: proof that, when pushed, Mogwai are an absolute force of nature. S A M L AW
When you’ve got a gig at 8, and a shift at Butlins at 9