ROCK MOGWAI Barrowland, Glasgow, Thu 8 Nov oooo

’Gwai do they play so late?

Could it be that the most dangerous live act in Scotland are actually better in the safety of your own bedroom? This is the third occasion I’ve seen Mogwai atop a stage, and each time, a small death of disappointment has greeted the event. While they perform with such vigorous animal intensity that would make the Taliban think twice about taking them on, the experience of listening to them on record has still garnered more moments to make the jaw drop and soul lift.

This gig, their second ever at Barrowland, housed fierce native loyalty and an eager mutual appreciation. ‘This is for the people of Glasgow’ announces leader Stuart Braithwaite on the dot of 11pm, just as the encore of ‘My Father, My King’, their proud interpretation of a Jewish hymn, starts on its winding, epic way; rumours that the band are considering changing their name to Mog-vey remain unconfirmed.

As ‘MFMK’ boasts a running time of 20mins 125ecs, those unfortunates of a non-Glasgow persuasion had to dash for the final train of the night, missing an ending blessed with the kind of last-minute drama which Mogwai’s beloved Celtic have been providing lately. With the band trouping off one by one, Braithwaite is left alone, on his knees, guitar held tight, yelling emotionally into the chill night; to some ears the maniacal mantra was either the word ‘Barrowland’ wailed repeatedly over and over, or an ad hoc version of ‘Amazing Grace’. 80 my Glasgow friends told me the next day, anyway.

The upside to their slight lack is that Mogwai have still got somewhere to go and we remain in the belief that it’s of an upwards trajectory. How can it possibly be other for a band who have given themselves the freedom to perform tracks such as the impossibly blistering ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ (Barry Burns’ flute having as much chance as a hangover in a hurricane), the gently twisted nerves of ‘Cody’, or the breezy (for them) driving number ‘2 Rights Make 1 Wrong’.

With raw material such as this at their disposal, Mogwai’s assault on legend is surely near. For now, we can forgive them for making the tussle a

OPERA COSI FAN TUTTE Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 1 Nov 000

Girl trouble

There aren't many operas which wouldn‘t benefit from a spot of editing, but Cosi fan tutie is guiltier than most. At just over three hours. it's a good 90 minutes longer than necessary the entire stOry could easily be sewn up in half the allotted time. And despite its longevity. the music isn't really strong enough to carry it such a distance: little of it stands out and virtually none of it is memorable. To be fair. Scottish Opera have had a good stab at updating this rather tired 18th century tale of infidelity. But regardless of setting. asking modern day audiences to embrace the idea that no woman is capable of remaining faithful for more than a few hours is quite a tall order.

The overall concept is also a little questionable. Director Stewart Laing casts the lead couples as schoolyard sweethearts. stretching the credulity of their undying love and causing some concern when the men return, disguised as greying, mid-508 businessmen, and woo the teenage girls into bed. In his favour. Laing milks the comedy cow dry, finding humour in places Mozart probably never dreamt of, although at times this too stumbles into the realm of naffness. most notably when the girls' streetwise maid hands them a banana whilst imparting tips on how to keep a man happy

As ever with Scottish Opera. the performances save the day. Equal emphasis is placed on characterisation and vocal ability. and the entire cast perform admirably on an otherwise sinking ship. (Kelly Apter)

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Ticket information: Tickets for most medium/large concerts can be bought from the following:

Glasgow: Virgin Buchanan Galleries. 332 4400 0 Credit card bookings from: Ticket Link: 287 551 1 8. Way Ahead: 339 8383 Edinburgh: Virgin Princes Street. 220 3234 o Ripping Records South Bridge. 226 7010 - Way Ahead 0141 339 8383

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