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Injuries healed, MOGWAI can finally launch Glasgow’s new live music venue, the ABC. Doug Johnstone finds them reflecting on a poignant past and noisy future.

ust like the famous Scotland game against

Estonia which never happened. Mogwai raising

the curtain on new music venue the ABC in Glasgow in June was the gig that never was. Mogwai had been chosen as a suitably emblematic band. typical of the fiercely independent musical personality of the city. Except at the last minute the gig was cancelled due to drummer Martin Bulloch developing a severe case of tendonitis. It wasn't just the fans that were gutted.

‘That was a real nightmare.‘ says guitarist Stuart Braithwaite. ‘I felt terrible about it. A lot of people had made a big effort to travel. and the owners of the ABC were really happy that we were going to be the first band. I suppose we were still the first band booked to play the place. Maybe that’ll be in some Evening Times quiz in 20 years time: who were the first band booked to play the ABC. but not to play it‘."

Mogwai will make amends this month. Bulloch’s tendonitis has cleared up and the band are finally set to take to the ABC stage. Housed in the art deco building that was the country’s first cinema. the ABC is establishing itself as a venue to reckon with.

‘It’s a lot different from other venues in Glasgow.‘ says Braithwaite. ‘You can see from everywhere. the stage is really high, and they‘ve taken the audience into consideration. With some venues it's like herding cattle, but this seems to be a bit different. Plus the sound system is top class. Some places in Glasgow you have to take paracetamol before you go in because you’ll get headaches from how bad the PA is. but the ABC is amazing.’

30 THE LIST 1 1—1 8 Aug 2005

The show is a one-off Scottish performance for Mogwai this year. who are happily ensconced in their own recently purchased studio. recording the follow up to 2003's Happ_v Songs/or Happv People.

‘lt‘s very noisy.‘ says Braithwaite about the current recordings. ‘lt‘s probably the noisiest album since Mogii'ai Young Team. actually. I don‘t know if it's going to be much of a coffee table album.’

Earlier this year the band released (internment ('mmnlssions. a collection of tunes culled from the band’s eight years of BBC sessions. The record contains great versions of classic Mogwai tunes. often much better sounding than the studio originals.

‘Oh. definitely] agrees Braithwaite. 'Especially the very early singles. because we were going into a studio that cost £100 a day and doing five songs. so they weren't that good quality. while the BBC have the best mics and studios in the world. Listening to those sessions from through the years is fun. because quite a lot of that stuff was when we were 1‘) years old. when we were probably at our most demented. We were young enough to not even think about what we were doing.‘

The album opens with a now poignant introduction by John Peel. included before the DJ had died.

‘We‘d actually mastered it before he passed away. and we'd meant it as a wee joke. but we didn’t want to change it.‘ says Braithwaite. ‘lt seemed to work quite well as a tribute to him. because he really helped the band and he was a great person.’

ABC, Glasgow, Thu 18 Aug

No Hope in New Jersey, My Shotgun Sister and Achilles Mancunian hardcore diviners (pictured) who claim a fondness for Fugazi and William Shatner. Whatever turns you on. I guess. Barfly, Glasgow, Tue 76 Aug. (Rock 8. pop)

'r- The Sundowns Taking heed of the Americana finery of Wilco. American Music Club and Ryan Adams. this Edinburgh quintet know their way round a good tune or three. The Goat, Glasgow, Thu 7 7 Aug. (Rock & pop)

Mr David Viner, the People and Frightened Rabbit More debonair blues from this Detroit-based rollicker. who came out of the same stripped back aesthetic as the White Stripes. Barfly. Glasgow. Sat 13 Aug. (Flock & pop) Malcolm Middleton, James Orr Complex and Viva Stereo A considerable line-up of local talent topped by Middleton, moonlighting from Arab Strap with his new solo album Into the Woods. with support from similarly subdued. atmospheric acoustica from James Orr Complex. See 5 Reasons. King Tut ’s , Glasgow, Sat 73 Aug. (Rock & pop) Gwyneth Herbert Hotly tipped jazz singer Gwyneth Herbert made her major label debut with Bittersweet & Blue last year. and visits Glasgow in the wake of a Fringe residence along the M8. Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Sun 74 Aug. (Jazz) DeSalvo and Fuckstlck If the jazz tones of Ms Herbert aren't quite what you look for in a night out, why not sample some of the simpering evil thrunk-durrang rock that is DeSalvo. Not one for the grandkids. as there's not a bouncy castle and they might get eaten of maimed. 73th Note Cafe, Glasgow, Sun 74 Aug. (Rock & pop)

V Mogwai and Trout See preview. left. ABC. Glasgow. Thu 78 Aug. (Rock & pop)