Follow TV Tropes


Music / Mogwai

Go To
Mogwai in 2017. Left to right: Dominic Atchison, Martin Bulloch, Stuart Braithwaite, Barry Burns

'Cause this music can put a human being in a trance-like state and deprive it for the sneaking feeling of existing.
'Cause music is bigger than words and wider than pictures.
If someone told me that
Mogwai are the stars, I would not object.
If the stars had a sound, they would sound like this.
— From "Yes! I Am a Long Way from Home"note 

Mogwai are a Post-Rock band hailing from Glasgow, Scotland. They are also very hard to describe, due to their eclecticism. A few constants, however, include their very legendary Instrumentals, their love of distortion and effects, and an average song length of about 6 minutes.

Their lineup has included:

  • Stuart Braithwaite: Guitar, Vocals (1995-present)
  • Dominic Aitchison: Bass, Guitar (1995-present)
  • Martin Bulloch: Drums (1995-present)
  • Barry Burns: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Flute, Vocals (1998-present)
  • Luke Sutherland: Violin, Guitar, Vocals (unofficial touring member, 1998-2016)
  • Brendan O'Hare: Keyboards, Guitar (1997)
  • John Cummings: Guitar, Laptop (1995-2015)

Do not confuse with the creatures from Gremlins. Contrary to popular opinion, the band have disproved that they named themselves after said creatures.


Studio albums

  • Mogwai Young Team (1997)
  • Come On Die Young (1999)
  • Rock Action (2001)
  • Happy Songs for Happy People (2003)
  • Mr. Beast (2006)
  • The Hawk Is Howling (2008)
  • Hardcore Will Never Die, but You Will. (2011)
  • Rave Tapes (2014)
  • Every Country's Sun (2017)
  • As the Love Continues (2021)

Mogwai provide examples of...

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Barry Burns provided the backmasked monologue on Mogwai Young Team's "Yes! I Am a Long Way from Home." This was a year before he joined the band.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Central Belters, released in 2015 and compiling songs from their early singles to their then-recent EP, Music Industry 3, Fitness Industry 1.
  • Instrumentals: It'd be easier to list the songs that do have lyrics.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: a Type 2 with Braithwaite, Aitchison, Bulloch, Burns and Cummings (and Sutherland, if you count him), lasting from 1998, when Burns (and Sutherland) joined, to 2015, when Cummings left.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: When the vocals appear at all.
  • Pop-Star Composer: They've contributed to the soundtracks of several documentaries, most notably contributing 4 songs to climate change documentary Before the Flood.
  • Sampling: Numerous tracks on Come On Die Young sample clips from random TV shows.
  • Sixth Ranger: From 1998-2016, Luke Sutherland was a long-time touring mate and friend of the band, playing backup guitars and violin on a fair amount of their songs, and co-writing and singing "Mexican Grand Prix" from Harcore Will Never Die, but You Will. Throughout his 18-year run, however, he was never officially a member of the band.
  • Stage Names: For their first album, Mogwai Young Team, the band used them. Braithwaite was credited as "pLasmatroN," Aitchison as "DEMONIC," Bulloch as "bionic," Cummings as "Cpt. Meat," and O'Hare as "+the relic+". These would be dropped by the time of Come On Die Young.
  • Vocal Tag Team: If the song does have vocals, chances are that the singer is Stuart Braithwaite. Happy Songs for Happy People, however, sees Barry Burns and John Cummings step up to sing instead, and they've contributed their fair share of vocals since then (in the latter's case, prior to his departure, of course). They frequently also bring in guests to record vocals, both spoken and sung.