Mono in stereo

Mono photosFrom my Glasgow book reading I dashed quickly to Oran Mòr, where Japanese rock band Mono were playing.

As regular readers will recall, I’ve been swotting up on Mono, and really enjoying what I’ve been hearing.

Their first album was an excellent and striking debut, and while the next couple of albums were a bit less impressive they did grow on me over time, proving to be great background music rather than a collection of individual classics.

The fourth album, You Are There, really emphasised Mono’s move to more orchestral rock sounds, with gorgeous strings and soft, sweeping soundscapes accompanying the heavy guitars and drums.  Last year’s most recent album, Hymn to the Immortal Wind, is fantastic.  There are some absolute classics in there, and it’s perhaps my favourite of the five overall.

Live on stage, the music simply came alive.  Even without the orchestral accompaniment, the two guitars, bass and drums covered the sounds tenderly and powerfully, and the crowd – a bit too noisy during the quiet parts – seemed to love it.  And what I particularly liked was that Mono were loud, but not deafening.

Which is probably a sign that I am getting old.

The support band, Midas Fall, were excellent.  They’re an Edinburgh-based rock band and sounded a bit like old-school Radiohead mixed with Portishead and with the Cranberries’ lead singer.  Very good stuff and I can recommend them.

I’m very glad I went to see Mono.  A top, top gig.  And of course there are a few photos.

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