are a Scottish post-rock band, formed in 1995 in Glasgow. The band consists of Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), John Cummings (guitar, vocals), Barry Burns (guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass guitar), and Martin Bulloch (drums). The band typically compose lengthy guitar-based instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, melodic bass guitar lines, and heavy use of distortion and effects. The band were for several years signed to renowned Glasgow indie label Chemikal Underground, and have been distributed by different labels such as Matador in the US and Play It Again Sam in the UK, but now use their own label Rock Action Records in the UK, and Sub Pop in North America. Rock Action records is named after Stooges drummer Scott Asheton, who had his name changed to Rock Action. The band are named after the creatures from the film Gremlins, although guitarist Stuart Braithwaite comments that "it has no significant meaning and we always intended on getting a better one, but like a lot of other things we never got round to it." Mogwai means "evil spirit" or "devil" in Cantonese (Chinese: 魔鬼; Mandarin Pinyin: móguǐ; Jyutping: mogwai).

Links To Peel

The band were frequently championed by John Peel from their early days, and recorded no fewer than five Peel Sessions between 1996 and 2004. Peel also recorded a brief introduction for their compilation album Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996–2003.  After Peel's death in 2004, Stuart Braithwaite paid his tribute to Peel, when interviewed on The Guardian in 2005: [1]

"...His influence on the band goes deep. We discovered all the music we love, from Sonic Youth to a crazy old blues man, from his show. He was a legend and a wonderful guy; the only person I can think of who worked for a major corporation for decades and remained unchanged by it. His integrity was such that you knew he would be playing the same music if he were working for the BBC or Norwich Hospital Radio."

Festive Fifty Entries



Five sessions. Selection of tracks available on Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003 (CD and 2xLP, PIAS, 2005).

1. Recorded: 1996-12-22. First broadcast: 11 January 1997.

  • Super Heroes Of Bmx / Summer (Priority Version) / Waltz For Jo / Mogwai Salute The Brilliance Of Steve Lamacq

2. Recorded: 1998-01-20. First broadcast: 17 February 1998.

  • Procedure 4 / Ex Cowboy / Don't Cry / New Paths To Helicon (Part II)

3. Recorded: 1998-08-23. First broadcast: 01 September 1998. Repeated: 21 January 1999

  • Rollerball / Kappa / Spoon Test / Country

4. Live at Maida Vale 17 October 2001.

  • Yes I Am A Long Way From Home / Nick Drake / You Don't Know Jesus / Radar Maker / My Father My King

5. Live at Maida Vale 21 May 2003 (The appearance of Mogwai is delayed by extra time in the UEFA Cup final, with Celtic playing Porto. As recalled in John Peel's Scottish Sessions, JP is full of praise for the band's eventual set: "Mogwai's always been a good band; I think you'd now have to say they're a great band. A bad night for football, but a great night for music.")

  • Hunted By A Freak / Kids Will Be Skeletons / Killing All The Flies / Stop Coming To My House / Golden Porche / Ratts Of The Capital / I Know You Are / Helicon 1


  1. (no track listing available)
  1. Helps Both Ways
  2. Year 2000 Non-compliant Cardia
  3. Mogwai Fear Satan
  1. Bmx
  2. Jesus
  3. Flies
  4. I Know
  5. Helicon
  6. 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
  7. Sinewave
  8. Ratts

Other Shows Played

(This list was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more information if known.)

  • 25 January 1997: New Paths To Helicon Pt 1 (7 inch – New Paths To Helicon) Wurlitzer Jukebox (JP: "But first, Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai has been in touch with us and thanks me for playing their record. But points out that I was playing it at the wrong speed.")
  • 27 February 1997: New Paths To Helicon (7") Wurlitzer Jukebox
  • 29 May 1997: Now You're Taken (CD - 4 Satin) Chemikal Underground
  • 08 October 1997: Katrien (CD: Young Team) Chemikal Underground
  • 09 October 1997: Tracy (CD: Young Team) Chemikal Underground
  • 04 November 1997: With Portfolio (CD: Young Team) Chemikal Underground
  • 23 December 1997: New Paths To Helicon (7 inch) Wurlitzer Jukebox FF#2
  • 10 March 1998: Fears Satan (The Surgeon Remix) (12" - Fear Satan Remixes) Eye Q
  • 24 March 1998: Summer (Klute's Weird Winter Mix) (album - Kicking A Dead Pig - Mogwai Songs Remixed) Eye Q
  • 02 April 1998: Summer (Klute's Weird Winter Mix) (album - Kicking A Dead Pig - Mogwai Songs Remixed) Eye Q
  • 05 May 1998: Honey (CD: A Tribute To Spacemen 3) Rocket Girl
  • 20 May 1998: Xmas Steps (CDS - No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground
  • 26 May 1998: Rollerball (single - No Education No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground
  • 27 May 1998: Helps Both Ways (EP - No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground (EP - No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground
  • May 1998 (BBC World Service): Helps Both Ways (CD Promo - No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground
  • 09 June 1998: Rollerball (EP - No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground
  • 01 July 1998: Small Children in the Background (single: Xmas Steps)
  • 24 September 1998 (& Thurston Moore): Root (CD: Root) white label
  • 14 October 1998: Summer (CD - Vi E Brann) white label
  • 01 December 1998: I Can't Remember (EP: Glasgow)
  • 29 December 1998: Xmas Steps (Promo CD-No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)) Chemikal Underground FF#2
  • 27 February 2001: Dial: Revenge (CD - Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 13 March 2001: Sine Wave (album - Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 14 March 2001: Take Me Somewhere Nice (LP: Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 15 March 2001: Dial Revenge (LP: Rock Action) Southpaw
  • March 2001 (FSK): Secret Pint (CD - Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 22 March 2001 (Radio Eins): Sine Wave (album - Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 27 March 2001: Take Me Somewhere Nice (LP: Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 29 March 2001 (Radio Eins): Take Me Somewhere Nice (LP: Rock Action) Southpaw
  • 12 September 2001: My Father My King (CDS) Rock Action
  • 26 December 2001: 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong (CD-Rock Action) Southpaw FF#22
  • 27 December 2001: My Father My King (EP-My Father My King) Rock Action #FF10 (Due to the very quiet start of this, the emergency tape cuts in, to JP's considerable chagrin: “Well, I'm sorry we had to muck that up for you. It seems the technology doesn't exist at Radio 1 to cope with quiet bits of records. I must ask the people over at Radio 3 how they manage to do it, because when you hear things like Handel's 'Messiah', you don't hear bits of S Club 7 being banged over the top of the quiet bits. At least, I don't think you do.”)
  • John Peel's Scottish Sessions: Superheroes Of BMX (session #1, first TX 11 January 1997) (Mogwai's Stuart Braitwaite explains doing a session at the Hippodrome.)
  • John Peel's Scottish Sessions: Helicon 1 (session #5, live on 21 May 2003) (Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai – story about live session at Maida Vale on night of Celtic losing UEFA Cup final and Peel.)

External Links

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