I'd never so much as set foot in Moho Live before, let alone witnessed a rock conert there. I'd have gone to see the Slits when they played there but that clashed with my trip to Spain to see three Wire gigs. Moho is in a basement below arty farty boho market Afflecks Palace. The stage is too low and the bar stocks only horrible overcarbonated Strongbow and the moderately less repulsive Bulmers so I didn't bother drinking as I can only drink fruit based drinks and didn't feel like risking the wine. On the plus side the sound was good in most locations throughout the venue, even behind the staircase that almost completely blocks the view of the stage from the back half of the room! Detracting from the sound itself were numerous drunken fools who did not have enough respect for the music and those who came to listen to it to stop shouting and interrupting all the quieter momentum build ups with their inane banter. Towards the back of the room I wasn't going to complain if people talked, but after shifting position from stage right to stage left via the seating towards the back of the room and everywhere finding the music interrupted by tedious gabble, I finally lost it with one loudmouth near the front and shouted, "Shut the fuck up!" at her which did the trick and the rest of the gig was a little more enjoyable as a result.
Support band The Elijah didn't suffer from conversation overkill as ther music didn't have such drastic loud / quiet dynamics. I enjoyed their emo/metal hybrid tunes played against a film of daisies and oceans, but much prefered the lank haired evil hobgoblin vomit vocalist to the high pitched emo guitarist's singing. This Will Destroy You have no singer at all so maybe they needed an opening band with two singers to compensate! They were fairly static on stage, from the glimpses I caught, and one guitarist sat down the whole time. The view was obscured by bodies as the stage is way too low, so I spent the first half of the gig trying to work out how many guitarists and drummers were playing: one drummer, two guitarists and a baseball capped bassist. The bassist bobbed about a a bit and they had some nasty strobe lighting but really the visual side of their performance was not important, thus the low stage was not too much a detriment to the epic soundscapes they sculpted. I have no idea exactly which songs they played but I think they played the best part of their recent third album "Tunnel Blanket" if not the whole damn thing. They left an ambient drone humming when they left the stage for the first time walking through the crowd and shaking hands with the listeners, then returned one by one to lift the hum to a couple more elegant noise peaks. If you want comparisons I could throw out Godspeed You Black Emperor (whose first Manchester gig I helped put on), Explosions in the Sky (whose first Manchester gig I also co-promoted), Labradford (whose second Manchester gig I co-promoted) and most obviously perhaps, Mogwai (who I have seen many times). If This Will Destroy You keep running they will very likely be playing much bigger venues in future.
It was an odd Manchester gig in that I saw no one I knew there, and as far as I could tell no one who went to the recent Helmet, NASDAQ and Killing Joke gigs in Manchester also went to this one, except me. I'd have thought This Will Destroy You would have appealed to a lot of people ho like NASDAQ at least but maybe they were all skint!