26th April | Louisiana
Photos: Jessica Bartolini
The Louisiana was buzzing with people to see Mogli. The show was sold out – the atmosphere chilled, yet excited with people chatting to one another before she came on. Everyone was excited to see her, especially the groups of her followers right at the front.
Mogli took you on a journey with her music throughout the gig. She is known for her folk sound, and started by playing the more ephemeral folk song, ‘Road Holes.’ It wasn’t long before another side to Mogli came out, though, that changed the atmosphere in The Louisiana. Nothing created this better than her performing ‘Strobe Lights.’ I was hoping she would play this live. It’s much more of a dance tune and it quickly turned The Louisiana into what could have been mistaken for a nightclub rather than a typical gig, with gorgeous lighting making the stage stroboscopic.
Her backing band oozed out this tangible but experimental sound. This included her keyboardist and violinist, who fused together folk and electronica. The electronica reminded me briefly of German experimentalists Kraftwerk. Like Kraftwerk, Mogli seemed to be most powerful at the most experimental stages of her live performances.
The great thing about Mogli was her storytelling about her travels, in between her songs on stage. She mentioned to the crowd that she doesn’t usually do this, which made us feel special to experience this at The Louisiana. Her song ‘Cryptic’ from her 2019 EP Patience was influenced by her travel to the mountains and sitting at a windowsill watching rainfall. OK, sounds hippie, right? It was so much more than that. She played a live recording of the rain before she went straight into a sync of drums and soft lyrics, “Cryptic mind, cryptic soul, always wondering where to go…” It’s quite incredible to time-travel back into someone else’s past life at one particular time. It was touching. Everyone fell silent.
Mogli became more intense on stage, switching between keyboards, syncing electronica and guitar playing. It was a force to be reckoned with when watching her. You could feel everyone around you relaxing, as well as Mogli in herself. She was enjoying it so much she said, “usually people lie about this, but you really are the best crowd we have had so far.”
Mogli had the capacity to really ignite the crowd. It became even more exciting when she played a new tune, ‘Ghost’ that had not yet been released. At any gig, it is great to hear new and experimental songs live and Mogli really sat back into her folk setting again. She then played ‘Echo’ which took everyone into a whirlwind: the folk element was out and psychedelic guitar playing was in. Her lead guitarist almost knocked everyone out.
My friend next to me said, “I haven’t ever seen someone enjoy being a sound guy that much,” as both guys in the booth at the back were dancing up and down for the whole hour and a half of Mogli’s set. It was great to see this happening, with everyone else dancing too. At the end it felt more like a festival with a thousand people than a small gig with just over a hundred.
It meant Mogli and, everyone listening, was more relaxed than ever with a gorgeous hour and a half, blessed with tales of a life of travel and the real bravery of self-change that she sings through her music. Let’s just say that seeing Mogli live was enough for me to shed a few tears at the end.
See the video for ‘Patience’ here: