Earlier this year, Mogwai’s touring agenda for their brilliant winter-released “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will” included an unusual venue: The Grand Ole Opry.
How does a Scottish post-rock band — known for playing exceptionally loud, often brutal but often beautiful music that’s as far from country as it’s possible to get without leaving the Milky Way — play the flagship of country music? It turns out that a venue in the band’s hometown of Glasgow oddly takes its name from Nashville’s hallowed hall.
“It’s done up exactly like the one in Nashville,” laughs guitarist Stuart Braithwaite. “It’s the most bizarre place I’ve ever been to in my entire life. It’s run by these old ladies who are really into country music.”
Mogwai playing a country bar brings the chicken-wire club scene in the “Blues Brothers” movie to mind.
“We’re not the first rock band to have played there. It’s a nightclub, too, but it’s particularly unusual. They have line dancing and country-related activities.”
Braithwaite says that he’s never been to the Grand Ole Opry’s original home, the amazing Ryman Auditorium.
“That’s one of the places I would like to go,” he says.
But who knew Glasgow had a country music scene?
“Well, it doesn’t really,” he corrects. “It’s only got one venue. That’s it.”