Mogwai and The Futureheads To Play 30 Years of The Garage Shows

Landmark music venue The Garage continues its series of 30th anniversary shows with Mogwai and The Futureheads returning in February 2023 as the venue marks three decades as London’s indie mecca.

Scottish post-rock band Mogwai play the legendary venue for two sold out shows on Monday February 6 and Tuesday February 7 2023. It’s more than 25 years since the iconic band with a cult following first played the Highbury venue.

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite said: “We are really excited about returning to The Garage to play. In 1997 we were lucky to play a few times, once live for the John Peel show, at an all day festival and as part of our first headline tour. It’s going to great coming back after all these years.”

The shows are followed on 10 February by the special edition reissues of two seminal albums by Mogwai – their 1997 debut ‘Mogwai Young Team’ and its follow up, 1999s ‘Come On Die Young.’

Mogwai fan site Bright Light felt sure Mogwai was the loudest act ever seen at The Garage following the appearance at the all-dayer in April 1997 – “The set shook, smashed and destroyed everything in its way. The final song took them to new heights, heights I’m sure The Garage has rarely seen before.”

Over the decades since they formed with rehearsals rattling Stuart Braithwaite’s living room, Mogwai has become one of the most important groups of the British musical underground.

The Futureheads show at The Garage is Saturday February 11 2023. They first played the venue in August 2004, just after the debut self titled album – featuring an exhilarating cover of Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love – was released to critical acclaim.

“In the shadowy darkness of London’s indie mecca The Garage, four young men from the North in tightly rolled shirt-sleeves are playing clipped guitar music to a rapt audience. The people around me respond, not by dancing, but by keeping their faces riveted on the stage, as if they are seeing and hearing something unmissably exciting. I feel the same way. This isn’t retro; it is the sound of a young band discovering itself, and sharing the thrill. ” – The Independent

The band said: “The Garage is one of our favourite London venues so we’re delighted to be part of their 30th birthday celebrations!”

Scottish indie rock band Arab Strap started the year long anniversary party with a sold out show in August. They first played The Garage on 14 June 1997 in a double header with Mogwai which was by all accounts a memorable occasion, with The Guardian’s Kitty Empire describing it as ‘a smashing evening’.

Arab Strap said: “We’re very honoured to kick off The Garage’s birthday celebrations, it’s a venue we used to spent a lot of time in. We’d be in London a lot back in the day, and there always seemed to be something happening at the Garage while we were there.”

Over the coming few months, DHP Family’s bookers for The Garage will be delving into its rich vault of three decades of live music to invite back artists to play a special series of shows celebrating 30 years of The Garage.

DHP Family booker for the venue Conrad Rogan said: “We’re delighted that Mogwai and The Futureheads both accepted the invitation to come back and play The Garage to mark our 30th anniversary. It feels more important than ever to celebrate the longevity of live music venues and cherish the irreplaceable role they play in the live music ecosystem and we can’t think of a better way than getting some of our favourite bands back on stage.”

Opening in 1993, The Garage quickly established itself as the capital’s finest indie and rock venue and performing there has become a rite of passage for many bands. One of London’s best loved grassroots music venues, the 600-capacity Garage was restored to its former glory with a state-of-the-art soundsystem and a fully refurbished bar area when DHP Family stepped in as the new owners in 2016.



The Garage timeline

The Garage was originally built to be the Temperance Billiard Hall and quickly gained a reputation for serving great pies, as well as being a haunt for local villains in the 1960s. The Highbury Mob often used the Billiard Hall as a meeting place. It became the London Town & Country Club 2, a sister venue to the Town and Country Club (now The Forum in Kentish Town), and the first live music events began to be programmed in the building.

8 April 1993: Opening night. The Garage quickly established itself as the capital’s finest indie and rock venue playing host to many bands early on in their careers. Playing a show at The Garage became something of a rite of passage.

15 May 1993: First major artist to play the venue is Pulp.

A few notable gigs in the 1990s during the venues first 7 years include:

Radiohead, Billy Bragg, Lemonheads, The Jesus Lizard, Elastica, Divine Comedy, Tindersticks, Slowdive, Green Day, The Pretenders, Offspring, Dinosaur Jr., Jeff Buckley, Ride, Sleeper, Stereolab, Skunk Anansie, Deftones, Guided By Voices, Spiritualized, Mogwai, Stereophonics, Eels, Cat Power, Queens of the Stone Age, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliott Smith, Weezer, Bikini Kill, Dandy Warhols, Blink 182 and so many more…

During the early 2000s The Garage solidified itself as the foremost venue for underplays and special fan club shows from some of the biggest artists in the world.

This was particularly apparent in 2002 when Red Hot Chili Peppers came to The Garage whilst solidly in their pomp.

Throughout the 2000s the venue went through some ownership changes (& even briefly a name change as The Relentless Garage) but stayed hugely relevant and forward thinking through this time, being the venue of choice for many of the indie, alternative & electronic acts of the time such as The Cribs, Bombay Bicycle Club & Bring Me The Horizon.

June 2013: The Killers rush from Wembley Stadium gig to play The Garage. Is this the ultimate underplay? The Garage show, announced at 8pm via Twitter, saw the band play 40 minutes of rarities and hits to a packed crowd of 800, having raced across town from playing to 70,000 fans at Wembley.

Oct 2016: DHP Family takes ownership of the venue.

March 2017: The Garage re-opens following complete revamp of the whole venue with new layout, bar, sound & light system. The intimate 150 cap venue upstairs is named “The Grace” in homage to Jeff Buckley’s famous performance at the venue in 1994.

May 2017: Harry Styles chose The Garage as the venue for his first ever solo show.

In the years following DHP’s ownership of The Garage it’s been blessed with huge shows from artists such as Harry Styles, beabadoobee, alt-J, Fontaines D.C. & The 1975.

The venue goes from strength to strength in 2022 with sold out shows for Dylan, Bloc Party, Buzzcocks, Muna and plenty more in the first 6 months.

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