It’s very rare in life that I am left speechless after anything – but this gig has certainly left me with no words (which is quite tricky considering a review has to follow). Each and every time I see Biffy Clyro I leave the room saying that’s the best I’ve seen them, whether it’s been a festival headline a lot or a small up close and personal event, they blow me away – again I have left the room to those same words, they simply are one of the best live bands in the world.
What I love most about this band is the consistency they have to perform at the highest level and smash it time and time again regardless of crowd size or venue size. You always know what you are going to get from a Biffy show and like I said on the build-up to tonight, you’re in for one of the best nights of your life – pardon the pun but it’s a biblical experience.
When the support for tonight was announced, I had an instant buzz from then till now and I certainly was not let down. Architects brought some serious business for their slot and being the only act to get the crowd warmed up, the understood the task and showed why the belonged on that bill. With album 10 fresh out and being highly spoke of, the Brighton band kick off with huge singles from that record, Deep Fake followed by Tear Gas sending the crowd into chaos from the off.
Sam Carter is an incredible frontman, and it clearly shows, his presence on the stage is colossal twined with his above and beyond vocals really states he is a powerhouse. The band are no strangers to the Hyrdo having only recently headlined that very same stage, so they know their way around. Black Lungs was next and as expected, the pits are open and the crowd are engulfed in the carnage, you can see in amongst it all the occasion Architects tee appearing through the scenes, they were certainly well represented.
Things are slowed down and the venue is lit by the stunning sight of mobile phone lights, the beautiful and emotional Dead Butterflies breaks up the set perfectly and comes at a great time of the night – a song that is held close to the bands heart and is performed with so much raw emotion and passion, it was a special thing to witness in this room again.
From the slow break up, straight back to the carnage as things are rounded off in style – Doomsday livens the crowd up again before Sam orders the crowd to open things up as big as they can push it and create a circle pit that is a safe space for all to be, ask and the Glasgow crowd will happily oblige, When We Were Young follows and runs close to being song of the set. Most streamed single Animals concludes proceedings – as far as support slots go, this for me was one of the best I’ve seen in 12 years of gigging.
Now, with the support being so on point you stand and wonder how that can be topped, step forward Ayrshires best, Biffy Clyro. As the stage is being prepared and readied for Mr Neil and the Johnson bro’s, I take a look around the arena to see very little if any empty seats, from the front row to the back in the heavens, the place is literally packed to the rafters.
The lights are out, and the stage is gradually lit as the band one by one smoothly enter the stage guitars in hand (and sticks for Ben) ready to do what they do best. Dum Dum from their most recent studio album is first quickly followed by A Hunger in Your Haunt to Tiny Indoor Fireworks, the Ayrshire trio do not mess around between tracks. The crowd are eating up every single second already, the Biffy family bring their A game time and time again, even more so for a Scottish show.
From the new to the classic, Simon steps to the front platform out-with the stage as he swings around a light bulb followed by the intro to Who’s Got a Match? a song that can just slot into any point of the set. Things are warming up in the crowd so why not hit them with That Golden Rule, a vicious mix of riffs and heavy drums that makes it impossible to stand still, as soon as that pit opens, I’m straight in like a kid on Christmas Day, quickly realising my age and that the pit days are sadly behind and were only 6 songs in – but it’s all part of the fun.
In my time as a Biffy fan, I have been so used to certain songs being in a certain part of the set, for some bands it’s the norm to finish with a particular song or have that one song somewhere specific – in recent years the boys have really mixed things up and instead of a closer, Mountains makes it way in early doors and it’s a very nice change of scenery if you will, weather the song is first, last or even middle, the place is electric when this kicks in.
When the acoustic guitar comes out, you know what’s coming. Machines for me is such a special song and has been since I first heard it. When it’s played live it’s really hard not to get emotional, ‘I’ve forgotten how good could be to feel alive‘ a line that hits hard and in recent events over the last few years couldn’t be more relevant.
Heading back to the early days sees a regular set entry in 57 before quickly firing straight back to the present with the sharp raw End Of – a song that is certainly a standout from A Celebration of Endings. The set so far has been nothing shy of perfect, a spectacular mix of old and new giving things that balance (no symmetry) sorry I had to. Mid set I just had to have a little chuckle at the positioning of this – the stunning Space echos around the Hyrdo with the crowd in fine voice, following this comes the more upbeat bouncy Victory Over the Sun, and I know what you’re thinking, you’d expect more upbeat tracks – no, this is Biffy, they have their own rules, the band leave and Simon brings out the acoustic once more for a stunning version of Re-Arrange along with a string section.
Living Is a Problem rallies the crowd again before more chaos of Cop Syrup and a nice classic ending (for now) with The Captain. Off go the band again before Mr Neil appears with the acoustic and the string section for another special moment with God & Satan, a song that’s a rare addition to the set these days but it was certainly welcomed – another rarity sees Glitter and Trauma make an epic return and I for one was so happy to hear this live again being so long. When the into to Bubbles kicks in, there is a special buzz around the place and the bounce is front to back and in the stands. We sadly come to a close but in a stunning way with Many of Horror.
For a gig that left me speechless I had a lot to say, but what a night it was – as always Biffy showing why they are the best band to come from Scotland and after all these years show no sign of slowing down. They go from strength to strength; I can’t help but be jealous of those who get to go on the tour.
In the words of Simon Neil – they are “Biffy Fuckin Clyro”