Live. Biffy Clyro

Biffy Clyro returned to the live scene after eight months away on June 8th 2012 at Swindon’s Oasis Leisure Centre as a warm up for their slots at the Download and Rockness festivals. Support came from the brilliant Pure Love.

Pure Love opened proceedings with vitality, passion and furious energy as they attacked the stage with straight forward but excellent rock music. Frank Carter owned the space from the minute their set began, but he made sure to share the spotlight with the other half of Pure Love, Jim Carroll, even going as far as to say that the band was Jim’s. Handsome Devil’s Club was the live beast it promised to be, catchy yet angsty, it’s the sort of song that gets lodged in your subconscious and stays there. Pure Love has always had elements of Frank Carter putting himself out there, and this idea was physicalised as he clambered into the crowd midway through the set and performed in the audience for three songs. Even separated by hundreds of people, Pure Love remained tight and ferocious. The band might still be in their infancy but they played excellently and judging by the fact that every single item of Pure Love merch had been sold before the end of the evening, they were received excellently as well.

The atmosphere for Biffy Clyro was already electric before they even played a note, but as soon as they walked on stage the room exploded with rapturous applause. Opening with Mountains the applause quickly turned into a sing-along that sounded like it involved every one of the three thousand strong crowd. The guys in Biffy Clyro were clearly pleased to be back, as they were all beaming after such an incredible reaction. A blistering performance of That Golden Rule followed with that engulfing breakdown creating the first pit of the evening. Co2 cannons fired in time with the band throughout the song to further enhance the epic nature of the song.

Four new tracks were aired during the evening, the first of which was Modern Magical Formula. Modern Magical Formula is an absolute monster of a song. Heavy and ferocious while still being incredibly catchy, it’s Biffy at their best. A beautiful respite followed on from several minutes of absolute chaos and transfixed the audience with its charming and simplistic nature before the band flawlessly launched into another chaotic and mind-blowing breakdown that sounded like a fabulous kick to the face.

A haunting rendition of God and Satan allowed the audience a chance to recover after the aural onslaught of the first four songs. This break in tempo was short-lived however as Get Fucked Stud made a noisy and welcome return to Biffy Clyro’s live show.

The second of the new tracks was Sounds Like Balloons. An anthemic track that’ll lend itself to vast sing-alongs with a chorus that features the titles of the two halves of their upcoming double album, The Land At the End Of Our Toes, and The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones. It was arms in the air, losing yourself in the music stuff. It also featured all three members of the band on vocals, which is something that’s been lacking on the two latest Biffy albums.

The Joke’s On Us is another new track, but one that was aired at a few live shows last year. It’s now more edgy, with a cleaner defined sound that gave it more bite.  It’s also one of those songs that was lyrically mesmerising and took you on a journey through the course of the song.

The main set was closed with the ever brilliant Glitter and Trauma; complete with the full introduction that really transforms the song from the great to the sublime. It got the whole room jumping, which was a feat continued by the final song of the main set, Bubbles, which got one of the biggest reactions of the evening.

Living is a Problem was finally restored to a position in the set that does its staggered yet pounding intro justice, building up the tempo at the start of the encore instead of holding up the flow, mid set. Because of this, the whole song seemed more electric and powerful and was greeted with a much more energetic reception.

The final new song of the evening came sandwiched in the encore. A delicate looping guitar melody partners up with some juddering and bizarre time signatures to create the glorious Victory Over The Sun. It enchanted the whole audience as they became transfixed by the dreamy guitar loop and gorgeous vocals.

The Captain offered a soundtrack of celebration to end the evening, and the whole room obliged in matching the celebratory atmosphere. Mass cheers, arms around the shoulders and deafening woooahs finished off the evening in perfect fashion

The new songs sounded incredibly promising. Mixing the heavier, more bizarre elements from the earlier albums with the intelligent pop sensibilities of the latest albums. However, it wasn’t all about the new. 27 and Toys, Toys, Toys Choke, Toys, Toys, Toys both got a rare airing. I’ve been to a few Biffy shows where older material has fallen flat due to a lack of crowd interest but both of these tracks were picked up by the audience and received with great reactions. 27 captivated with the intensely raw power that the song holds while the screaming during Toys was chilling. It’s amazing to see a band willing to play forgotten songs from their back catalogues as both a reminder of where they’ve come from but also to reward the die-hard fans.

The set was still rather Only Revolutions heavy but that was to be expected until they release their new album around October time. However it’s tracks like Born on a Horse, Shock Shock and Booooom Blast and Ruin that highlight and show off the bands diversity and creativity within their own sound. The set flowed perfectly with enough heavy songs to build and maintain the tempo before a slower song allowed the crowd a chance to catch their breath.

The biggest reactions of the night were reserved for the slower songs. Many of Horror, Folding Stars and Machines were all greeted with deafening sing-alongs as the crowd took the songs upon themselves and made them theirs. I personally think it’s unnecessary to have that many slow songs in a set, but when they get a reaction of that magnitude, it’s easy to understand why they’ve all kept their place.

It’s worth mentioning the stage set up, which was absolutely gorgeous. A backdrop of a forest was broken up by big hanging mirror flag shards reminiscent of those used during the Arena tour. They reflected the action that was going on, on the stage and literally provided a new perspective in which to watch Biffy Clyro through. It created a beautiful and jarring backdrop to the band.

Biffy Clyro may well be an incredible band on record but they really come into their own in a live environment. Simon, James and Ben are so in sync with each other that they make the most complex and jarring breakdown look simple. Backed up by Mike Vennart of  British Theatre, who managed to add several new dimensions to their sound, the four of them gave it their all during every single song, and that passion was felt by the audience and reciprocated which created such a wonderful atmosphere that it was very easy to become lost with the crowd.

With a new record comes a new tour, and when it does I recommend you go along and check Biffy Clyro out. If the Swindon show was them warming up, then I wait with baited breath to see them at full throttle.

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~ by justdip on 09/06/2012.

7 Responses to “Live. Biffy Clyro”

  1. Great review – thanks, epsecially for the details of the new Biffy tracks!

  2. Hey yeah- the first review I’ve seen online – sounds awesome 🙂

  3. Wow, thank you for your great review. I can’t wait for listening the new songs. The way that you describe them makes me want to go listen to some snippets on youtube but i will be patient 😉

    • I’d wait for the album/Live shows. you don’t want to dilute the power of those songs.

  4. There’s no such word as rest-bite. It’s respite.

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