Biffy Clyro

Entering a concert with misguided preconceptions about it's primary demographic is not a good sign. I would have assumed that Biffy Clyro, a Scottish trio dealing in pop punk/hooky stoner rock would pull a crowd of predominantly teenage girls of, let us say, the stove-piped and side-fringed variety. Simon Neil is after all a rather good looking fellow. To my surprise, I found a room full of mildly plastered 25 to 30 year old gentlemen, cacophonously building into a full fledged chant of "Mon the Biff!" at erratic intervals and generally being merry.


While the altered mean age and gender wasn't too upsetting in itself (I have to admit I was a little disappointed at the shortage of red bows and raccoon eye makeup), it did mean altering my perception of what the show was going to be like. It would be a piss-up gig.


Strangely though, the Biffy Clyro catalogue is fundamentally at odds with the notion of the drinking song. The tightly wound, hairpin composition of the music not to mention the frequent time changes, hardly makes them ideal pub anthems. In fact, they seem to be almost consciously constructed to pander to fans and alienate casual listeners. If you know the music you can thrash around and have a great time. If, however, you have never heard the songs before, odds are you will be left out in the cold.


The show was quite entertaining. Opening up with the blazing new album first single That Golden Rule, frontman, Simon Neil burst onto the stage, sporting a shiny new beard and over the course of the gig preceded to go through an apparently infinite array of Fender Stratocasters. The band blazed through a set made up predominantly of new songs (the epic Mountains and squishy synth of Born On A Horse were highlights) as well as some of their older material from Puzzles and beyond.


Its fair to say that the band was not quite in top form, but they did put on an good show. Crowd banter was kept to a minimum, which was probably just as well as most people were there to move. The Biff' finished with their bombastic default opener/closer The Captain complete with racous 'woah's and crowd singalong appeal. I, however went and got a kebab. There's only so many drinking songs I can sing on a single middy.

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