Twenty-two years ago a band by the name of ‘Skrewfish’ played their very first live show at the Key Youth Centre in East Kilbride. Seven albums, 155 cumulative weeks in the top seventy-five of the UK album charts and a Mercury Music Prize Nomination later and Biffy Clyro take to the stage at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London, as bona fide rock royalty.
What came in between these two events is, of course, too much to document here but it divided Biffy Clyro fans into two schools: the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. Luckily Biffy now play to rooms that are big enough to accommodate them all and for long enough to effectively play a back catalogue.
Anybody who hadn’t seen Biffy for a long time was allowed approximately 3 seconds to believe that this is a
band with any true faults. By the time the explosive “Wolves of Winter” was ringing throughout the legendary arena there was no doubt that this was one of the most special shows of the year.
The staging, much like many other aspects of the night, is perfectly simple and satisfying for those of us that missed their Reading co-headline slot last year.
To match, the crowd interaction was kept at a minimum to allow for the monster, two-hour, 27-track set with the one-and-only Simon Neil choosing to let his astounding lyrics do the talking.
It would be shameful to admit that I often forget how extensive Biffy’s career has been but I was reminded exactly 27 times whilst at the O2 Arena because every time my ‘favourite’ Biffy song ended my ‘other favourite’ promptly began until you realise that Biffy Clyro are one of the best rock bands on the planet and their song writing is the kind that stays with the listener for a long, long time.
For that reason it’s hard to pick out highlights but if pushed “57” was incredible to see live with all of the gusto that it has deserved for 15 years.
It’s a rare thing to be able to say about a band but after watching one of the best shows I have ever seen I can say with all honest that not one member of Biffy Clyro is expendable. The talent of every member of this band, and the raw chemistry that they share makes them an absolute pleasure to watch.
But when, during ‘The Captain’, Simon Neil declares “I am the son of God”…well I’m almost inclined to believe him.
Mon the Fucking Biff.