Biffy Clyro at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK – 19th September 2018

Posted by Bianca on Wednesday Sep 19, 2018 Under Acoustic, Rock

Review + Photography by Bianca Barrett

As storm Ali blows a hooley across the UK, inside, amongst the stunning surroundings of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall we are comfy and snug for a magical night courtesy of Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro.

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Following in the footsteps of Nirvana, Oasis, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. Biffy Clyro performed their own ‘MTV Unplugged’ show at London’s Roundhouse in November last year. Six months later the band released the MTV Unplugged album along with details of a UK acoustic tour.

The woodland styled stage was adorned with foliage and twinkling lights, all surrounding a huge tree that cast pretty dancing shadows onto the venue walls as the lights changed.

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Sharply dressed, Simon, James and Ben sauntered onto the stage to rapturous applause from the enthusiastic Birmingham crowd. On taking their seats they began with The Captain, Saturday Superhouse and Re-Arrange. Delighted from the very first notes of this special stripped back intimate gig, Biffy had everyone captivated for the entire show.

A typical Biffy Clyro gig is loud, electrifying, energetic and FULL of life, so witnessing the delicate arrangements of their extensive catalogue which was performed seated is a rare and special treat (Simon mentioned that they probably won’t do anything like this again). The laid bare acoustic arrangements revealed the poignant song lyrics and allowed for a more spiritual connection between the band and the audience.

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A personal highlight for me was their rousing performance of Opposite. I had goosebumps on goosebumps. From the gentle picks of the opening chords through to the stunning swirling cello it was truly spellbinding. The distinctive intro of Bubbles stirred up some excitement in the crowd, with some, leaving the confines of their seats to dance in the isles. There were even two ladies at the front who contributed by blowing little bubbles into the air.

Between the music there was some hilarious banter that had the crowd giggling and cheering. There was one particular cry from a chap in the audience of “Take your top off!” to which Simon quickly retorted “Not until I see your shiny wee dick”, he then promptly apologised for his naughty potty mouth, not that anyone minded.

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The three-piece were joined by touring musicians Susie Blankfield, Mike Vennart and Richard Ingram. Throughout the night they took on various combinations to create the perfect melodious backdrop.

To cheers of “Mon The Biff!” from the elated crowd Simon slowly walked back onto the stage for the encore and positioned himself underneath a single lightbulb that gently swung back and forth. Armed with just an acoustic guitar he began to sing the opening lines of Friends and Enemies without a microphone, James and Ben appeared from either side of the stage and accompanied Simon with harmonious backing vocals… a truly unplugged performance and it was superb.

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The final song of the evening was the heartfelt anthem Many of Horror which saw everyone on their feet for a massive singalong, it was a triumphant end to a truly magical night. Simon, James and Ben are outstanding musicians and performers who always deliver, whatever musical expression they choose to embody. It was a real honour for all in attendance to be part of.

Set List: The Captain / Biblical / Saturday Superhouse / Re-Arrange / Drop It / Black Chandelier / As Dust Dances / Folding Stars / Different People / Different Kind of Love / The Rain / Mountains / Adored / Opposite / Justboy / Medicine / Small Wishes / Bubbles / Machines Encore: Friends and Enemies / God & Satan / Many of Horror

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The MTV Unplugged Tour Continues:

Fri 21 – EDINBURGH, Usher Hall, UK

Sat 22 – MANCHESTER, Opera House, UK

Mon 24 – LONDON, Royal Albert Hall, UK

Tues 25 – PARIS, Bataclan, France

Thurs 27 – MUNICH, Philharmonie, Germany

Fri 28 – BERLIN, Admiralspalast, Germany

Sat 29 – FRANKFURT, Alte Oper, Germany
October
Mon 1 – MILAN, Teatro Dal Verme, Italy

Tues 2 – ZURICH, Theatre 11, Switzerland
Wed 3 – AMSTERDAM, Paradiso, Netherlands

Fri 5 – HAMBURG, Laeiszhalle, Germany

Sat 6 – COPENHAGEN, Koncerthuset, Denmark

Sun 7 – OSLO, Den Norske Opera & Ballett, Norway

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