Biffy Clyro
Biffy Clyro aren’t my usual cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are a talented group of musicians and are really popular, just not my bag. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained and thus it was that I found myself reviewing some heavy rock music on a grim and cold Monday Night at the new O2 Academy in Brum. I was actually pretty excited for a couple of reasons. I was looking forward to seeing the new venue (it was the Dome last time i went – am I showing my age!) and secondly I’d heard that Biffy, on the day of their new album release ‘Only Revolutions’, were being supported by Manchester Orchestra. Get in! It was going to be a night to remember.
Manchester Orchestra
I arrived to the gig late, not because I hadn’t left in ample time, but because the parking around the O2 is horrendous. Anyway, after many expletives and a brisk walk from the Arcadian, I found myself in a venue packed to the rafters with eager young beavers all brimming in anticipation for their heroes to make an appearance.
Manchester Orchestra
You can’t help but be impressed with the new venue. Admittedly it needs to “rock up” a bit – the carpet doesn’t have nearly enough stains on it, but that will come with time.The Academy in town should be proud of its successor.
Biffy Clyro
On to the bands and this is where I have to admit ‘my bad’ for the evening and my massive faux pas for the fine musicians that are ‘Manchester Orchestra’. See, I thought Biffy were being supported by an actual orchestra from Manchester – bugle players, flautists and all, not an indie rock band from Atlanta. As I say, I’m getting old!
Biffy Clyro
From the moment they kicked off you can see why Manchester Orchestra are attracting so many plaudits. Their big bearded front man had an instant affinity with the crowd, and together with their intensive drum and bass combo, and driving guitars, really provided a great support act for the Clyro. Watch out for em!
Biffy Clyro
Oh yeah, as an aside, the new Academy is loud. VERY loud.

Onto the main event, Biffy. The boys from all the way up in Ayrshire needed no introduction and kicked off with a stomping rendition of ‘That Golden Rule’. Next on the bill was ‘Living is a Problem’. For me – a music fan as opposed to a Biffy fan – this was the stand out song. The off beat interchange between Ben Johnson the drummer and the overly energetic front man Simon Neil was first rate, really impressive. If it had gone wrong it would have looked amateurish, but they carried it off with aplomb. Well done gents.
Biffy Clyro
The boys then powered their way through their set combining old classics like ‘Who’s got a Match’ and soon to be faves from the new album like ‘The Captain’ and the spine tingling ‘Born on a Horse’.
Biffy Clyro
What I liked about Biffy – aside their energy and excellent musicianship was their showmanship. Interaction with the crowd was kept to a minimum, but they managed to whip the baying fans into a frenzy and had them eating out of the palm of their hands – chanting back lyrics a plenty in all the pertinent places, much to the obvious satisfaction of the band.
Biffy Clyro
It was a great night, I’m thoroughly glad I got to review Biffy and I think I’ll be popping on to the net in the morning to get their new album.

“Mon the Biff!”

Words by Zak (Old Man) Edwards
Photography by Bianca Barrett

Leave a Reply