Biffy Clyro - 53 Degrees Preston - 6.2.08

It has to be said that Scottish three piece Biffy Clyro aren't the most visually arresting of bands. Ben Johnston on drums is your usual reliable sticksman, stocky, skinhead, shirtless and brutally proficient. His brother ben on bass and guitarist / singer Simon Neil are all long hair, beards, brawn and tattoos making them your archetypal greasy rockers. Despite touring and releasing albums for quite a few years it was only the last years "Puzzle" album which turned them from a cultish curiosity to major league success.

Without any flashy light shows or unnecessary theatrics, Biffy Clyro just play it old school style with of course outstanding results. "Saturday Superhouse" kicks off the set and the atmosphere is jubilant, the band sound awesome and considering they comprise of just 3 members make one hell of a noise. Opening with a track which has a burning intensity and a chorus so europhoric that it gives everyone a natural high is a masterstroke and a crowd pleasing beginning. It's akin to Foo Fighters jamming with Idlewild. Melodic, crunching riffs and a very faint Scottish twang in the vocals. New single "Who's Got A Match" follows and although not quite as good as the first song, the legion of fans sing along in droves, obviously now being something of a live favourite, destined to be another hit for the band. "Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies" takes a leaf out of Muse's book with sub operatic Gregorian style chanting, a bombastic mix of grandiose pomposity and melodramatic flourishes with a complex array of chord changes. This band aren't afraid to experiment and stretch themselves as musicians and songwriters. That's not to say that Biffy Clyro have lost their sense of fun or playfulness. Chest out the self explanatory "Get f**ked" stud" for a rip roaring blast of metal onslaught.

During the encore its a surprise solo acoustic performance from Simon Neil of "Machines". The first eight rows of sweaty exhausted, yet remarkably conscious metalheads have their mobiles lit up recording the alternative version of the track.

Biffy Clyro never disappoint and are one live band not to miss at your peril. They have many different styles and are hard to pigeonhole which means die hard rock fans, indie kids and moshers can all enjoy the live experience together, a perfect example being tonight in Preston

Nicholas Paul Godkin
Photos: Mark Forrer -

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