Music review: Biffy Clyro King Tut’s, Glasgow

“SO DID you guys have to do weird sexual stuff to get tickets?” asked singer Simon Neil with an amused glint in his eye, fully aware he was holding court at what was surely one of the most sought-after shows of the year to date.

Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil performing during the band's exclusive launch gig for XFM Scotland at King Tut's in Glasgow in front of just 200 lucky XFM winners, all in aid of XFM's fund for War Child. Picture: PA

Biffy Clyro King Tut’s, Glasgow


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Playing in celebration of radio station XFM’s relaunch in Glasgow, he and his Biffy Clyro bandmates were performing in a tiny venue by their standards, their sound suitably downsized to acoustic proportions to match the intimacy of the surroundings.

Despite the undoubtedly special thrill their fans will have enjoyed, however, the experience was a mixed one. The Ayrshire trio’s yearning, bombastic sound works to its utmost effect is on a large stage, turned up loud and blasted out.

That isn’t to say the effect of hearing these songs in miniature was an unpleasant one, particularly when the band proved so unexpectedly adept at subtlety.

Neil’s voice, in particular, affected the singular tones of a choirboy fallen on hard drinking and cigarette smoke amidst Different People, new track Here Come the Naturals and the gloomy yearning of I’m Behind You.

Yet hearing 14 of these songs back to back in the same context illustrated is just how much Biffy Clyro’s usual signature growl carries them when a lack of variety would otherwise let them down, and how resonantly corny certain of their lyrics are (“You are the loneliest person that I’ve ever known,” Neil emo-crooned on Opposite).

A bit of communal energy built with the late inclusion of hits Machines, Biblical and Many of Horror, but the fact that the regularly disrobed group kept their shirts on testified to just how cool the atmosphere remained.

Seen on 29.04.14