Music review: Biffy Clyro Glasgow Green
Biffy Clyro, Glasgow Green ****
Only a year late and in a different venue, Biffy Clyro came roaring back on Glasgow Green. The forecast thunderstorms failed to materialise – all the electrical energy was on the stage, sparking off this true power trio (plus an extra musician here and there for that additional stadium heft).
They announced their live return home with North of No South from their most recent album A Celebration of Endings. This was a celebration not so much of beginnings but of rebootings. In their enforced absence, Biffy had certainly not forgotten how to live a concert in one song – an almighty sound, coming in waves, comprising commercial catchiness, pile-driving power, soft harmonies, downtuned guitars and those quirky Biffy twists, which took them headlong into That Golden Rule and the first of several pyrotechnical flourishes.
They looked like the international rock stars they are, with frontman Simon Neil in silky kimono, apparently ready for his next shoulder massage, post-running around the snazzy stage set of platforms and podiums. A cool laser webbing effect accompanied the stadium singalong Biblical. Such signature air-punching fare is not rocket science – unlike some of their more eccentric songs including the choppy, funky Who’s Got A Match?, which is equal parts ABBA and Queens of the Stone Age.
Elsewhere, the band went feral with the rowdy rocker Wolves of Winter, employed a string section you could actually hear, beautifully balanced amid all the muscle, on Space and premiered new song Unknown Male 01 before it was time to load the big gun anthems Bubbles and Many of Horror.
Highlight of the encore was Cop Syrup, a ferocious punk metal onslaught with space left over for a pastoral prog interlude which was worthy of its firework display. But being social sorts, Biffy followed this pummelling with the comedown communal singalong of Machines for a final moment of catharsis.
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