Biffy Clyro @ Hammersmith Apollo

6th May 2010

With a huge Wembley arena show beckoning in the future of the hottest Scotsmen since Sean Connery, this was one of the last chances to see Biffy up close. Their support this evening came from a band I saw last week at The Camden Crawl RoloTomassi & fellow Scotsmen The Twilight Sad.

Rolo Tomassi I felt were a strange choice of support. Their in your face aggression and non-sensical yelping doesn’t sit with most rock fans, let alone pop fans! They got a warm reception, but that could be because the crowd were intimidated by their thrashy math-rock. They were better here in the indoor setting and armed with the epic swirling electro vibes at the heart of their new material they are onto something good.

Rolo Tomassi

With Rolo departed The Twlight Sad arrived. Personally I’d rather have listened to another hour of Rolo! These Scottish miserablists were pretentious and extremely boring. They sound like an chronically depressed Snow Patrol covering Sonic Youth. No real songs were to be found…just incessant noise and the occasional strong accent. They were aimless on stage, had very little presence and the biggest cheer came when they powered down their amps, bringing to a close the worst set I”ve witnessed for quite some time!

Biffy Clyro rode the wave of ovation to centre stage and begun wiping out the Twilight Sad induced trance by flying straight into That Golden Rule, setting the tone for a lively and accomplished performance. Their Prog gone Pop-Rock philosophy was ever present as their off kilter guitar licks and galloping bass lines proved their musical engine was revving in 5th gear.Not being the most chatty of frontmen, Simon Neil makes up for this with his powerful musical lust and enthusiasm (I could easily give or take the barechested-ness though).

The majority of tonight’s set list has come from their last two commercially successful albums, latest single Bubbles and radio pop classic Mountains were played remarkably early in the set. This only goes to prove their success and repertoire quality since ‘going mainstream‘. This is not to say they have totally abandoned their early works. They played a brilliantly creative version of Glitter & Trauma and the sublime Bodies In Flight to please the old guard.

Flying straight back into the newer material they played heavily upon their latest  album and album of 2009, Only Revolutions which made the DiR crew happy! The abundance of sky soaring choruses from their material was astonishing. Hammersmith witnessed a very vocal performance tonight from band and crowd alike.

Returning in a flurry of fireworks and a mighty morphing stage for their encore Biffy upped the ante once more with more big rock tunes. Saturday Superhouse sparked some lively dance moves, the beautiful acoustic version of Machines was solemn poignant and the biggest cheer of the night goes to the mighty Captain. As they faded into the night ready to take on bigger arenas in the winter. Biffy will no doubt become big arena stars as their music is already begging for the larger venue crowds. I’m just glad I caught them when I did!

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