BIffy Clyro – Barrowland, Glasgow – 7/12/14


Last night saw the last of three nights in the Barrowland for Biffy Clyro. If you’ve followed along you’ll know that each night featured a setlist from just two albums in the band’s career (and associated b-sides). Tonight it was Infinity Land and most recent album Opposites which were the focus.

Each night has started with the band appearing after a large white curtain drops to reveal the stage. Tonight the order happened slightly different with the intro of opening track ‘Glitter and Trauma’ whipping the crowd into a frenzy, and the curtain not falling until the full band kicks in early in the song. It was the most impressive start of the three nights, and like the band, the crowd were off and running early with a circle-pit opening up almost immediately.

Having now got used to the order of things it was easy to settle into what will no doubt be a fantastic night of hits, hidden gems, old favourites, and tracks never before played. The band seemed to have as much venom as previous nights, and built up a sweat early on. The crowd – no doubt many here each night too – were stood in place, arms aloft and singing intricate guitar refrains, backing vocals, or singing along with Simon; whatever was required at that point.

The setlist for tonight was as abstract, varied, and as impressive as previous evenings. Simon commented that “we are an eclectic bunch, but lovely…” when discussing the choice voted to be heard at the show.  It’s fair to say that the crowd wanted to hear a range of tracks – not your usual hits – and the band went out of their way to deliver, and deliver big. Again, discussing all three shows we were told that the band’s brains had melted as they rehearsed 86 songs for these three gigs!

Tonight we got to hear 27 songs; 12 from Opposites, 8 from Infinity Land, and 7 b-sides (6 songs had never been played live before). This includes the fantastic ‘The Fog’ from Opposites as the first song of the encore. It was surprising it has never been played, it sounded superb and the crowd sung along word for word. This easily deserves to be a live favourite in future shows based on the response. The debuts tonight included the gloriously titled ‘Thundermonster’, ‘City of Dreadful Night’, and ‘Break a Butterfly on a Wheel’.

For the latter half of the show the familiar crowd chant of “Biffy, Biffy, Biffy Fucking Clyro” was replaced with “Jaggy, Jaggy, Jaggy Fucking Snake” in reference to the song on Infinity Land. It was clear this was what the crowd were desperate to hear, and was the first time of the weekend the crowd were chanting for a particular song.  It was no surprise then that ‘There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake’ was the last song of the evening (and the weekend). The crowd reaction was immense, and the largest circle-pit so far emerged almost immediately. The song, the  gig, and weekend ended in a flood of white light, and rapturous applause with James (worryingly?) saying “thanks Glasgow I’m going to miss you!”, before Simon added, “We’re off to record a new record! We’ve been BIFFY. FUCKING. CLYRO!!”

Over this weekend I saw the band three times. Each night felt like an extension of the previous and not a second or third gig. This feeling was underpinned by the fact no song was repeated. It was an impressive display from Biffy Clyro very much at the height of their powers, showing an ability to rehearse 86 songs and execute them with the vigour and perfection of a band playing their regular touring set.  Only twice did I witness a forgetting of a lyric or playing a guitar riff “a bit off”. Simon laughingly suggested that within two years he’ll be like Axl Rose and need an autocue! He shouldn’t be so unfair on himself, he and the band more than did themselves, and their fans, very proud indeed.

Biffy Clyro Setlist Barrowlands, Glasgow, Scotland, Christmas Shows 2014

Gareth Fraser
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