Biffy Clyro are one of those rare bands who still - even twenty years in - manage to have a foot firmly planted in both worlds: whether headlining festivals, or playing to tiny, packed-out rooms, the trio’s fiery passion feels impossible not to connect with. It’s a feat that’s perhaps best illustrated at their mammoth O2 show in London this Saturday night.
Following their last visit to the city - a rather more intimate affair at London’s Kentish Town Forum last November - tonight’s huge show is the jewel in the crown of their recent UK run with Brighton metallers Architects; needless to say, they’ve brought out all the bells and whistles. With their stage set-up boasting multiple layers and different heights, the presence of the trio - who are backed by touring members Mike Vennart and Richard ‘Gambler’ Ingram, and a string section to boot - is huge, while their slick but artistic light show works to elevate proceedings even further, the painted-white stage working as a blank canvas to be filled with colour.
Mostly dedicated to 2020’s ‘A Celebration of Endings’ - only three tracks are aired from their most recently-released ‘The Myth of The Happily Ever After’, including the spiralling opener ‘DumDum’ - tonight boasts a mammoth set of twenty-four tracks, with the band weaving and winding their way through their discography with aplomb. They even steer clear of that old cliche of only playing newer material; both ’57’, from their 2002 debut, and ‘Infinity Land’’s glitchy hit ‘Glitter and Trauma’ are aired tonight.
But even in a more eclectic set - ‘A Celebration…’’s woozy outro ‘Cop Syrup’ is a delightful albeit daring inclusion partway through with its near-seven-minute run time - there’s still something unfathomably wonderful about when they play the hits; the response to ‘Mountains’ is electrifying, while the roaring singalong to ‘Bubbles’ feels joyful, and their more quiet moments (‘Machines’, ’God & Satan’, closer ‘Many Of Horror’) are still gorgeous enough to send a shiver down your spine. A turbocharged arena show that still bears their trademark fingerprints of intimacy, it’s little wonder why the trio still suit both worlds so well.
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