Biffy Clyro live at iTunes Festival
- By Chris Jefferies -
- Sep 24, 2012
One of this year's major coups at the iTunes Festival was lining up Scot-rockers Biffy Clyro to play London for the first time in over a year. With the band having just announced a January 28th release date for their sixth studio album 'Opposites', this was a great opportunity to showcase some of their new material.
First up, the crowd were roused into good spirits by fellow Scots Frightened Rabbit. The Selkirk quintet served up a 45-minute set that varied from compelling to pedestrian. 'Swim Until You Can't See Land' got a strong reception, with lead singer Scott Hutchinson sounding in fine fettle.
Following the now customary 60-second iTunes Festival countdown, Biffy Clyro got a thunderous response when they took to the stage, with the laid-back sounds of Simon and Garfunkel providing a stark contrast to the juddering rhythms of new single 'Stingin' Belle'.
From here on in, the set was fairly evenly split between new material, hit singles, and obscure tracks getting their first run-out in years. Of the new tracks, the expansive stadium rock of 'Victory Over The Sun' was by far the most impressive, while 'Sounds Like Balloons' blossomed from a funky off-beat intro into a full-blown hard rock crescendo. The hits were out in force, from a joyous rendition of 'The Captain' to the bounce-along classic 'Who's Got A Match?'. The arms-in-the-air ballad 'Many Of Horror' split the crowd right down the middle, with the odd cry of "we love you Matt Cardle" undercutting the mood somewhat.
However, many people will remember this set for an abundance of dry ice. 'That Golden Rule' saw huge jets of gas erupt from the front of the stage, while 'Bubbles' was accompanied by dry ice and helium bubbles rising to the rafters.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the night was how many rarities were packed in. 'Strung To Your Ribcage' was cracked out for the first time in eight years, while EP track 'Hope For An Angel' got its first outing in more than a decade. Given that much of the non-fee-paying audience will have known only a handful of Biffy songs, this was quite the gamble. However, the band carried it off with aplomb, never missing a note and playing each song as if it was their last. That honour was saved for the raucous singalong of 'Mountains', which sent the throbbing crowd out into the night chanting "Mon The Biff".
With a 20-track double album on the way in the new year, and their live set sounding as fresh as ever, Biffy Clyro are out to prove that they are so much more than "that band who sold their song to The X-Factor".
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