Revolving with Biffy Clyro
It's not often that us music lot find ourselves on a night out in Leicester Square, and even less often that a cinema happens to be our destination. The Odeon West End is a foreign place to us but thankfully the presence of a bearded man carrying out a soundcheck, even if it happened to be on a stage in front of a screen and not a sweaty venue, made us feel more at home. Our reason for being in this strange land was to mark the release of Biffy Clyro's live DVD Revolutions / / Live At Wembley with the promise of acoustic goodness the proverbial sweet from a stranger in a car.
Settling down into our seats in time for Edith Bowman to come on stage for a quick intro, the Biff probably felt equally strange given that they had forgone their usual bare chested look for something more casual. Joking that they "always wanted to play in a cinema", the trio launched into the beautiful 'Little Soldiers' and it was immediately obvious that they were as adept at this acoustic lark as they are at creating a glorious racket. Pleasingly, although the set was linked with the Revolutions release, old-school B-sides were the main focus. It might have flummoxed the group behind us who probably expected 'Many Of Horror', but hearing a spine-tingling version of Biffy's first B-side 'Breatheher' was an unexpected treat and an absolute triumph. Good enough on its own, but to be followed by 'Loneliness' and, after a cheeky request in the Q&A that followed, 'Hope For An Angel' was just showing off really and stole the show away from the more obvious choices of 'Questions And Answers' and 'A Whole Child Ago', although the latter's rousing finale almost managed to steal the spotlight back.
But we weren't just here for the acoustic ditties, a highly entertaining Q&A followed with topics ranging from which did they prefer between '57' and '27' ('57' but '27' isn't a bad choice either), the possibility of a headline tour with Gallows (you never know) and the somewhat inevitable, just why did they sell the rights to whatshisface off X Factor? It was the response to this last question that prompted the most appreciative applause with Simon essentially saying that everyone's got to start somewhere, referring back to their own early, cover-fueled sets.
Then it was time for the main feature of the night and, putting aside what was described as a "slight technical fault" where the film went off for around ten minutes, seeing Revolutions in a cinema gave it that added edge thanks to a booming soundtrack that would swiftly get neighbour complaints if replicated at home. Packing almost all of their set from Wembley last year, there are some treats in store for those not at the gig with an appearance for 'Diary Of Always' and 'All The Way Down: Prologue / Chapter 1', as well as a decent chunk of backstage shenanigans, although the lack of interviews may disappoint some. As live DVDs go though, it's about as polished as they come and fans of live material should lap it up.
And with a sixth album still a while away (the Q&A touched on it and apparently 20 songs are written but won't be touched until they finish touring this summer), Revolutions will happily fill the gap for even the most diehard Biffy Clyro fan. Their last album, Only Revolutions, turned out to be their finest hour, so we're content to wait. But we'll be happy to return to this strange place again if it also inspires another DVD. We should have our breath back by then.