Biffy Clyro - Mean Fiddler, London
There's a certain myth about London audiences. You know the one, the one that claims audiences in the capital tend to be less friendly than everywhere else. A very dubious claim and it's doubtful that anyone here tonight would ever take it seriously ever again. The Mean Fiddler has never been so loved up for a rock band before, and no wonder, for Biffy Clyro are a riotous explosion of anger, aggression, passion and all the other things that make rock music so very, very vital.
There's only three of them onstage, including the drummer, and it sounds like a juggernaut. Biffy Clyro play a mean hybrid of punk, grunge and surprisingly soulful rock. Simon Neil and James Johnston share the vocals between them, and it's an approach that works staggeringly well. Simon Neil's guitar playing is phenomenal, a textbook example of controlled aggression. Almost controlled, anyway, as he manages to kick the mike stand into the crowd during a riotous 'Bodies in Flight'. They career around the stage as though their very lives depend upon it and the crowd surfers love it.
If there's a downside to the night, well, nobody noticed it. It's impossible to pick out a stand out song as they all sounded so good and they came thick and fast. 'Questions and Answers' sounded especially good, though. For a relatively new band, they have a vast catalogue of crowd pleasers to pick and choose from and the amazing thing was that pretty much everyone in the front of the crowd was chanting along to every word. Not just the choruses, or the pretty sing along bits, but every word of every chorus and verse. What's more, you got the impression that those who didn't know every word probably would the next time around. It seems their strategy of playing live gigs pretty much everywhere is paying off. If tonight is anything to go by, Biffy Clyro have a pretty sizeable fanatical, passionate fan base, and if you have that, you have all you need. If Biffy Clyro came from New York, instead of Glasgow, you can bet they'd be on the front of every music magazine on the stands.
It's difficult to recommend Biffy Clyro strongly enough. It's rare a band comes along that look so born to do what they do. Possible icons in the making, there's not a dull moment from start to finish. Let’s hope they stick around for a while for we need bands like this.