Gig Review: Biffy Clyro at Bellahouston Park, 27 August 2016


By Rebecca Gallacher

As the sun set over Glasgow, the stars came out. Stars in the form of Simon Neil, Ben Johnston, and James Johnston; better known collectively as Biffy Clyro. The Ayrshire trio made their triumphant return to promote their seventh album and cemented their status as one of Scotland’s finest musical exports.

The supporting bands for the gig at Bellahouston Park read like a who’s who of every noughties rock fan’s wet dream, including Fall Out Boy and Cage the Elephant, as well as relative newcomers Wolf Alice and The Xcerts.

Biffy Clyro opened their set with Wolves of Winter, the lead single from their new album Ellipsis. The headline act defied the critics and reassured their fans that they had not strayed, as is sometimes controversially the case with rock bands, too far from their rock roots.

Lead singer Simon Neil’s first words of the night to the huge audience echoed throughout the park: “Hello Glasgow, we are Biffy fucking Clyro.” As if the cheering crowd needed any reminder.

Although the band may have shown some nerves at the beginning, they quickly settled into the predictable topless sweatiness of their gig. Huge screens were erected beside the stage so that everyone in the audience could see the band portrayed with statuesque magnificence, even from the furthest corners of the sprawling park.

This weekend was arguably one of the band’s most important to date, with a headline slot at Reading and Leeds Festival, as well as their biggest ever homecoming show. What a show it was; with lighting that would put the Blackpool illuminations to shame and enough pyrotechnics to raise Guy Fawkes from the dead.

However, the show was not without its tender moments. It featured two acoustic songs from Neil, ‘Machines’ and then ‘God and Satan’ during the encore, a simple spotlight on him and his guitar was enough to recreate the same kind of atmosphere as their early days of playing small pubs and venues across the west coast.

With tens of thousands of people singing their lyrics back to them, Neil told the crowd that they were “the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”

Of course, the Glasgow crowds are famous around the world for their colourful chants and relentless energy. This was no different, the encore was brought on by the familiar chants that have become as much a part of the music scene in Scotland as the world renowned venue, the Barrowland Ballroom.

The band finished their lengthy set with ‘Stinging Belle,’ one of their most energetic and best loved anthems. The bass was strong enough to shatter a bone and the firework display loud enough to shatter an ear drum, one thing was clear: Biffy Clyro are back.

With their aptly named new album, fans can only wait and see what will follow this. Ellipsis, Mon the Biff.