Biffy Clyro – Live @ Mass

Rivmixx‘s Clive “Live” Rozario got his hands on tickets to Biffy Clyro‘s competition winners-only Xfm Live Session. Here’s the resulting live review

After three critically acclaimed albums went unnoticed by most of the UK, it seemed safe to presume Biffy Clyro would forever be consigned to London’s smaller, more “atmospheric” venues. Then they reigned in the screams and experimental heavy-metal in favour of melody-driven choruses to make ‘Puzzle.’ Consisting of the kind of pop-music The Foo Fighters have been striving forever to make, it reached number two in the UK album charts. In an instant, Biffy Clyro were selling out bigger and bigger venues, including three shows at London’s Brixton Academy.

It was pretty special, therefore, for the 350 or so fortunate Xfm competition winners to catch Biffy back in an intimate setting. Brixton’s Mass is a tiny venue within a converted church that has the decor of a student union (not a million miles away from the prestigious 4500 capacity Brixton Academy then). The crowd didn’t initially warm to support band Airship, possibly because they started their set rather late. Sounding like an Arcade Fire stripped of all their toys, they certainly won over some new fans by the end of their set, including Rivmixx.

Whereas last year’s Biffy Clyro tour included a mammoth 24-song setlist and a furious lightshow, this XFMLive Sessions show was short, sharp and uncomplicated. No lasers, no effects and no pompous, four-song encore. They played 14 songs in quick succession, predominantly from new album ‘Only Revolutions.’ Opening the set with the jarring combination of ‘That Golden Rule’ and ‘Living Is A Problem’ got the crowd head-banging, while the two tracks they played from 2004’s ‘Infinity Land‘ (‘Glitter and Trauma’ and ‘There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake’) got the elbows flying. By about mid-set the rising temperature of Mass had started melting the crowd’s faces (Ventilation? Please?). Luckily, Biffy slowed the pace down with such songs as ‘God & Satan,’ ‘Machines’ and new single ‘Many Of Horror’ before closing the set with their big, sing-along hit ‘Mountains.’ Ignoring most of their past singles (and completely ignoring material from their first two albums), the live debut of ‘Only Revolutions‘ closer ‘Whores’ served as the show’s surprise highlight.

The crowd departed sweaty and grinning. Partly because the gig was free (thanks to Xfm for that), but chiefly because they were well aware that the chance of witnessing Biffy Clyro’s frantic live-show in a small venue like this has become something of a rarity. Rivmixx predicts that they’ll be headlining the horrid, cavernous London O2 Arena within months.

Watch the track ‘Whorses’ performed live from this gig…

Originally published by Rivmixx here, and re-published on the Mass website here

Photos by Helen Boast.


~ by cliveparisrozario on January 20, 2010.

One Response to “Biffy Clyro – Live @ Mass”

  1. […] Matterhorn’ shows that they obviously picked up a thing or two from their support slot with Biffy Clyro; jagged riffing and a climax with an accelerating pace, which features a couple of Simon […]

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