Biffy Clyro play secret acoustic gig to 200 at Ross Bandstand, Edinburgh
Intimate acoustic gig from melodic rock trio
There’s an audible intake of breath as Biffy Clyro stroll onto the Bulmer's-sponsored mini-stage opposite the Ross Bandstand. Around 200 lucky competition winners have been granted an audience with a band who regularly command the attention of thousands at gigs and festivals around the world; who regularly appear on the Radio 1 A-list and chart countdowns; and whose lead singer sets a-flutter the heart of many a swooning lady who likes their men tattooed, hairy and Scots. And he’s only just gone and bleached his whole head, resulting in a look best-described as ‘Swedish Santa Claus,’ or ‘Kurt Cobain-meets-Captain Birdseye.’
After this initial period of shock wears off, though, it’s business as usual: the boys are disarmingly normal, sharing a few jokes between renditions of songs that have made them the Scottish equivalent of the Foo Fighters: the hard-rocking band who appeal to the mainstream. If you’re a fan of the last two albums, this is a treat – they even play ‘Little Soldiers’, a B-side from the ‘Mountains’ single, as a surprise for anyone who knows those albums back-to-front.
And there lies the rub. Everyone here knows those albums back to front. Aside from ‘Little Soldiers’, there’s no hint that there’s anything more to Biffy; no nod to their pre-Puzzle heritage, which consists of a strong three albums and an EP that challenged and transgressed the punk/rock/metal boundaries. This set was always going to be limited – the band have barely 45 minutes to play with – but there’s a disappointing feeling of a comfort zone remained safely within.
If your love of Biffy is represented fully in Puzzle and Only Revolutions, feel free to add another star onto this review. For everyone else, cross your fingers and hope that they find the inspiration to move on soon.