The Forum, Melbourne VIC
April 27th 2018
For an artist, sweating on stage is inevitable. Whether it’s the lights tracking their every move, the physicality and pace of the set, or even just stock-standard nerves, perspiration happens. That being said, there is something resplendent about a band who so eagerly anticipate their moisture levels that they begin the show topless.
Touring in support of their 2016 album Ellipsis, Scottish national treasures and haters of shirts Biffy Clyro have finally returned to Melbourne to rip shreds off an eager Forum crowd.
Opening the night, Queensland-based rockers WAAX got the crowd moving early on. Having garnered critical praise from critics Australia wide, WAAX are highly destructive, visceral and frenetic on stage. Eccentric, catchy and expressive, it comes as no surprise to see the increasing value of these Brissie punks. Watch this space. The band just released their new single ‘Labrador‘ on Friday, check it out here.
After a brief intermission, Biffy Clyro were met with wild enthusiasm as they exploded into ‘Wolves of Winter’, the first single off recent album Ellipsis. Baring lots of flesh and colourful tatts, the Glaswegian threesome soon moved into cult-classic ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everyone Dies’, starting a sea of chaos on the floor.
Revisiting their harmonious glory from 2002, ‘57’ followed and was warmly welcomed. As one of the most recognisable songs from their earlier records, the tracks incomprehensible screams and synchronised thrashing still carries its original ferocity six albums later.
It has been a long four years since we last saw the formidable live unit of vocalist/guitarist Simon Neil, bassist James Johnston and his drumming twin brother Ben, but the band took every opportunity to make up for lost time, playing like their lives depended on it.
‘Who’s Got a Match’ ignited as expected, as did the anthemic ‘Bubbles’, with its infectious and jubilant chorus. The raw, grunge howls of ‘Black Chandelier’ and ‘Howl’ melodiously blended attack with emotion, whilst the fuzzy, distorted guitar bursts and unstoppable angst from ‘9/15ths’ was hair-raising. Pleasing the older fans, early cut ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake’ is delivered with such tremendous passion, it is as a refreshing reminder of just how post-hardcore and strange this band is.
It’s not all grit and toughness however, as the Scottish veterans also treated the audience to acoustic renditions of ‘Medicine’ and ‘Machines’. With the lights down, both were delivered in a delicate, heart-warming and intimate fashion, beautifully accompanied by a mass sing-along.
Say what you want about Biffy Clyro, but as musicians and performers they are flawless. Purely animalistic, Simon jolts, thrashes and throws himself around the stage like a man possessed. The cathartic intensity is spine-tingling, raw and at times worrying. Likewise, Ben and James are just as wild in their performances, adding weight to each track amidst the on-stage carnage.
To put it bluntly, Biffy Clyro are one of the best bands to ever hail from the UK. Not only is their unique brand of progressive rock unrivalled, their shows are energetic and fans loyal. Having spent years getting to where they are now, recently headlining Reading and Leeds as well as Download Festival, this is a band in its prime. With seven studio albums worth of solid material, tonight’s triumphant performance was a wonderful display of their unparalleled strength, energy, and passion.
‘Mon the Biff!
Gig Review by Jimmy Russell @jamco17
Revisit Biffy Clyro‘s Ben Johnston co-hosting Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall right here
Biffy Clyro – East Coast Tour 2018
Sunday 29th – Eatons Hill, Brisbane
Monday 30th April – Enmore Theatre, Sydney