Biffy Clyro offer a great party for Glasgow Green as restrictions ease

Biffy Clyro at Glasgow Green 2021 review

published: Fri 18th Mar 2022

Biffy Clyro

Thursday 9th September 2021
Glasgow Green, Glasgow, G1 5DB, Scotland MAP
from £56.95 inc fees
daily capacity: 50000
last updated: Thu 12th Aug 2021

Originally due to be held in June, this gig had been re-scheduled for September and as fans drifted in on this dull, gloomy afternoon there was a definite autumnal feel in the air. Opening act Porridge Radio had been given the unenviable task of opening proceedings. Probably not the most obvious of support they acquitted themselves well, receiving generous applause from those present. Unfortunately entry checks at the Scottish Government’s first big musical Gateway event and a 5pm Thursday evening start meant that there were few present to hear them.

As Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes took to the stage Glasgow Green had gradually begun to fill. One can usually rely upon Mr Carter to spark an audience into life. We had the usual “Ladies only” circle pit and Frank was soon off the stage prowling the extended pit. People close to the barrier showed their appreciation but there was a general lethargy from those further back and almost a sense that Frank was trying too hard! The band continued to work to rouse the audience but it wasn’t until the penultimate number; a cover of Motorhead’s, “Ace of Spades” that he got a reaction typical of his shows.

The crowd to this point had been muted but everything changed with the arrival of Yungblud. It’s been some time since I witnessed such raw rock n’ roll energy as the young performer cavorted back and forth across the stage; running, jumping, pouting and posing with seemingly boundless hyperactive energy. It’s sad to say that he made poor Frank Carter appear old and jaded. But it’s not just Yungblud’s visual impact that impresses; his band may play simplistic rock riffs but they do it with panache. Then there are the songs. Lyrically they may cover typically teen issues but the best of them have great hooks that are instantly memorable: The mid set trio of, “Weird,” “ Mars” and new song, “Fleabag” being particularly incendiary. It’s a triumphant performance by a performer clearly at home on the biggest of stages.

It’s been 20 years since I first saw Biffy Clyro as a support act at Manchester Academy in 2021. A lot has changed since then. The young trio; all screeching vocals and angular guitar has transformed into festival headline veterans with anthems galore and a stage set that seems to become more grandiose with every tour. This was the first major outdoor event in Scotland by any band in 2 years, and a homecoming gig for Biffy. How could they possibly fail – well they couldn’t!

As Biffy file onto the stage, silhouettes ascending to the upper level of an enormous tiered set, the sounds of Frank Zappa give way to an almost deafening roar of the crowd and we’re off. They remain as distant elevated figures throughout the opening number, backlit outlines occasionally turning to recognisable figures amid the flashing lightshow. Then it’s down to almost ground level with glimpses of figures amid lighting that’s a mix of red wash and strobes with bursts of pyro thrown in. And so it continues. The audience are ecstatic, the air filled with the smell of burning flares; but I’m not convinced.  They’ve opened with numbers from their recent, “A Celebration of Endings” album and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m witnessing a triumph of spectacle over musical content where the ever evolving stage show has eclipsed the quality of their music.

Happily I’m proven wrong. About five songs in we get to “Biblical”, and 40,000 voices burst into life as the band deliver the first of many anthems. From here on it’s a mix of newer tracks and older classics. Ballads, “Instant History” and “Space” impress from the recent album and the mid set sequence of "Mountains", "Black Chandelier", "End Of", and "Wolves of Winter" is simply irresistible. Then it’s back to more of the new album and early tracks from Blackened Sky and Infinity Land before the inevitable “Bubbles” and “Many of Honour” bring us to the encore. After a brief pause to catch our breath they’re back with, “Different People”, starting slowly then erupting with a bang before calming thigs down to close with the semi acoustic, “Machines”.

In a show peppered with bursts of pyro, confetti and streamers, the pacing; moving from the frenetic to mass singalong anthems is impeccable. If the Glasgow music scene had wanted a party to celebrate easing of lockdown restrictions it couldn’t have wished for anything better than this. Biffy Clyro at Glasgow Green was an absolute triumph.


review by: Trevor Eales

Thursday 9th September 2021
Glasgow Green, Glasgow, G1 5DB, Scotland MAP
from £56.95 inc fees
daily capacity: 50000
last updated: Thu 12th Aug 2021


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