“Biffy f*ckin’ Clyro” at the Manchester M.E.N Arena

‘Opposites’ is the title of Biffy Clyro’s sixth studio album, but it could also be a useful adjective in describing the support act that graced the stage at Monday night’s gig for the Manchester leg of the tour – City and Colour. Dallas Green’s powerful, melodic and soul haunting acoustic numbers never faltered for a moment, but he could not have been any further away from Biffy Clyro’s rip roaring performance that left the audience demanding more. Dallas Green’s serene and astounding performance lacked the crowd interaction and the hype that Biffy Clyro conjured up as soon as they arrived on stage bathed in blue light and announcing themselves as “Biffy f*ckin’ Clyro!”.

The Scottish rockers donned their trademark topless policy, despite the biting cold that marked the beginning of spring, but the atmosphere was anything but cold. They stood bare-chested, tattooed and poised ready to attack. They sucked the audience in with a rendition of ‘Different People’ complete with an extended intro, building tension and leaving the audience anticipating their next move and it was not long before the trio got stuck into more familiar material, blasting their way through furious and energetic numbers that made their name, like ‘That Golden Rule’, ‘Justboy’, ‘Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies’ and ‘There’s no Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake’ that kept the crowd roaring through an electric two hour set, with some slow numbers such as ‘God & Satan’, ‘Machines’ and ‘Many of Horror’ thrown in to display their lyricism.

On encore, it appeared that the rockers were beginning to cool down, slowing the set with ‘Skylight’, but the crowd were mistaken when we realised they were building up to the furious crescendo of noise of ‘Stingin’ Belle’, followed by the closing grandeur of ‘Mountains’ leaving the hyped and dumbfounded crowd to gather any lost garb. The Scottish trio remained electric, slick and ferociously precise to the last moment, fuelled wholly by six constant months in the studio working on the latest tour de force that allows them to be recognised as one of the UK’s biggest rock bands at the moment.

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