Biffy Clyro / Brand New – Belfast, SSE Arena – 27 November 2016 Print E-mail
Written by Marc Leach   
Thursday, 01 December 2016 03:00

Not only is it hard to believe that the ghastly year of 2016 is almost over, but it’s also hard to believe that it was not that long ago since the annual Belsonic festival, which was held in the summer. A wide variety of top named acts were over during that time, from ska legends Madness to British metal sensations Bring Me The Horizon; but one band treated their Belsonic performance almost like a practise ground for their next tour:  Scottish head cases, Biffy Clyro.


Brand New - SSE Belfast - Nov 2016 - 1


I had only heard of the night’s opening band, Brand New, through multiple sponsored advertisements online plus word of mouth with people putting in a great word about them; so naturally I was all set for something special from this band of New Yorkers. What this reviewer was left with was an over hyped performance that was just full of just, well; noise. Minus banter with the crowd between their songs, an atrocious light show and the word I used already, noise, made this probably one of the most boring sets I had ever seen in 2016. What a shame!


Brand New - SSE Belfast - Nov 2016 - 2


‘Mon The Biff! Mon The Biff’ echoed throughout the packed out SSE Arena as the three icons from Scotland took to the stage for their quick return to Belfast. As they kicked off their set with ‘Wolves Of Winter’ from their (rather disappointing) new album, ‘Ellipsis’ the one thing I on the look out for was if their set was going to be the same as their Belsonic set; thankfully it wasn’t!  While Brand New brought a short supply of lights, Biffy went all out for their light show, so much so that myself and I am sure the majority of the crowd are still trying to get their vision back from all the countless amount of strobes that were used.


Biffy Clyro - SSE Belfast - Nov 2016 - 1

Their new album, ‘Ellipsis’ was of course the main focus of this tour, and while I again personally thought the album was disappointing, I felt tracks such as ‘Howl’ and ‘Friends And Enemies’ sounded so much better live; this reviewer was even happier they played his favourite song off the album, ‘In The Name Of The Wee Man,’ a track which was just an old school, Biffy Clyro sounding song. Even though this was a pure, rock show, Simon brought out his acoustic to let the fans have breather during ‘Medicine;’ which was a beautiful performance.


With plenty of stage banter from lead vocalist Simon Neil, the lads also led the crowd into a journey of classics as well, ‘Bubbles’ and ‘The Captain’ were examples of moments where the arena was almost levelled by the energetic crowd who continued to show that the Belfast is definitely the best crowd on the planet.


Biffy Clyro - SSE Belfast - Nov 2016 - 2 

While it takes a lot of balls to put on two huge shows in one year, Biffy Clyro proved that they could make one show seem it had been years rather than months since they last set foot in a location. Was it enough it prove they are worthy of headlining the Download Festival in 2017? Well, only time will tell.


PHOTO CREDIT:  All photos © Marc Leach.


The tour continues at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle Upon Tyne tomorrow (Friday) and then as follows:


Saturday (3 December) – Manchester, MEN Area

Sunday 4 December – Leeds, First Direct Arena

Tuesday 6 December – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena

Wednesday 7 December – Birmingham, BCA

Thursday 8 December – London, The O2.


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