|Biffy Clyro/The Twilight Sad - Bristol, Colston Hall - 5th May 2010|
|Written by Ian B|
|Saturday, 15 May 2010 06:00|
On approaching what looks like an airport departure lounge stuck unceremoniously to the familiar old Colston Hall, I thought back to my very first visit to this very same venue way back when, and suddenly I remembered not unlike tonight I was there to see a Scottish artist often referred to in the press as being progressive rock. That time however I was there to see a bloke who goes by the stage name of Fish. So it seemed rather apt that tonight 20 years later I was entering the same venue although through very different doors to see a Scottish band who are also often referred to as a progressive rock band although admittedly with a much harder edge than the aforementioned Mr Dick.
Entering the original Colston Hall part of the building it is reassuring to see that the main hall hasn't changed much at all, which is fine by me, because as venues go I have only ever known the sound to be spot on here and you always had a good view of events and tonight was not going to be any different in that respect. Special Guests The Twilight Sad arrive to a very luke warm reception but by the end of their set having won over a large number of the front stalls it's difficult to see their experimental and progressive sounds appealing to mainstream crowds anytime soon, although you do get the feeling this isn't a major career aspiration of The Twilight Sad in any case. The quality of songs simply appears to be lacking despite them having two albums under their belt to get the full crowd backing tonight. Having said this I remember watching tonight's headliners at Reading Festival if my memory serves me correctly in 2003 on the main stage early afternoon and thinking much the same, and they have since made me eat serious amounts of humble pie.
Biffy Clyro take to the stage during the intro tape and before the crew leave and on completion of said intro tape kick straight into 'That Golden Rule' the first of ten tracks aired from the current 'Only Revolutions' album and the live sound is beefed up by an additional guitarist later only introduced as by the name of Mark. 'Living is a Problem Because Everyone Dies' keeps the momentum going for the band, which as a live entity are intense and tight as the proverbial, whilst the energy levels of each member are immense. Next up is 'Glitter and Trauma' which left those only familiar with the last two albums more than a little blank looking, but quickly picking up the chorus. ''Hello Bristol, we are Biffy Clyro'' shouts Simon Neil like we weren't aware before the intro to 'Bubbles' comes alive and even large parts of the balcony are up on their feet. '9/15ths' and 'Shock Shock' quickly follow before Mr Neil climbs on top of the PA for 'Who's Got a Match' with a near Spinal tap moment as their appeared to be problems with the mike stand in place but ever the professional he carries on like it was all intended. 'Justboy' and 'God and Satan' keep things moving before the anthem known, as 'Mountains' is unleashed. 'Bodies In Flight', 'Born on Horse', and 'Saturday Superhouse' all keep the pace flowing nicely before 'There's No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake' dampens the crowd somewhat, 'Many of Horror' and 'Whorses' gets things back on course ready for the encores.
As you may have already noted tonight's set was predominately from the last two albums as expected, and much to the approval of the Bristol crowd. There is very little banter between band and crowd tonight, sure there's the token "hope your having fun" but with most bands who opt for the just play the songs, I would be thinking it really isn't uncool to talk a little to those people stood in front of you, after all they bought your tickets and albums. With Biffy Clyro however you get the feeling that if those on stage weren't part of the band then they would be massive fans of Biffy Clyro anyway, so much so that when onstage they are so into their own music that they are oblivious that they have an audience in front of them. So you can't have everything I guess is the motto of this observation.
The encores bring us 'Cloud of Stink', 'Machines', and 'Convex, Concave' before the only song to finish with 'The Captain' brings things to a conclusion.
Tickets are already on sale for the band's next tour, along with a string of festival appearances they also have booked for this summer. So if they are at an arena near you soon you would be wise to check them out, you will certainly get what we like to call get value for money. I'm just a bit gutted they aren't at any of the festivals I'm booked up for this year or coming anywhere near Wales, but with their current 'non stop' touring ethic, no doubt I will have the opportunity to see them again soon and I will be doing my best to get my hands on a ticket again.