Review: Biffy Clyro at O2 Guildhall, Southampton

After 637 days, I finally returned to live music and my first gig was a banger, Scottish trio Biffy Clyro at the O2 Guildhall in Southampton.

This was my second time seeing them live after watching them perform at The O2 in London back in 2016. Since then they’ve released more albums and continue to be bigger and better than ever.

They opened the show with a couple of tracks I didn’t recognise, then throughout the show there were more tracks I wasn’t familiar with. After a quick Google, I realised Biffy Clyro had only released their latest album, The Myth of the Happily Ever After, two weeks ago.

I’m usually up to date with all the latest releases but for some unknown reason, this album went past me.

Nevertheless, that didn’t disappoint me and every song on the setlist sounded incredible.

The opening song, DumDum, starts with a great guitar build up and beautiful opening lines, which sums up the post-pandemic world.

The next track The Hunger In Your Haunt features all the classic elements a heavy rock Biffy Clyro anthem should have – rocketing riffs, dramatic drums and lightening lyrics.

This music style continues throughout the other tracks from their new records, particularly with Witch’s Cup, Errors In The History Of God ND UNKNOWN MALE 01.

This new album also has some hints of synthesis sounds, especially in the song Slurpy Slurpy Sleep Sleep, which I think is a very amusing title. When it began, I thought it was saying “1,2,3,3” on repeat.

I would say the ending of that song, where they sang “slurpy slurpy sleep sleep” for what felt like over five minutes, did go on far too long and the base and white stage lights were hurting my ears and eyes after a while.

Being the week of Bonfire Night, they of course played Tiny Indoor Fireworks, one of their singles off A Celebration of Endings. They also played off that album North of No South, The Pink Limit, End Of, Space and Instant History.

They also played plenty of Biffy Clyro classics including Biblical, That Golden Rule, Mountains, Bubbles and Wolves of Winter.

Frontman Simon also performed a few acoustic solos including Re-Arrange and Many of Horror, which are always perfect sing-a-longs. There was even a point when Simon forgot his line and the crowd filled in, which was amusing.

He also played Machines, which is also a beautiful song but tinged with sadness. Especially this year when we’ve had the loss of my friend Lucy, our pet dog Sasha, and only a week ago, my Mum lost her best friend Brandy to cancer.

Despite also being a sad song, I hoped the band would’ve played Folding Stars, then we could’ve belted out Lucy, Sasha and Brandy’s names in honour of them, but sadly they didn’t this time.

Another favourite track of mine they did play was Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies, the opening track on their debut album Puzzle. The drum guitar rhythm is epic and a great head banger.

There were a few other favourite songs missing from the setlist including Who’s Got A Match, The Captain, Shock Shock, Different People, Opposite, Modern Magic Formula, Friends and Enemies and Howl.

I know they have such a large back catalogue of music and don’t have time to play everything, but I still would have loved these songs on the setlist too.  

The closing of the show wasn’t as I expected. There was of course an encore with the crowd chanting their famous slogan “Mon The Biff”.

They then came back on stage and said they’ll play two more songs. I had my assumptions which two songs they would be, but surprisingly, I was wrong.

I was correct with the first song, Black Chandelier, another Biffy Clyro classic. But with the closing song, the last time I saw them, plus every live show I’ve seen on TV, the band has always finished with Stinging Bell, with its signature bagpipes middle eight.

However, on this occasion, they finished with Cop Syrup from A Celebration of Endings. Coincidently, I listened to this song the day before the gig thinking this wouldn’t be on the setlist due to its length and being an album track.

Yet they actually did, which I was happy about. I still don’t think it should be the final track but definitely worth being on the setlist. I love how it begin heavy with the screaming lyrics but goes into a beautiful and melodic guitar instrumental, before ending on the heavy riff again.

Overall, it was a perfect way to return to my live music tour and I’m so excited to see more incredible bands and artists in 2022!

In the meantime, check out my previous live music reviews on Rock For Disability.

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