Titans of rock Biffy Clyro have had one of the greatest years of their long career and they can thank their lucky stars the Mayans were wrong as 2013 has propelled Biffy into new levels of legendary status.
Biffy Clyro was born way back in 1995, by a 15 year old Simon Neil who recruited bass player Ben Johnston and they were shortly joined by Ben’s twin, James who became the band’s drummer. They spent two years playing covers of bands such as Nirvana before honing their sound. A couple of years later the band moved to Glasgow for university and after gigging in the area they were spotted by Dee Bahl who became their manager and offered them the opportunity to release their first single ‘Iname’. The song got airplay from XFM Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland which led them to play their first major gig at T in the Park in 2000 on the Unsigned Bands stage where they were once again scouted, this time by Beggars Bandit.
The band quickly set to work on their debut LP ‘Blackened Sky’. This unfortunately fell under the radar and charted in the UK at #78. It did however offer the band great exposure and they began to tour extensively. The second album ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’ also failed to chart, however this album was praised by critics for its experimental nature and introduction of a string section. The single ‘Questions and Answers’ also became Biffy’s first top 40 single. Their third album once again missed out on top 40 yet it offered up three charting singles including the blistering ‘Glitter & Trauma’ which is still a firm fan favourite now.
Thanks to this added exposure, 2007’s release ‘Puzzle’ charted at #2 and stemmed an incredible five top 40 singles which included the likes of ‘Saturday Superhouse’, ‘Machines’ and ‘Who’s Got A Match’ which still remains my favourite Biffy track to date. This album earned them prestigious support slots with Muse and Queens of the Stone Age to name a couple as well as slots at Download, T in the Park and Glastonbury. The album has currently sold 300,000 copies in the UK.
Following this momentum the band released their most commercially successful LP to date in the shape of ‘Only Revolutions’. The preceding single ‘Mountains’ reached #5 in the charts with its momentous chorus and biting growling melody with that gruff Scottish accent forever present. I adore this album as it soundtracked a large part of my first year of college. Tracks like ‘Many Of Horror’ and ‘The Captain’ were ever present at house parties and road trips. I challenge you to find a filler track on this release, it is 43 minutes of dirty hooks, enormous instrumentals and perfectly composed rock songs which earned the band a well deserved Mercury Prize Nomination. ‘Only Revolutions’ is now certified as double platinum in the UK.
2013 & Their Survival:
With a huge amount of anticipation mounting on the band, they released a double LP ‘Opposites’ on the 28th of January. It features a mammoth twenty tracks which is split over two discs; this is really an album of contrast, where the savage ‘Stingin’ Belle’ juxtaposes the tender ‘Opposite’ beautifully whilst the free spirited ‘Spanish Radio’ is worlds away from the anthemic ‘Picture a Knife Fight’. Due to the massive amount of expectancy and the preceding single ‘Black Chandelier’ charted so successfully, it was no surprise Biffy scored their first ever #1 with this special LP.
This became the first in a domino effect of successes for 2013; they announced a huge string of arena dates that included the O2 in London which all sold out completely. In May, they headlined BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Londonderry, and later in the summer they took the prestigious Sunday night headline slot at Reading & Leeds Festival. They played an inspirational set which stemmed their long and tremulous career as well as a large amount of tracks from ‘Opposites’.
This band are living proof that hard graft and passion for your music is enough to succeed. Despite three albums failing to gain them commercial success, they persevered and it paid off. Biffy have moved past artist status and are firmly acknowledged as legends due to a solid discography and incredible live show. They are currently embarking on their largest tour of the States as they have their eye on our Atlantic cousins as their next targets for invasion. ‘Mon The Biff.