Biffy Clyro at Isle of Wight Festival (13/06/14)


Scot-rock legends, Biffy Clyro, made an epic appearance on this year’s Isle of Wight Festival main stage, complete with hot and humid temperatures, flames, and even fireworks, following the release of their 2013 album Opposites. After headlining the main stage at Reading & Leeds just last year, the three-piece brought their music to a perhaps slightly unaware audience, that mainly consisted of Lawson and Calvin Harris fans.

Comprised of Simon Neil (guitar and lead vocals), James Johnston (bass), and Ben Johnston (drums), Biffy Clyro hit mainstream success in 2007 with their fourth album Puzzle, which peaked at number 2 in the UK album charts. Ever since then there has been no looking back for the band. Having gone from strength to strength over the last 7 years, the group have won and been nominated for countless awards, performed on sell out tours, and become a well known name in UK households. With undeniable longevity and musical passion, the band still have a broad horizon ahead of them.

The band’s stage design has been following them around for a couple of years now, with a wooden ribcage design, and multiple platforms to create different levels, allowing for a more creative use of the space. With a large emphasis on decoration, the band filled almost the entirety of the sky high main stage, allowing for the spectacle to be viewed by everyone, including the late comers, like myself. With the addition of pyrotechnics and large blow up images of footage of the band, the show was as visually eye catching as it was good to listen to.

The set seemed emotional for the band. With a 20 song set list, Simon even belted out a few acoustic numbers on his own, delighting the crowd and allowing for less of a facade that many bands have built up. The band thanked the festival, gave the crowd words of advice, and told everyone to look after themselves and each other. Even Simon Neil admitted it was all a bit “Jerry fucking Springer”. 

Highlights of the bands set included ‘The Captain’ and ‘Bubbles’, with the acoustic numbers ‘God and Satan’, and ‘Machines’ standing out the most. ‘The Captain’ erupted the stage with pyrotechnics. As the third song on their set list, it re-invigorated any of the crowd that was lacking energy at the end of the first long, and very hot, day.

Overall, although, in my opinion, the set was strong, the audience itself was lacking. With seemingly little reaction from the crowd, the band tried its best to get the audience involved in their set, working up a fearsome sweat, in no doubt scorching stage temperatures. Sandwiched between Calvin Harris and Rudimental, the crowd was undoubtedly wrong for their music genre. To me, their performance was spectacular, but somehow lacking after witnessing their earth-shatteringly awesome Reading Festival set, which ended that weekend perfectly.


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Head of Events for The Edge magazine. Keen concert goer and angry feminist. Shared recycled oxygen on a 12 hour flight with Foals.

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