You would think that with their headline slot at Reading & Leeds festival less than 100 days away, a 100-capacity acoustic show would be the last thing on Biffy Clyro’s to-do list. But fear not, tonight sees them a far cry from the arenas they have become used to, and yet they’re still in stunning form as they take up stools at Leeds’ Headrow House. With the lucky ticket holders already well acquainted, the only official introduction needed is, “Hi, we’re The 1975”, before leading straight into The Captain. Simon Neil‘s jokes aside, with the fans lined up on wooden benches rather than in the routine pits, it does seem a bit awkward at first, but it doesn’t phase them at all.
Though fan-favourites like ‘Mountains’ and ‘Opposite’ take prominence tonight, it’s the rest that sit best with the crowd. Taken from their upcoming album Ellipsis, ‘Medicine’ and ‘Re-arrange’ accentuate their vulnerable side, the latter moving Simon’s vocals up an octave. Later on, they play ‘Drop It’ (formerly ‘Drop It Dickhead’, Simon fondly reminisces) – and though not played since 2010, it’s far from rusty. It just proves that Biffy don’t need an extensive lighting rig or pyro to put on a good show; with them it is truly all about the music.
Ending the night with the sun still up, it all feels like a return to their early days. “This is nothing like how our set will be. This will be our little secret,” smiles Simon before finishing off with one last (calm) sing-along via ‘Different People’. It would be everyone’s dream for Biffy to play all their sets like this, but with their 10th performance at Reading & Leeds calling, the lucky ticket holders better get ready for the return of one of the best live rock bands on the planet.