The Best Gigs of 2017

It’s finally here: no, not Christmas, list season BAYBEE! A culmination of all the good, and bad, that the year has had to offer, we’re kicking things off with some positive content about the live shows that the team loved every second of.

Before we get into each team member’s choice, let’s have a glance at some of the honourable mentions that deserve a shoutout…

The Vegan Leather @ TRNSMT


At a festival with some of the biggest names in music, it goes to show how utterly impressive this Paisley art-rock outfit were at the debut entry of TRNSMT. “Talking Heads meets Yeah Yeah Yeahs meet LCD-Soundsystem” is the only way we managed to describe their sound yet that still doesn’t do The Vegan Leather justice: if you’re lucky enough to have New Years free from work then be sure to boogie on down to see this foursome kill it at King Tuts.


SWAY @ Tenement Trail

Photo Courtesy of Cameron Brisbane | Twitter | Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Cameron Brisbane | Site |Facebook | Twitter

If our accolade of “Best Band At Tenement Trail 2017“, a prestigious award depending on who you ask, wasn’t enough to do SWAY‘s performance at Nice N Sleazy justice then let this be your final telling off. Presenting a beautiful blend of indie rock finesse with shoegaze and pop influences, the Paisley act put on an amazing show featuring great tunes, inflatable footballs and a bloody nose (#PrayForDanDrennan).


Wolf Alice @ Barrowlands

Photo courtesy of Jose Ramon Caamaño | Facebook | Flickr |

Hot off the back of providing one of the best sophomore releases of the decade, lovely London lot Wolf Alice treated their Glasgow fans to not one but two shows at the iconic Barrowlands venue. Playing a healthy dose of the old and the new, along with some golden oldies like Blush, the indie rock outfit show that they deserve every morsel of hype they’ve accumulated over the past few years.

And now, onto the team’s top picks…

Isabella McHardy (@isabellamchardy)Strange Bones @ TRNSMT

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I hadn’t heard of them before but a friend suggested we go see Strange Bones – it was by far my favourite performance of the festival and ultimately the entire year. They played the tiny Jack Daniel’s Jack Rocks tent on the Sunday and it was perfect. They played with such an infectious energy, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole set.

The entire tent was jumping up and down and yelling even if they didn’t know the words. They were probably one of the heaviest bands at the festival but they still managed to pull in such an enthusiastic crowd. The band were crowd surfing and running into the audience throughout the show but no one got tired of it. It was the first gig I had been to in a while where I felt completely ecstatic. After their set, I couldn’t wait to get home so I could go through their discography.

Disappointingly, their EP’s don’t live up to how they perform live, but I would still go see them again just for the atmosphere and the ‘Theresa is a Terrorist’ t-shirts.


Callum Thornhill (@calthornhill) – Sorority Noise, Turnover & Citizen @ Camden Underworld


They say good things come in threes. Wise men. Amigos. So on and so forth. For this ridiculously intimate show; it was American emo icons that arrived as a magnificent trio. Heading to Camden’s Underworld via stunning performances at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival came Citizen and Turnover; ‘supported’ by Sorority Noise.

What made this an incredible line-up was the enthusiasm shared by bands towards other bands, fans to bands and even bands to fans. Splitting the set times evenly, no band took the limelight, however, Sorority Noise were first up to get things going. With third LP, You’re Not as _____ as You Think released earlier this year, it was the first time many fans had heard tracks such as Car and No Halo; Cameron Boucher even recited Manchester Orchestra’s I Can Feel a Hot One ahead of No Halo. These new, heartfelt ballads combined with golden older tracks, e.g Nolsey and Using, made Sorority Noise the perfect opener.

Turnover were next up and thankfully, and I am sure fellow fans will agree, they decided to play a set full of classics rather than cramming their set full of Good Nature tracks. Peripheral Vision dominated the setlist with the crowd singing along to everything from Cutting My Fingers Off to the iconic Dizzy on the Comedown. A mellow atmosphere greeted the Virginia outfit, who took it in their stride to engage in a chilled out yet passionate vibe.

‘Headlining’ for the evening were Ohio/Michigan alt-rockers Citizen. Brutally belting out The Summer instantly showed what was about to unfold. The highlight of the set was How Does it Feel? purely because the dark, moody atmosphere perfectly complemented the pitch black surrounding of the Underworld. Giving Yellow Love and Cement air-time before The Night I Drove Alone closed their slot, Citizen gave a stunning performance to cap off an amazing night of bands from across the pond.

To conclude, good things do come in threes, and this line-up does nothing but emphasise that fact.

Ethan Woodford (@human_dis4ster) – Gorillaz @ Hydro, Glasgow


In a year where I finally saw some of my all-time favourite bands (Radiohead, The Libertines) as well as seeing some old friends again (Wolf Alice, Basement), every gig stuck out in my mind but none more so than the Gorillaz‘s massive show at the Hydro.

Having been desperate to see them for years, it was such a joy to hear some of my favourite songs sung back by thousands of people in unison. Damon Albarn was in top form, a massive smile barely leaving his face except when he was stood at the edge of the stage trying to look menacing during Clint Eastwood. It’s commendable a man of his talent and success is still so humbled by fans singing his lyrics and his constant gratitude to his many guests and backing band members made for a wholesome sight. 

Speaking of his guests, they only added to the spectacle, from De La Soul to the show-stealing Vince Staples, each guest injected even more energy to the atmosphere and by midway through the set, the entire crowd was bouncing,

A truly mesmerising gig that had me smiling for the rest of the night after, Damon Albarn and his friends deserve the crown of best live show of the year.

Ryan Martin (@ryanmartin182) – Childish Gambino @ Radio City Music Hall

Photo Courtesy of Bradley Robinson

Seeing Childish Gambino co-headline an event at Radio City Music Hall with Dave Chappelle was truly something special but after his announcement earlier this summer that he would be retiring after his next album, it truly made the concert something to be cherished forever.

Being a massive Donald Glover fan, I had never seen him perform live as Childish Gambino except for a small radio show festival performance where he only did his biggest hits before exiting. Gambino at Radio City Music Hall exceeded my expectations from the multi-talented performer. He performed the majority of his new album Awaken My Love with the help of a full band, backup singers, and an incredible display of lights and visuals.

Hearing AML live without the vocal effects made for an entirely new experience of the album. The album sounded fresher, more exciting and more fun live. Gambino’s performance was incredible, filled with passionate shrieks reminiscent of Prince in his prime. He showcased his dancing skills throughout the set and was all over the stage, even moonwalking at one point.

Gambino’s decision to perform most of AML with exception to 3005, Sweatpants and Sober really showed how much Gambino has matured in recent memory and how he is beginning to grow out of most of his discography. This could be a partial reason for his decision to retire the Childish Gambino moniker and will almost surely affect his future touring schedule. One thing is for sure, if Gambino stops by your area, be sure not to miss out.

Andrew Barr (@weeandreww) – Frank Ocean @ Parklife

Photos Courtesy of Parklife

Here lies the critical irony; my favourite show of the year, Frank Ocean’s surreal headline slot at Parklife festival could scarcely be considered a performance, serving as more of a glimpse into the elusive star’s psyche.

When Ocean stuttered onto the stage 40 minutes late and restarted opener Solo 3 times, it looked like his long-awaited live return could end in spectacular failure, however, Ocean managed to claw it back in a way only he could. His confidence and stage presence grew throughout the set dominated by Blonde and Endless material, and by the time he walked offstage during the Korean verse on the alt version of closer Nikes, it was clear; this wasn’t a show for everyone, but one that the many diehard Ocean fans will never forget.

Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr) – Run The Jewels & Danny Brown @ O2 Academy

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Johnston | Facebook | Site


It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone that this gig was a highly anticipated one for myself: Run The Jewels and Danny Brown are both Album Of The Year winners, in our 2014 and 2016 lists respectively, so the prospect of seeing both acts in the one night was too good to pass up.

It was no disappointment (I mean, it’s on this list, isn’t it?) as the Detroit king of rap Danny got things underway, storming through his impressive discography with some running man dancing and what can only be described as an intimate strip show for the thousands in attendance. Tracks from his magnum opus Atrocity Exhibition got just the reaction he must have expected, provoking a wave of moshing and rapping from the enthusiastic crowd.

Not to be outdone, RTJ made their way to the stage (albeit a bit late) and from start to finish, they undoubtedly affirmed why they were a force to be reckoned with. Not only that but there was a great deal of duality on show: Killer Mike is an absolute monster when he’s on the mic but the amount of compassion and love shown between songs, from a speech about mental health to a big fuck you to groping at gigs, the man is like Sully if he had an abundance of sick bars. Don’t worry El, I haven’t forgotten about you; RTJ is a two man show after all and if it weren’t for the bounciness, crassness and sheer bragadociousness of El-P then it just wouldn’t be the same.

Danny even showed up for his verse on Hey Kids, wearing only his underwear as the O2 Academy witnessed not only Mike giving the audience a glimpse of his ass, but two of the best acts on the fucking planet: and the crowd goes…

Jake Cordiner (@jjjjaketh) – Gorillaz @ Hydro, Glasgow

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Photos Courtesy of Getty Images


While I was ever so slightly underwhelmed by Damon Albarn and his band of merry primates’ latest effort Humanz (DO YOU GET IT BECAUSE GORILLAZ?) I still jumped at the chance to see them live at The Hydro when the gig was announced earlier and the year. And I’ll tell you something, I’m bloody glad I did.

Gorillaz live are a different beast entirely from Gorillaz on record. There’s something of a more immediate urgency about them in a live setting, particularly in the vocals of head gorilla Damon “I Love Witches” Albarn. I’ve never seen Blur live in person, but I’ve seen my fair share of their sets from the comfort of my own computer chair and Albarn seems to turn everything up to 11 when he’s performing under the Gorillaz banner. Gone is the subdued, mild-mannered, middle-class Englishman that belts out Tender with a quiet confidence, instead he’s replaced by a grown man doing his best impression of an actual Gorilla. To put it bluntly, when Damon Albarn is in Gorillaz mode, he is a fucking nutter. He jumps around the stage with a reckless abandon, screaming in innocent concert goers in the front row like a man possessed by a pure primal force. It’s a joy to watch.

As are the rest of his band, I was blown away by how flipping CHUNKY everything sounded in a live setting. The bass was lovely and sludgy, both drummers played flawlessly and the keys were whimsical one moment and downright demonic the next. Then came the guests: Bootie Brown, Zebra Katz, Vince Staples, DE LA BLOODY SOUL were all there in the flesh and it was chuffing magnificent.

I’d wanted to see Gorillaz in some capacity for over a decade, and holy fuck me did they deliver. This ranks as not only one of my gigs of the year but genuinely one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. So thank you, Damon and company, you bunch of fucking lunatics. We wouldn’t have you any other way.

Rory McArthur (@rorymeep) – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard @ Albert Hall, Manchester


If you know me, this choice won’t come as a surprise; I may or may not have a little bit of a thing for this band. This was my fourth time seeing King Gizzard, but this was the first time it properly hit me how unfathomably incredible they are live. From the tried and trusted old favourites to the, at that point in the year at least, new microtonal tracks, everything went down an absolute storm with a suitably energetic crowd. The electricity inside the Albert Hall that evening was honestly breathtaking. I don’t think there’s another rock band in the world right now that can put on a show quite like Gizz. If they’d have decided to play all night long, I wouldn’t have minded one bit. 

Kieran Cannon (@kiercannon) – Protomartyr & Oh Boland @ CCA, Glasgow

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Protomartyr’s third visit to Glasgow in as many years takes place at Sauchiehall Street’s pre-eminent creative hub, the Centre for Contemporary Arts. Incidentally, this occasion marks their first time playing above ground in the city; apt, considering their meteoric rise from the underground to the forefront of contemporary post-punk, a sort of symbolism that isn’t lost on despair extraordinaire Joe Casey.

Joking that it’s a sign they’re finally moving up in the world, his self-depreciating humour is disingenuous to their cerebral yet deeply enjoyable brand of music. Turning up on stage without further ado, the band launch straight into lead single My Children. Casey’s appearance, grey-suited and formal, carries as little extravagance as his vocal delivery: barking and authoritative, the right level of Angry Da but never unintentionally bombastic. 

Audience interaction is sporadic and generally kept to a minimum, save for a few amusing exchanges; however,  such was the level of quality and electrifying atmosphere that the crowd quickly began dancing of their own volition. In contrast to the chaos of Casey’s performance, Greg Ahee’s guitar work is a controlled explosion of riffs and inventive, often unexpected chord changes complemented by a captivating dynamic between himself, bassist Scott Davidson and drummer Alex Leonard, whose stellar percussion work underpins every track, relentlessly propelling forward. While leaning fairly heavily on their latest material, Protomartyr nevertheless treated veteran fans to plenty of classics including two tracks from their oft-overlooked debut. 

Support act Oh Boland, covering the spot regrettably vacated by Sauna Youth, proved a worthy opener, commendably navigating one or two technical glitches to produce exactly the kind of high-octane introduction needed to prepare everyone for what lay ahead.

Gregor Farquharson (@grgratlntc) – The LaFontaines & The Dykeenies @ Barrowlands


Having a gig at The Barrowlands is a massive achievement for any band. Tonight, The LaFontaines were ready to unleash their chaotic, charisma filled live show to the sold-out Glasgow crowd. The buzz in the buildup to the performance was surreal, with fans everywhere eager to see the fonts once again.

The band tasked with getting the crowd ready? The recently reformed The Dykeenies. The band played a good 50 odd minute set, with highlights being Waiting for Go and Sounds Of The City. The fans were ready and The Dykeenies job was done with success and the fonts took to the stage.

Opening up with Slow Elvis and going straight into Junior Dragon, the atmosphere was something else. The bands unique sound works beautifully live and the feeling in the crowd was magical. New songs Common Problem and Hang Fire went down great with the crowd, proving the band are not just a one album wonder and that their second full length is doing wonders.

If anything, this gig proved that The LaFontaines are going to get even bigger than what they already are. If they keep up the work rate and live shows they have going, it’s a bright future for the band that are already seen as Scottish heavyweights.


Tilly O’Connor (@tilly_oconnor) – Gorillaz @ Hydro, Glasgow

Photo Courtesy of Aidan | Source

With the Autumnal gig season drawing do a close, I saw Gorillaz at the Hydro in Glasgow. As someone who normally consumes live music in dive bars, the stadium’s sheer size was daunting, even if it’s sticky floor felt like home. The crowd was full of groups of families with grownup-kids near my age. My parents got me into Gorillaz young and I credit them with playing a part in shaping my current tastes in music, visual arts and even politics. The group has always been all-encompassing, and their 29th November gig was no different.

The band rattled the room with M1 A1. This was followed by Albarn, mic in hand, asking the 13,000 strong crowd if we were the last living souls. These songs from the band’s earlier work set the tone for the rest of the show, as it would feature hits peppered with memorable album tracks. A high point for me was Dirty Harry. The live performers were accompanied by a disjointed choir of cartoon South Park-esque kids singing the chilling chorus to the delight and discomfort of all watching. The band’s alter egos played a huge part in the engulfing feeling of the show. Carrying out heists and racing games, 2-D, Murdoch, Noodle and Russell Hobs reached deeper into our collective consciousness, pulling out gleefull pockets of nostalgia, providing the perfect backdrop for the night’s music.

Along with visuals, the main band were accompanied by a vast amount of guest performers, most notably the hip-hop trio De La Soul who feature on one of the bands most famous songs – Feel Good Inc.

Hong Kong was the first encore song, and it provided the most haunting musical moment of the night. The song which plays heavily on imagery surrounding neon lights and electricity was spontaneously met with thousands upon thousands of glowing phone lights, bringing the previously black room to an eery yellow which shined down Damon Albarn’s face. Singing to us, an army of smartphone welding fans, with a wry smile “All the people in a dream, Wait for the machine” he brought the night towards its end. This scene felt stunningly fitting for a band who have continuously captured the zeitgeist. From their self-titled debut in 2001 to this year’s Humanz, the group have always painted a vivid picture of the world in the 21st century.

Will Sexton (@willshesleeps) – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ O2 Academy, Bristol

Photos Courtesy of Ashlea Bea | Twitter

Now I know what you might be thinking, “ooh pick the latest gig you went too” but people who are thinking that obviously have never seen Frank Carter live. The stage presence of this man is electric all in itself and arriving on stage with an absolute roar of noise and appreciation is so magical every single time. Frank has had a bit of a tough year but you wouldn’t have ever guessed, coming back from tonsillitis and taking a small break to help recover from the incredible work he has done over the last three years which was very well respected amongst the fans.

He came back with a total bang and every song from Primary Explosive right to I Hate You were electric. Filled with moshing and inspirational speeches about girls feeling safe at gigs, mental health and just straight up appreciation of us, it was a magical night!

Dominic Cassidy (@lyre_of_apollo) – The Mountain Goats @ The Art School, Glasgow

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The Mountain Goats were awaited by the crowd with bated breath and I’d be lying if I said I was not amongst their number, in terms of the mob or the state of breath. North Carolina based folk rockers The Mountain Goats – consisting of the ever-present singer-songwriter John Darnielle and multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas – ascend to the stage accompanied by cries of devotion from the loving Glasgow crowd. Opening with Have to Explode, the cheers and whooping give way to absolute silence. When the song ends so does the hush, the hanging silence expelled with thankful applause.

Honestly, for me the gig was a beautiful exhibition of long-crafted skill and art, showing how well playing to the crowd can be done. The innate crowd interaction from John Darnielle who was loving the little stand-up bits, made the night all the more special. If you have not seen The Mountain Goats live, I can recommend nothing more, and if you have never heard them, I would start now; on The Sunset TreeTallahassee, or Beat the Champ.


List Season Continues…







By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Having been in hiding for what seemed like a lifetime, which in reality was only four years but a few months can feel like a year in the music world, Irish rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club returned to Scotland with a whole new sound and, for frontman Alex Trimble, a whole new look.

Priding themselves on their unique take on the indie rock genre in the early 2010’s, the band has totally shifted to this nostalgic 80’s aesthetic that spreads not only to their music but the stage as well last night, the Barrowlands shimmering with neon pinks and blues throughout the night. While they may not be the first band to do so, many of the acts who have popularised this look recently were the products of TDCC’s boom back with their debut album back in 2010 and the subsequent rise of similar acts such as The Vaccines and The 1975.

Unlike those bands though, TDCC have been attempting to build upon the poppy guitar sound with Trimble putting it best himself, saying that their new sound “is not embracing the pop that’s going on now in a melodic or structural sense. The two biggest influences for me were Prince and Bowie – both total pioneers who straddled that line between out-there pop and avant-garde craziness.”

The end results are a bit mixed: the first track perormed off their latest album Gameshow was Bad Decisions which is delightfully catchy but Trimble’s vocal delivery goes from soothing to the ears to graining all too frequently while Are We Ready is familiar indie pop that, on first hearing, is just meant to be an inoffensive good time but scratch below the surface and you’ll find some of the band’s most mature lyrics to date.

Although the new material was hit or miss for some, the sheer amount of tracks played off the band’s first two albums was not only a surprise but an absolute treat. The accessible dance pop tinge that was apparent on many of Tourist History‘s tracks shined through last night as it was impossible not to look around the venue and see someone dancing or singing away like it was an indie karaoke night. Even Changing Of The Seasons, an EP release I was convinced I had made up in my head as no one I discussed the band with ever seemed to recognise it, fitted perfectly into the setlist and added to the already great range of variety on offer.

With another night at the barras already underway tonight as well as the act performing at TRNSMT festival this upcoming July, Two Door have made themselves both familiar to those whose radars they weren’t previously on in addition to reminding those who loved the band since their early days that they haven’t lost the magic that makes them so appealing.




Frank Turner @ Barrowlands Review – 13/11/2015

Barrowlands. Undoubtedly the greatest venue in Scotland, arguably the world,it’s hosted so many acts, ranging from The 12208573_917427804959246_3166259365936926584_nSmiths to the Foo Fighters, that just adjacent to the venue is a pathway listing all the bands who have came to Glasgow to play here. It’s a career defining venue with many home grown acts like Biffy Clyro playing some of the most intimate gigs of their lives there last December and their mark can still be felt there, in no small part to the stairs that proudly wear the band’s lyrics.

That alone would make most acts feel nervous about not being able to put on a show comparable to what the venue is used to. It’s not enough to have some good tunes or have a big fanbase. You have to make the stage your own, show why you deserve to be on the same platform that so many legendary artists have been on before you.

Welcome to the stage, Mr Frank Turner, hailing from Hampshire with more than a decade’s worth of musical experience under his belt. He’s managed to be part of a fairly successful band, London post-hardcore band Million Dead, and well after their break up, he’s still going from arena to arena all over the world with a solo career that most folk would do anything to have.

In fact, Turner himself told a story about a flag that’s been passed around every venue he’s been on tour at. It’s no reproduced item either, instead it’s passed on by fans who unite with one another over the music, something that the 33 year old has always voiced out with his first of two gig rules: be nice to one another.

A very poorly taken picture (by me) when Turner stood on the barrier, less than a foot away.

The second rule? “If you know the words then fucking sing along” Turner shouted before belting out fan favourite track Peggy Sang The Blues which resulted in a crowd sing-along, one of many last night with people both young and old getting lost in the music. This was no doubt the reason that the smile on Turner’s face never faded for the whole night, a man who repeatedly says how he wants a little more love and a little less hate.

That’s exactly the sentiment that could be felt in the Barrowlands last night. Even when the crowd were frantically moving about to Get Better and many were getting smooshed by the thousands in the Ballroom that night, something that can be expected at any gig. However, people were helping one another out who were getting crushed, passing water with no hesitation, behaviour that sounds normal but, in my experience anyway, isn’t seen nearly as often as it should be.

Turner put on the show of a lifetime, showcasing tracks off his new album Positive Songs For Negative People as well as golden oldies. Many acts will tell you that they love Glasgow but Turner managed to get this across without explicitly saying it. The stories he told were entertaining and insightful, the chemistry he had for his backing band The Sleeping Souls and, most importantly, the appreciation he had for every single fan that has supported him over his career. Everyone there left drenched in sweat and aching from the 30 song long setlist but they came out knowing they’ve witnessed an artist who is in a league of his own.

Big Love, Liam x

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Biffy Clyro: Fan Favourites!

Originally posted last December to tie in with their trio of special Barrowland gigs, this post started off as a list of my favourite albums until I thought of something better: asking every other biffy fan for their favourite! Although it was possibly the hardest question any of them could face, there was a great outcome which resulted in one of the most fun pieces of writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of making. So as Infinity Land celebrates its 11th birthday this month and Biffy prepare for their Hogmanay gig, here’s a blast from the past! 

2014 has undoubtedly been an important year for Biffy Clyro. Not only have they released another album, B-Side compilation Similarities, but they’ve been extensively touring the world, bringing their unparalleled passion to festivals around the world. From their 10th appearance and first headlining set at T In The Park, where the Kilmarnock born rockers careers took off, to their staggering performance at the Belsonic Festival in Northern Ireland, band mates and lifelong pals Simon Neil (Lead vocals, Guitar) and twin brothers James (Bass, Vocals) and Ben Johnston (Drums, Vocals) have worked their fingers to the bone to please their huge army of avid fans. With a set of upcoming gigs for the Barrowlands this week coming up, which will have the band playing the majority of their massive back catalogue, I thought it would be a great idea to see what everyone thinks of their career so far and ask them a difficult question; which Biffy album tops them all?

Joined Eighth 0% each

It wasn’t surprising to me that the majority of B-side albums weren’t shown as much love as their superstar counterparts. Although they didn’t receive the same appreciation in the poll, it’s clear to anyone that the following albums are still well loved by those who have listened to them with material like And With The Scissor-kick Is Victorious off of the Vertigo of Bliss B-side compilation being a strong fan favourite.

Missing Pieces

Released: May 14th 2009

Infinity Land B-Sides

Released: 24th September 2012

Vertigo of Bliss B-Sides

Released: 11th June 2012

Blackened Sky B-Sides

Released: 2nd April 2012

Fact: The band were formed in 1995, originally called Screwfish. “Mon the Screwfish” doesn’t have the same kind of ring to it.

Joined Seventh 1% each


Released in July of this year, Similarities not only features B-sides from sixth album Opposites but an unreleased track, Children’s Limbs. Personally I think it’s one of the weaker albums. By that I don’t mean the tracks on selection are awful, Milky starts off with a instantly loveable country riff and ends in a blazing finish reminiscent to 2009’s Bubbles, but during the album I felt like it was a bit too safe and few of the tracks stuck out to me as anything utterly mind-blowing.

Lonely Revolutions

Arguably the best B-side album, Lonely Revolutions came out in the summer of 2010, less than a year since the release of Only Revolutions. It’s not hard to see why so many people prefer this over OR as the tracks on offer could have been released as its own follow up album. Once An Empire features a great range of absurd lyrics that’ll bring back memories of A Day Of… and Robbery will keep fans of the band’s new found sound after their first 3 albums extremely pleased. All in all, a fantastic album that is well balanced and a joy from start to finish.

Fact: No one knows for sure what Biffy Clyro stands for. Explanations for it have varied from a pen named after Cliff Richard to the name being an acronym for “Big Imagination for Feeling you ‘Cause Life Yearns Real Optimism.”

Sixth place 3%

Opposites: Live From Glasgow

Released just last month, the album is pretty much self-explanatory. With 14 live recordings from the band’s gig at the SECC last April, the album captures the consistent quality of their performances though the album does miss out some killer tracks that were played such as There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake.

Fact: Biffy were concerned when they allowed X-Factor winner Matt Cardle to cover their song ‘Many of Horror’. Simon Neil told Kerrang : “We don’t want to be too closely associated with (X Factor).

Fifth Place 4%

Revolutions: Live At Wembley

Another live album, this time better done with the full length of the gig recorded, no track left un-played. Not only does the album come with a CD, it also comes with a DVD that shows footage of their Wembley arena gig as well as their T in the Park set from 2010. Oh, and band commentary, so there’s really no excuse to not pick this up if you’re a fan.

Fact: Robbie Williams asked Biffy to play football and collaborate on his new album. Neil explained: “I got asked to play a solo on his record too, but I turned it down. I wish all the best for Robbie, but I don’t think he needs my help. Bizarrely, I think Slash is going to play the solo now, which makes the whole thing cooler.”

Joined Fourth Place 9% each


Released: January 28th 2013

Opposites is the band’s sixth album and their first double album, a point that was heavily discussed from the album’s early days by Neil who was divided on whether or not it should be a double or triple album. I was lucky to get the album on release and was anxious for the result. Thankfully, Biffy released not only a great album but one of their finest albums that can sit along with the likes of Puzzle and Infinity Land. Different People can only be described as being a stadium anthem and is definitely one of the best tracks on the album with Victory Over the Sun being a personal favourite of mine. One of the strong points of the albums is the energy that you can practically feel when listening, probably due to the amount of years they have been in the business for. Although it’s only a year old it’s already loved by music fans and has been a stepping stone into the band, allowing them to dwell into their deep back catalogue.

Infinity Land

Released: October 3rd 2004

Now this I can see pissing off a lot of people. Infinity Land is arguably the most creative album Biffy have come out with, even the song titles alone are stellar, and it’s one of the two albums that always get brought up during the subject of which album is the best, the other being VOB. It’s no surprise to see why when you first give the album a listen and hear opener Glitter and Trauma, a track that is eponymous in natures as synths twinkle over scratches of impending doom. There’s a lot more to the album than just that one track, the first three tracks alone account for one of the best beginnings to an album I’ve ever experience, but from that first track you’re strapped in and ready to experience something surreal. Despite its low position, it should be listened to by anybody at least once.

Fact: Biffy Clyro have frustrated aspirations to become a hip-hop crew, according to Simon Neil. “We’ll always be a rock band, but I want us to move in different directions,” he told NME. “If I could rap, I’d be rapping on the next record. The Kanye record [‘Yeezus’] blew me away! Hearing that made me think, Fuck we could be messing around with sounds like that!”

Third Place 13%

Only Revolutions

Released: 9th November 2009

I’m not so surprised to see this album receive this big a chunk of the votes but I wasn’t expecting it to trump IL, that’s for sure. However, in a way, it deserves it. Puzzle might have put Biffy on the map but Only Revolutions put it in font size 34 in bold Arial writing with a saltire oozing out every character. The album from start to finish is never, ever boring. The Captain? An explosion of instruments tries to silence the shouts and war-cries of the biffy boys. That Golden Rule? An onslaught of guitar riffs and drums smashing with the trademark Simon Neil vocals that are so unashamedly loud yet beautiful they give the hadron collider a run for its money. I could go on all day but all that needs to be said is Only Revolutions is a cracking record.

Joined Second Place 17% each

Blackened Sky

Released: 10th March 2002

“This will kill you” whispers Simon Neil over a slow patter of drums before a pearl harbour size assault takes place. This is it. The album that started it all. From the album title alone it’s clear that there’s not going to be any happy songs, instead grim songs of heartache and angst. The sound quality is raw. Neil’s voice seems to deteriorate with every scream. Ben Johnston scrambles around on the drums. And that’s what makes it all so perfect.

Fact: Biffy Clyro wouldn’t exist without Kurt Cobain, claims Neil. “Kurt Cobain taught me as a 12-year-old that you didn’t have to be a great guitarist to write a song or to say something, so as a songwriter he’s my biggest influence.”

Vertigo of Bliss

Released: 16th June 2003

The follow up to their sinister and superb debut, Vertigo of Bliss took everything that Blackened Sky did right and then some. Out goes the gloom and in goes a bit more light-hearted goodness albeit not by a lot. This doesn’t harm the quality of the album though as each song, to put it simply, is bloody fantastic. Vertigo of Bliss is the most accessible of all of the older biffy albums and for good reason. Opening track Bodies in Flight starts off pretty non-menacingly but before long, it becomes a hurricane of hectic chords and harmonies, as stable as a 3 legged but all the more interesting for it. I could go on for hours about how much I love this album but words can’t do it justice. Listen to it and you’ll never regret it.
Fact: While touring the American east coast in 2013, the band took a fan up on her offer to host a Biffy gig in her basement to just 25 people. James later described it as one of their best ever shows.

First Place 26%


Released: June 4th 2007

For many this is the first biffy album that they bought. I know it was for me anyway. I can clearly remember going out to get it around the time I started getting the bus into town, listening to my MP3 player with one song on it: Machines. I played it religiously and still play it whenever I get the chance. That’s what I love most about Puzzle and it’s not nostalgia affiliated. It’s that every track holds some special quality, whether it is the entirely unique Living’s A Problem or the heart-breaking and beautiful Folding Stars, a track that is in its own league when it comes to the emotion it evokes from the listener. There’s nothing really else I can say, other than Puzzle is a masterpiece.

Fact: The band has pledged to continue to perform shirtless, even into old age. Simon Neil thinks that it’s “highly likely that you will see us at 55 years old with big pot bellies and our shirts bouncing around the stage, going fucking crazy.”

So what are your thoughts about the Biffy album ranking? Happy? Angry? What’s your favourite album? Leave your thoughts in the comments below since I’d love to see what you think. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro for some more fanboying and also go like my Facebook page (we’re so close to 100 likes!!!).

Review: Tyler The Creator, Barrowlands, Glasgow – May 12th 2015

A sea of supreme hoodie wearing teens pass a fan’s phone on stage to Odd Future leader and star of tonight Tyler The Creator. It’s clear from the moment he answers the phone he’s not the nicest guy about. “We’re all having so much fun here, enjoy your miserable night loser!” he tells the friend, the crowd erupting into laughter.

You might be wondering how having such an attitude could still mean that you could fill up the Barrowlands but conveniently enough, that’s all part of the Tyler experience. Whereas rappers like Kanye will go into hour long rants about Nike and all sorts, Tyler would rather call the crowd “cockheads” and start chants to slag off his friend Jasper. I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t add to the experience as it does benefit it greatly, making the gig a hybrid of music and stand up.

Then again that’s what everyone came for tonight: the music. Cherry Bomb was Tyler’s latest album and although it has split fans in half, his performance was nothing short of extra ordinary. People may complain about a lack of showmen in music nowadays, which I totally disagree with, but if they saw Tyler’s performance on Tuesday they’d eat their own words. He acts like he owns the stage and has the Barrowlands in his back pocket, at one point even stopping to conduct the crowd down the middle, making each side chant “Golf Wang” like a satanic cult.

Speaking of which, the songs Tyler is renown for are often plagued with controversy and they were on show tonight, Tron Cat being a shining example of this. A song full of wordplay and hypocritical phrases, the transition from album to stage is smooth and, in the context of the album, manages to show the warped mental state of the 24 year old.

The setlist as a whole was exceptionally strong, spanning all 3 of his studio albums with hits like Domo 23 getting the crowd going wild and closing track Tamale acting like an adrenaline shot to leave fans on a high. The highlight for me and for many in the audience was Yonkers, a track that holds some of the best lines I’ve heard in hip-hop. It was beautiful to see everyone take a minute from thrashing and jumping about to shout the lyrics word for word along with Tyler.


Odd Future, the hip hop collective that Tyler formed back in the mid noughties, have came a long way since they were founded. Not only have they move away from the crass shock value that had news outlets labelling them a menace to society but members like Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean are critically praised musicians. Tyler will always be energetic, a bit of a loose nut and offensive to somebody but this doesn’t take away from how fun it is to watch him perform on stage.