Biffy Clyro @ Leeds Festival 2013
In 2001, I was one of a small number of rock journalists who fell in love with this oddball Scottish band as they made their first forays on the national music scene (many others wrote them off for having a stupid name). I wrote the press biography which accompanied their debut album. The interview with Simon Neil for that piece went on about five times as long as it should have as we discovered a common musical path - from grunge and older indie rock like Red House Painters, through Fugazi and the post-hardcore scene to the ‘classic’ emo sounds of Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral and more. “You guys could do a great cover of Man Overboard by Far,” I remember saying. “We actually play that song at rehearsals,” he replied.
12 years later, I found myself at Leeds Festival with cameras in hand, shooting for Rock Sound, in the rain, and witnessing a band who have truly made it the hard way - through constant touring, growing as songwriters, taking the odd opportunity as it has come their way, and sticking out the leaner early years to earn their place as true headliners. In some ways, the scale of what they now do is unrecognisable from their early outings (extra musicians, pyro… etc). But at the heart of it, the core trio actually hasn’t changed all that much. It’s good to see.
This was my favourite photo from that amazing set. It’s barely what Zack Arias would call ‘blog sharp’ (even worse the way tumblr is currently rendering it) but it has a cool vibe.