Album Review: Biffy Clyro – Revolutions / Live at Wembley

By on Monday, 20th June 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Words by Cheryl Demas

Biffy Clyro fans have long had their share of live tracks to chose from. With an ardent following of recording device-wielding punters, live tracks are traded freely among the faithful. But an honest to God live recording release by the band has been long in coming. ‘Revolutions// Live at Wembley‘ answers that call. Recorded at the band’s sold out show at Wembley Arena on the 4th of December 2010, this album is a crowning moment to the journey that was started in late 2009 with the release of ‘Only Revolutions’ and continued with a 2010 Mercury Prize nomination.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have been to ten Biffy shows in the past 13 months, so I cannot help but compare the album to the actual live performance. And how does it compare? Fabulously! While much of the live Biffy show is about the experience of *being in the crowd*, the live CD delivers both the excitement of live music and the clarity of a properly recorded gig. And you don’t need earplugs. Simon Neil is in fine voice and twins Ben (drums) and James (bass) Johnston are equally well represented. The addition of Mike Vennart, formerly of the band Oceansize, to the threesome produces a full sound that ably fills the 12,000+ seat arena.

Delicate songs like ‘Machines’ and ‘Folding Stars’ sound beautiful and are showcased in simple arrangements, while rollicking tracks such as ‘The Captain’ and ‘Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies’ whip the crowd into a rafter-shaking frenzy. The least impressive track, ‘Diary of Always,’ was one I was eagerly awaiting, as I had not heard it live. However, I may simply have been suffering from over anticipation. Six additional tracks are available to those who buy the extended version.

Packed with full throated sing-alongs masterfully volume tempered by the brilliant audio engineers for best effect, old songs for the diehards, and nearly the entirety of ‘Only Revolutions’, ‘Revolutions// Live at Wembley‘ reproduces the live Biffy experience in an exciting and genuine manner. I know that Biffy fans both new and old will treasure this, their first live recording.

8.5/10

‘Revolutions / Live at Wembley’ will be released next Monday (27 June) on 14th Floor Records. A preview of the live DVD that comes in this package will be broadcast at 7 PM British time tomorrow (Tuesday); more details here on the Biffy Clyro Web site.

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