Wednesday, 28 December 2016



On a cold December night in the run up to Christmas you need something for yourself don't you? How about some quality time with Brand New AND Biffy Clyro under one roof? Yes Please!

The arena filled up pretty quickly in time for New York rock band, BRAND NEW, a personal favourite among my group of friends so we were very excited for this set. Opening up with 'Sowing Season' from 2006s The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me allowed everyone to warm their vocal chords for the night ahead. Brand New's eight-song setlist consisted of 'Gasoline' from 2009s Daisy and several tracks from 2003s fantastic Deja Entendu including 'Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't' and 'Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades' before ending their set with 'Jesus Christ' and 'You Won't Know'. I was slightly saddened that there weren't any tracks from 2001s album, Your Favourite Weapon, 'Seventy Times 7' always goes down well with a crowd. Unfortunately for fans of Brand New, Jesse Lacey has confirmed that the band will be breaking up in 2018, after a t-shirt with the words 'Brand New 2000 - 2018' was released earlier this year. We still have a year or so with their presence and hopefully a UK tour will be thrown in there at some point too.


Back onto the main event, the crowd were eagerly awaiting the entrance of Kilmarnock threesome, Simon Neil and twins, James and Ben Johnston of BIFFY CLYRO. It might have been freezing outside but this night was guaranteed to give us these three beautiful men topless which is never a disappointment!

The set itself was incredible, and possibly one of the biggest backdrops I've seen at the Leeds First Direct Arena. The lights, graphics and just general feel of the gig was nothing short of electric. Opening up with 'Wolves of Winter' from 2016s Ellipsis there was no shortage in riffs and that incredible Scottish accent before moving on to 'Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies' from 2007s Puzzle. After a few tracks from 2013s Opposites, including the incredible 'Biblical', the three-piece moved back to the new album with 'Howl' which is without a doubt my favourite track off the new album, it's bouncy, energetic and literally just makes you want to dance from the start and that's exactly what I did in the arena, danced and sung my heart out! And, of course, Simon Neil began to strip from his robe during 'Spanish Radio'....winner. 



The set was a great mix of old tracks and new across their wide discography all the way back to 2002s Blackened Sky with 'Justboy'. 2004s Infinity Land was also not forgotten with 'Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave' making an appearance. The remainder of the tracks came from Puzzle and Ellipsis, not forgetting 2009s Only Revolutions to which we were gifted with a beautiful rendition of 'Many of Horror', 'Mountains', 'Bubbles' and 'That Golden Rule'. Obviously I had a little cry during some of these tracks but what's new?! An acoustic version of 'Machines' from Puzzle made my night. I love heavy, energetic tracks but I'm a sucker for anything acoustic and Simon Neil did not disappoint with this one. 


24 tracks later, it was time for the encore which played out 'The Captain', 'People' before finishing off with 'Stingin' Belle'. For the price of the ticket (around £40 incl. fees) I certainly got my monies worth tonight, a fantastic support band and a full 2 and a bit hours worth of music from Biffy Clyro with 27 songs.

Roll on Download 2017 for their well deserved headline slot!

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