Had the pleasure of being invited down to take some shots of Biffy Clyro performing an intimate acoustic set in Leeds.
The show was only available to ticket holders for this years Leeds Festival (which Biffy are due to headline), and provided the opportunity for 100 lucky ballot winners to experience an extremely rare acoustic show.
Biffy have featured regularly in my journey as a music photographer. I've had the pleasure of shooting them on 8 previous occasions, and documented their rise from playing packed-out academy venues through to headlining major festivals. All the while I've been having the time of my life given I'm a massive fan. As they've successfully transitioned to an Arena-class band, I assumed the opportunity to shoot the guys on a small stage again would have all but passed. (that was no bad thing, I just found the energy of smaller venue shows suited their style better).
This was no ordinary Biffy Performance. I'd seen videos of Biffy performing 'live lounge' style sets online, so had a fair idea what to expect - none of Simon's conga-esque solo contortions or James' flailing hair (and shirts. You'd definitely expect shirts). No, this was a very different side of the Biff. The raw energy replaced with delicate charm, the guys showed how diverse they are. And they were clearly enjoying themselves, too. Inbetween tracks their was constant polite banter with the crowd, and towards the end of the set Simon started to goof around a little, dropping an improv line in a new track about a fish finger sandwich. You had to be their, really.
The set was laden with classic crowd-pleasers like "Mountains", "Black Chandelier" and "The Captain", whereas more obscure tracks were transpose to acoustic for the more familiar fans, including Puzzle bonus track "Drop it" and the manic "My Recovery Injection" from the brilliant Infinity Land album (I fought the temptation to shout out "'Mon the Biff!", given the almost silenced setting). My personal highlight from the evening was a beautiful rendition of "Machines", which made the hairs on my neck stand on end - such a powerful yet simple song.
Shooting-wise, it was fairly easy as the curtains in the venue were left open, filling the room with what was left of the days daylight. I just had to be really mindful of being too much of an inconvenience on the seated crowd. It's not an easy being inconspicuous when you're my size!
All in all it was a truly great evening, and definitely whet my appetite for Biffy headlining Leeds Festival again this summer. Can't wait to see what they have in store - I suspect it will be something a bit special.
Big up the guys from Festival Republic and Zeitgeist for getting me involved - great to see some friendly faces.
'MON THE BIFF!