Concert Review// Austin’s Fuel Room/Libertyville, IL/9.11.2017/Biffy Clyro

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All photo credit : Linette Britt, Rockpicschick Photography and Music.

Biffy Clyro

This is a tale of three Scotsmen, whose rise to success has been nothing short of what dreams are made of. Since the early age of 14, Simon Neil, James Johnston, and his brother, Ben have been making a racket, always with the hope of making music that people would enjoy, all the while with no grand illusions of rock stardom and worldwide acclaim. Yet, they have managed to do just that.


Holding tight to each other through thick and thin, the good times and bad, for the sheer love of making music, these gents have been not only able to eek out a good living doing what they love, they have crashed through the ceiling far beyond what their younger selves ever envisioned.

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One can easily follow the evolution of Biffy Clyro as a band through listening to the music catalog they have created. The tracks bear witness to the roads traveled and the men they have become. Time has not just solidified their brotherly bond, but it has also amassed a huge fan following they have enamored each step along the way. Their music’s vulnerable lyrics, dynamic “pomp, and circumstance” delivery works to break down the barriers of country and kingdom, uniting us reflecting on life, the human plight, and all it celebrates and despises. Biffy has become known for their amazing ability to create anthemic walls of sound and deliver a one-two punch — moving lyrics, and powerful riff-age. Their high stage energy is on a level that would stand up against many early legendary rockers.

Coming off some challenges with their bus, and missing the very first headlining show of their recent tour (Boston), the band enjoyed a pedaled back small in-studio performance at WIIL Rock in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. A few select winners enjoyed a live, in-studio acoustic show that can be viewed online at the station’s website. The band talked about working on many new songs and being excited about a writing a new album, hopefully in the next year. Their latest album, “Ellipsis,” is the seventh studio album which was released in July 2016. Featured tracks have been ‘Re-Arranged,’ ‘Medicine,’ ‘Animal Style,’ and ‘Wolves of Winter.’

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Biffy’s return to Austin’s was met with much excitement, with many people I spoke had come tonight upon hearing the band play at Austin’s previously. I also encountered several ‘lifer’ fans who have been into their music for a long time, travelling long distances to get an opportunity to see the band here in the US on this tour.


The audience was an eclectic mix, speaking much to the way the band’s music is able to connect with people of all ages and walks of life. Their performance was lively, fun, and intense. Biffy didn’t hold back at all in making this venue a hot sweaty mess of believers. The band appeared to be having a great night as well, shifting from coveted classic tracks to songs from their latest album, chatting with the audience, and being playful on stage.

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The sound was well balanced, which really showed in their softer acoustic songs like ‘Medicine” and ‘Folding Stars”. Simon’s guitar sounded amazing against his delicate, heartfelt vocals. The complex walls of sound these guys can create are unbelievable. Overall — killer show!

Can’t wait to see them again and look forward to the next chapter to their story.



Wolves of Winter
Living is a Problem Because Everyone Dies
Victory Over The Sun
Who’s Got A Match
All the Way Down: Prologue Chapter 1
Black Chandelier
That Golden Rule
Animal Style
Many of Horror
Folding Stars
Stingin’ Belle

Concert Review// Bogart’s/ Cincinnati, OH/8.3.2017

Royal Blood

Royal Blood 8.2.2017/Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH
Photo Credit: Linette Britt

Less than 2 months after the release of their second studio album, Royal Blood wasted no time in getting their newest material to their rabid fans, hitting the road on a US tour that started early June and runs through mid-August. Hitting up most of the major US festivals, they have been popping in and out of outlying cities in between doing headlining shows that have been packed to capacity. Cincinnati was on the way to two shows at Chicago’s music mega-festival, Lollapalooza where they played an aftershow at Lincoln Hall, which was -(interestingly)-  the night before their main stage appearance.

The new album has seen much success on the rock charts in the US and abroad. The unique space that Royal Blood fills in the rock music scene is a special formula that is the result of the chemistry and creative interplay between the two artists. It’s a symbiosis that has served them well on their debut album, “Out of The Black” and now on “How Did We Get So Dark?” Not sitting on their laurels (but getting some much-needed rest), the two conceived to entertain other elements, pushing their signature sound on this new album, stretching the limits of their own prowess, with a resolute to create an ardent set of tracks they would feel gratified with and go to new places.

The result is a set of intoxicating tracks that poke at the wounds, regrets, and misfortunes of relationships, with massive low-frequency riffs, swinging R&B groove, and unexpected rhythmic changes. Kerr also added to the dynamic by injecting more keyboards, which personally, I enjoyed, as well as Kerr’s own layered vocal harmonies.  Thatcher attacks and withdraws in a controlled drum style that punctuates each track, defining and yielding to Kerr’s lamentations. Then there is push and pull – on songs like “She’s Creeping,” “Hole in Your Heart” and the lead single, “How Did We Get So Dark?” — diving in and out of big fat bass lines with intention. The album is indeed dark, dauntless and unconventional — you wouldn’t expect any different from these two, right?

Refreshing to this album is more vocal driven songs, allowing Kerr to show more of his vocal range with several falsettos that play perfectly into the tormented lyrics.  Don’t worry though, Kerr isn’t turning into a pop crooner anytime soon. There are plenty of raucous, angsty wails and howls to drive the point home. It does make me wonder how a few of these tracks might sound broken down and unplugged, like the unsettling and haunting, ‘Sleep.’

The new songs translated well live, and it didn’t take long for the crowd to be whipped into a fury with songs from their first album intertwined with the new tracks. With two albums to play from, the band treated the audience to pretty much the whole enchilada —   1 hour and 15 minutes of some of the freshest hard rock to fill their tummies.

Royal Blood was hand- picked by Queens of the Stone Age to open for a bunch of dates on their Fall Tour of their soon to be released Villains album, due out on August 25th.

Check out Royal Bloods’ remaining US dates below (some are SOLD OUT already).

You can find all things Royal Blood at including their newly released album which is available on all the usual suspects – iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and Spotify.



Continue reading “Concert Review// Bogart’s/ Cincinnati, OH/8.3.2017”

Concert Review// Biffy Clyro- House of Blues, Chicago IL / 5.5.17

Scotland’s rock Darlings, Biffy Clyro have made a much anticipated return to the US on their 2017 North American Tour supporting the release of their 7th studio album, Ellipsis. The trio consisting of lead singer/guitarist, Simon Neil, James Johnston (bass/vocals), and his brother Ben(drums/vocals)- have had much success in the UK and overseas, garnishing four studio albums that have reached the top five in the UK album chart, and their sixth studio album, Opposites, reaching number one in the charts. It doesn’t stop there.

In 2013 they received the NME award for Best British Band, and went on to headline the main stage at the Leed & Reading Festival. The band have sold in excess of 1,200,000 albums and 400,000 singles in the UK alone.

Playing some of the largest show’s across the continent, Biffy Clyro continues to be passionate about growing their presence in the US, while staying humble about their success and excited about their future.

Simon was just 15 when he paired up with Ben, and later, with Ben’s twin brother, James.. Ever since then these three have been inseparable, a merry brotherhood.

Biffy Clyro are are well-known for their commanding, guitar-heavy booming anthems and more recently, with Ellipsis, the creation of some more eloquent, poetic tracks, authentic and sincere — a little glimpse behind the curtain of a band that has been together for over 20 years. It is a life committed to music, love of life, family, friends and their unique brotherhood that has stood the test of time.

A nearly sold-out crowd filled the iconic Chicago House of Blues. The front row found several die-hard fans lining the barrier to celebrate Biffy’s triumphant return to the US. The opener’s were heady and brilliant – Atlanta based alt- rockers (think part Radiohead, part Sigur Ross) filled the room with their waves of colossal atmospheric rock walls, invoking a sonically provocative hard edged sound with emotive vocals. It bends and distorts and takes you on a journey. Not to mention the vocal range of their lead singer, Tanner Merritt. Enough to make any male singer jealous (and even some females)! OBrother’s new album, Endless Light, is out now. Snap a copy up, you won’t be disappointed..

Standing still as statues to start their performance, with an enchanting hymn playing in the background, Biffy took off like a charge to hit hard with one of their newest single’s, “Wolves of Winter “, and we were off!

Both fragile and ferocious were a part of their 21 song set list tonight. To Biffy’s delight, the audience came ready to match their energy and raised the roof, singing along and fist pumping to the band’s tried and true hits, as well as their newest tracks. USA, and specifically, Chicago, gave them a warm welcome back and it only added to their frenzy. You wouldn’t know they weren’t playing to a huge stadium of die hard fans. The love was mutual.

Then the band went into a complete onslaught, full of conviction with rapid fire of “Different People,” “Sounds Like Balloons,”  and “Mountains.” The set showed that Biffy is not letting off the gas pedal or resting on their laurels. Intermingled were some more vulnerable songs –

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two were specifically  entrancing, showcasing Simon’s charm and charisma, “Re-Arrange” and “Medicine.”

If this show is any forecast of the commitment Biffy has to their US fans, it has been solidified.  Simon said in a recent interview, “America is the last terrain in the world for us to break through, and that puts a fire in our bellies.” Game on!

Biffy Clyro’s 2017 North American Tour end in May when they play at Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus Ohio on May 21st, 2017.

Remaining tour dates and tickets can be found at  .