Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil’s guitar goes up in flames at Reading Festival headline show

The Scottish band bring 2013's edition of the festival to a close

Biffy Clyro brought Reading Festival 2013 to a close tonight (August 25) as they made their first headline appearance on the Main Stage.

Playing a largely similar set to the one aired at Leeds Festival on Friday night, the Scottish trio opened with ‘Different People’. “Are you fucking ready?” asked topless frontman Simon Neil as the song finished before launching into ‘That Golden Rule’, which marked the beginning of the pyrotechnics that punctuated the set.

Flames fired out of the top of the stage, which featured a recreation of the tree on the artwork for the band’s latest album ‘Opposites’. As ‘Who’s Got A Match?’ began, Neil lit a red flare and held it above his head. Afterwards, he introduced the group to the crowd, saying: “Reading, how are you? We’re Biffy fucking Clyro. It’s a pleasure to be closing the weekend for you. Actually, it’s an honour.”


After a storming version of ‘Biblical’, bassist James Johnston declared: “Reading, you’re the best”, to which Neil responded: “Did you just say breast? Reading, you’re the left and right breast. And, for any women out there, the left and right bollock.”

The headline set included a brief burst of old track ‘Question & Answer’, which was not played in Leeds. It signalled the start of the short acoustic part of the set that Neil performed solo, leading into ‘Machines’. After another old song in ’57’, the frontman announced: “We’ve been waiting for this all year so thanks for making it special. We thought we could make it special for you but you’ve made it special for us.”

Closing the main set on ‘The Captain’, Simon Neil used another flare to set fire to his guitar, where it lay flaming on the edge of the stage.

The trio returned a few minutes later to play a three song encore, starting with ‘Skylight’. Before final song ‘Mountains’, Johnston told the throng of fans gathered before them: “Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means to us. We hope you’ve had fun. We’ve probably had the best night of our lives.” Neil then confirmed: “No doubt about that. We’ve waited our whole lives for this. Once again, we’re Biffy fucking Clyro. You’re Rea-fucking-ding.”

As ‘Mountains’ began so did the group’s last bout of special effects, with fireworks shooting into the sky above the stage. Signing off one last time, the three stood at the front of the stage together as Neil bellowed: “Reading, thank you so, so much. We’re Biffy fucking Clyro. We love you.”

Biffy Clyro played:


‘Different People’
‘That Golden Rule’
‘Who’s Got A Match’
‘Sounds Like Balloons’
‘God & Satan’
‘Glitter & Trauma’
‘Saturday Super House’
‘Folding Stars’
‘Question & Answer’
‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’
‘Many Of Horror’
‘Modern Magic Formula’
‘Black Chandelier’
‘The Captain’
‘Stingin’ Belle’

See NME.COM/festivals/reading-and-leeds, and for more information about this summer’s events.

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