Biffy Clyro open Leeds headline set with ‘Different People’ – and plumes of fire

Scottish band are making their debut as Reading and Leeds headliners at Yorkshire site

Biffy Clyro have taken to the stage for their headline slot at Leeds festival.

In drizzling rain, the Scottish band opened with ‘Different People’, after which a topless Simon Neil said, “Let’s fucking go!” ‘That Golden Rule’ followed, seeing balls of flame firing out of the top of an elaborately built stage with a huge recreation of the ‘Opposites’ sleeve providing a backdrop for the trio.

Neil then climbed the staging on a specially built staircase to perform ‘Who’s Got A Match’. A camera inside his microphone transmitted onto the big screens as the singer lit a red flame and held it above his head.

Earlier, the band’s frontman Simon Neil said the band were “shiteing it” ahead of their performance. Backstage, he told NME he was “Shiteing it! We’ve been saying it for weeks, ‘It’s just another gig, we do it every night of the year.’ Then we woke up today and we realised: no, this isn’t just another gig. It’s more important than that. But this is what you do it for – you do it for these moments where you’re not quite sure how your body’s going to react, how your mind’s going to react. So yes: excited. But also: shite-in’ it.”

Reading and Leeds boss Melvin Benn recent spoke about booking Biffy Clyro, telling NME he expects their performance to be the highlight of the weekend. “The most special moment for me will be when Biffy take the stage as headliners at Reading and Leeds,” he said. “They are one of the bands that cut their teeth at Reading and Leeds. They sharpened themselves in front of those audiences. They are a band who are at a point where they wanted to headline for a little while. They’ve been knocking on the door. They’re a great British band.”

Quizzed on when he decided Biffy Clyro achieved headliner status, Benn adds: “It was probably about 18 months ago, I just listened to their albums and spoke with their manager and they would say, ‘Oh, can they headline?’ and I felt like the timing wasn’t right. But now it’s the right time. We had that conversation internally with the band and we all felt like it was the right time. I’d say that’s a real statement of our faith and desire to make sure that we get the opportunity for young British bands to come forward.”

Check back later this evening for a full report from the show.

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

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