Biffy Clyro/Oceansize/The Like: KOKO, London, Monday, February 20

Biffy Clyro/Oceansize/The Like: KOKO, London, Monday, February 20

Get your rock on with the cult of Clyro

Unusual openers for tonight’s very rock bill, The Like appear as cynical as the hardcore Biffy crowd before them. “Thanks for being here, even though it’s not for us,” they announce, citing “jet lag” as a reason for their insouciance. Still, with some primal rhythms from the drummer (hair in face, arms flailing wildly) and Z’s Courtney growl they warm the cockles with ‘What I Say And What I Mean’ and other lethargic ditties that could soundtrack a million lonely night-time drives.

The drumkit quadruples in size, effects pedals multiply round the stage, and the energy levels hit the roof as Oceansize step up. Swathes of guitar echoes are propped up by baffling time signatures and Tool-esque stop-start attacks from their octopede sticksman. Last year’s ‘Heaven Alive’ demonstrates a more angsty Oceansize than that of old – perfect for tonight’s crowd. “We’ve played with other bands and their fans aren’t as good as Biffy fans,” gushes Mike Vennart. He’s not wrong, and this is all about one band tonight.

The Biffy Clyro flag unfurls, the theme tune to Curb Your Enthusiasm plays, and the cult of Clyro prepare for some devout worship. Singer Simon Neil, despite possessing a mean howl, needn’t have turned up tonight; the army of supporters fill in wholeheartedly on ‘Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave’ and we reach near-epiphany on ‘Justboy’. Even when venturing into new territory the band still feel the love, as they air ‘Semi-Mental’ and other new and equally tricky shoutalong anthems from the Grohl school of rock: ie they come from the heart rather than the crotch. As the UK braces itself for a new pandemic of whiny US emo, BC are here to remind us that the British Isles still does this thing best.

Tim Chester