To prove that I’m not all hatred, I’ve decided to balance things up by writing you an open letter on this public forum. Why, I hear you ask? Because you’re absolutely bloody awesome, that’s why.
That's right. I remember watching you as wee nippers when 57 came out, and it changing my life. I remember Blackened Sky providing the soundtrack to my darkest days, The Vertigo of Bliss blowing my tiny mind and Infinity Land contributing wave upon wave of sonic brilliance to the most pivotal moments of my existence thus far. I remember glitter, trauma, the middle-eight to Questions & Answers (unbeatable), the bird frapping herself on your album cover and that bit in Strung to Your Ribcage that went “FUCKING SAY IT!!! FUCKING SAY IT!!!” (not to mention the Q&A video where you carted each other round in wheelbarrows). I remember watching you perform Now the Action is on Fire! in any number of sweaty dives and thinking it was the best thing I have ever, ever seen on a stage. It still is.
There are those who say that you’re not as good now that you’ve gone mainstream, that you’ve “sold out”, that you’re not as interesting any more. Well, that’s utter bollocks, and I’m not having a second of it. Frankly, I can’t think of any other act who has worked harder for their success, not to mention achieved it so stubbornly on their own terms, and I’m damned if I’m going to begrudge you a second of it. Besides, Puzzle is basically just the mirror-image of your debut album as filtered through a half-decade’s life experience, and it’s an absolutely bonzer record any way you slice it. My favourites will always be the first three, but that’s just because of what they meant to me at a certain time. The later ones are blatantly the best. Bubbles? AMAZING.
You’ve mirrored the career trajectory of R.E.M. (slow build, big explosion, universally-recognised greatness) and the artistic path of Pearl Jam (several records of experimenting in a bid to define one’s sound, before ultimately finding the niche you’re most comfortable with and were probably always building towards – it was certainly there as far back as All the Way Down). And who out there is better to be compared to than R.E.M. and Pearl Jam when it comes to career builds? Exactly.
I watched your Live at Wembley DVD, and almost bloody wept. It was magnificent. How did my boys get to this stage? Like a teary-eyed parent sending their beloved off into the world, I’m so proud. You’ve risen to the occasion admirably, and if you want to continue putting out records as awe-inspiring, refined and graceful as Only Revolutions while performing to the biggest crowds possible, you have my honest, sincere and heartfelt blessing. We all know it should’ve won the Mercury. Indeed, great though it is, Eradicate the Doubt seems like a bit of a mess compared to Many of Horror nowadays anyway, and you still kick seven shades out of the competition live. A buddy of mine who clearly knows what he’s talking about texted me a two-word review while watching you at Glastonbury this year, which pretty much said it all. It read - “Biffy: whoah.”
Oh, I know, there’ll always be the fly-by-nights at gigs who don’t know Justboy or get confused by all the choppy bits, but such are the perils of commercial success. At the end of the day, we’ll always have Bodies In Flight. We’ll always have 27. You belong to the people now, but I’m honoured to have shared your animal years and will always be grateful for the experience (though admittedly not as grateful as I was for the moment at Reading 2008 when you got a load of people to shout "Fuck you" live on Jo Whiley's show during an acoustic performance of Killing in the Name. She almost shit a lung.)
You have conducted yourselves magnificently at every turn, displayed bull-headed integrity throughout your career and remain a shining example of how to maintain an honest and open relationship with your fan-base. Quite aside from that, you are just really, really nice blokes. THAT’s why I paid £50 for the limited edition Only Revolutions box-set, £86 for The Vertigo of Bliss on vinyl (eBay, admittedly – apologies that you won’t see a kickback), and shelled out a few extra bob for the extended Revolutions DVD package off your website. Above all else, I’m just glad to help.
If I ever got band logos as tattoos, it would go like this: Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Biffy Clyro. Inked on my body, for all eternity. I bloody love you, Biffy, and it’s not often you’ll hear me say something like that. So there you have it. Take me to your blackened sky.