Venue Roundhouse Date: 31/07/10 I am always quite sceptical of free gigs and festivals, especially when it involves bands who have become chart botherers and gained a mainstream fan-base. Saturday night saw the conclusion of the iTunes Festival, where Camden’s iconic Roundhouse has hosted free gigs every night throughout July. Biffy Clyro have built a reputation for being the hardest working band in rock having toured constantly since they formed and released five albums since 2002. They had gained a hardcore fan-base over the years but it wasn’t until the release of Puzzle, the bands fourth album where they reached out to the masses. This was due to two factors, the record was a lot more commercial than the previous three and it was released through a major label. It is safe to say that the audience was a mixed bunch, but that was always going to be the case as it was a competition for tickets. Before the band arrived on stage a video was shown of performances from last years festival, when Mika gets a louder cheer from the crowd than Oasis you know it will be an interesting evening. Biffy have released six singles from their latest record, Only Revolution, these have mostly been on the softer side so I was looking forward to the reaction of the post-‘Many of Horror’ fan-base. When Biffy play live they play twice as fast, twice as heavy. Launching straight into the fierce ‘That Golden Rule’, and the tone for the evening was set. You can tell they have toured for many years as the connection between the members is electric, front-man Simon Neil owns the stage without even trying. The set covered most of the latest album along with a number of tracks from Puzzle and a few from the earlier albums where the crowds reaction was much quieter. ‘Mountains’, one of the bands most radio-friendly songs sounded massive and received the biggest reaction whilst ‘Many a Horror’ started a mass single-along. For ‘Machines’ Neil was alone with an acoustic guitar and made the gig feel a lot more intimate, they should have used the same format for new single ‘God & Satan’, instead it was a full band but it lost something in the translation. The Scots closed the festival with ‘The Captain’, probably the loudest song of the month. They might have lost a lot of their old fan-base but they have gained a whole lot more and they are proving to be the best British rock band for many years.