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MAGIC MAYHEM
:: Biffy Clyro :: Jetplane Landing ::
23 March 2003 / Academy 3 / Manchester
By JA

The last time Jet Plane Landing taxied into town, the Roadhouse was their terminal, but tonight they ably some in support of an ever popular main act. To a capacity crowd at the Hop and Grape, they slip easily and eagerly into the role of warm up band with a more than healthy gusto. The Northern Irish founded, but London based quartet, brandish their successful DIY releases (on Small Town America) with proud hard face slapping intensity. Jetplane began by not just raising the temperature, but by eventually occupying the stage with flames licking at their feet – all by song two.

Each tune is greeted with rapturous applause by the crushing crowds – a feat in itself with Jetplane themselves almost bemused, but mainlining off the atmosphere and vocally grateful for it all between songs - Binding their set with crunching and almost exclusively blistering numbers, Jetplanes’ hand is a set full of grinding influences. From grunge fuelled set pieces, to distant echo’s of The Ruts, and Killing Joke’s off kilter arrangements, this was an adrenaline fuelled journey in nu-rock.

Jet Plane Landing may not have quite as many stadium rocking songs as the main act, but they have something special, not least a direct tap to the hearts of a venue full of ready and willing rockers. Jet Plane have definitely got buckets of what it takes and it should be only a matter of time before their exciting, adrenalised punched-out-headlights rock, comes to the fore.

Biffy Clyro have trodden a similar path, again having only previously parked their mini-bus in Newton Street, they are tonight, most definitely centre stage. As the acne inflicted metal apprentices soak up the upmarket, corporately marketed tunes of Soulfly downstairs, a different kind of fan occupies the cosier but rammed confines of the Hop.

Without reference to what I have now been convinced is a staggering back catalogue (2nd Chris Sheldon produced album is just in the pipeline), my immediate expectation was that of the normal chin stroking and reticent audience. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Biffy Clyro like to stutter and dislocate their music. At times there’s just a jangle and a rasping Fender. The vocals refer right back to the early grunge circuit, but interspersed between just a few of the quieter moments, are some brilliant, heart and gut wrenching tunes.

But such magical moments aren’t just the making of the band. From the beginning of their set (preluded by a fanfare of “Jump” by Van Halen) the audience erupts into one massive and over active mosh pit. Stage diving has commenced and will relentlessly continue for the duration of their set. The real sense of occasion is demonstrated by the fact that for this relatively unknown band, the crowd know and recite every single word sung tonight. So much so, that the band will often retire to their dynamic soundtrack, letting the singing from in front of the stage carry the songs to their heady climax. This is on a scale of old bands like The Chameleons or New Model Army, where true die hard fans have subscribed to an act that obviously means so much to them. This is truly something rare and inspiring in todays media led championing of less than capable and often sterile acts.

Biffy Clyro pummel us with previous singles and their current single “The Ideal Height” provides a further interlude between the cathedral sized anthems that hit us between the ears like swinging concrete slabs. Even the last song tonight explores their structured, quiet, then explosively loud onslaught. The concluding cheering is deafening and with the singer/guitarist swinging from the lighting gantry, falling glass and feeding back guitars close tonight’s business.

When the final cheers ring out, its as much for the crowd as it is for their mentors for the evening, Biffy Clyro. Magical.


Resources:
Biffy Clyro Web
Jet Plane Landing Web

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