Climb the mountain

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Biffy Clyro are now one of Britain’s biggest rock bands.

The trio recently scored their first UK number one with their sixth album Opposites and the band are set to headline the Reading/Leeds festival this summer.

The band spent six months making the album in Santa Monica last year, but now they are back, ready to take the UK by storm in an arena tour.

It wasn’t so long ago that the lads were walking the halls of Newton Mearns school Belmont House. 

There, the band met, formed and came up with their name (as legend has it) after one of the members had a Cliff Richard pen: a Cliffy Byro. 

They came to be 17 years ago, with twins James and Ben Johnston on bass and drums respectively, and frontman Simon Neil on guitar and lead vocals.

A lot has changed for the band in the intervening years. I first saw them when they answered Weezer’s call in 2002 at the Barrowlands, as the American rockers’ billed support act cancelled on short notice.

Not holding high hopes for a Glasgow band booked on such short notice, to say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement, and in the 10 years since they have gone from strength to strength.

Regardless, nobody would have guessed that just eight years later, one of their songs would be covered to give a Christmas number one to a winner of the X Factor.

That’s what happened when Matt Cardle covered Many of Horror, then renamed When We Collide in 2010, after their version had reached only number eight in the UK singles chart.

As well as arena tours of their own, they have opened for giants such as The Who, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi.

However, this time round, there is no mistaking who is the focal point.

Biffy will play their penultimate show of their arena tour at the SECC on Monday night, before taking the stage at London’s 02 arena on Wednesday.

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