Music: How Cliff Richard inspired Scottish rockers on a drunken night out

Biffy Clyro
Biffy Clyro
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Biffy Clyro are coy - or fed up - when it comes to explaining their band’s teasingly odd name.

Though no-one at Sheffield Arena on Saturday night will care about that, it still needs to be outlined to the rest of the world.

The Scots rockers joke about their origins but the best explanation concerns a pen...

One of the members supposedly owned a Cliff Richard pen - a “Cliffy Biro” - which was accidentally spoonerised on a drunken night out. Cliffy Biro becomes Biffy Clyro when you transpose the first letters of each word.

Simon Neil appeared to confirm this as the real reason in a 2010 interview with Eve Jackson on France 24, and said that it was “a stupid name” that was often “awkward” to explain its origins when the band started and when not many had heard their music. But that aside Biffy Clyro are fresh from a triumphant return to live appearances and are on their their biggest arena tour to date in the wake of their eagerly anticipated new double-album ‘Opposites’. Again produced by Garth Richardson in Los Angeles, ‘Opposites’ signals the band’s growing ambition with twenty-two tracks spread across two discs: ‘The Sand at the Core of Our Bones’ and ‘The Land at the End of Our Toes’.

Biffy Clyro’s tour in support of ‘Only Revolutions’ – which earned a Mercury Prize nomination and sold in excess of 600,000 copies – saw them elevated to arena and festival headlining status as they played three sold-out UK tours which included a landmark show at Wembley Arena. Their status as one of Britain’s most exciting bands was reflected with Best Live Band awards from both NME and Q in 2011.

Their ferocious set is lit by jets of blue flame, burning red teardrops falling from the rigging and, most importantly, three new tracks.

Tickets for the Arena date on Saturday are £28.50 - limited numbers left (booking fee may apply) in person at the Arena Box Office, by phone on 0114 256 5656 or online at