And where better to drop curtain than with the band who closed the main stage at Download this year?
Ed Gamble’s opening monologue gag that Biffy Clyro had “taken the Andy Murray trajectory”, going from ‘Scottish hopefuls’ to ‘British successes’, is amusingly played out as the Ayrshire boys scoop the evening’s final award for Best British Act, but they’re in no hurry to complain.
“It’s a good problem to have,” buzzes frontman Simon Neil, playfully modulating his accent to make a point. “It depends where we are. If I’m in my home town, I’m fockin’ Scottish! If we’re in London, we’re fuckin’ British. If we’re abroad, we’ve got nothing to do with this fuckin’ place!”
Joking aside, having just headlined Donington for the second time – their seventh overall set on the hallowed turf – Biffy are as qualified as anyone to trumpet British rock’s current state of play.
“Finally, we’re at a stage where we feel like we do belong in that headline slot and we can fuckin represent,” continues Simon. “We do feel like we’re one of the greats now, but only because of every other band out there. And I mean young bands, who’re making their first records, too. Those bands inspire us and make us want to be better: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Architects, Loathe, Higher Power, Witch Fever, Pupil Slicer, While She Sleeps… And that’s leaving out so many others. It used to be, when we started out, that unless you were a three, four or five-piece band, you didn’t count. Now you can be anybody. It’s an exciting time for heavy fuckin’ music.”
Even more than the free-flowing bar and killer afterparty soundtrack, it’s that excitement – that sense of unbridled possibility – that fuels the room as everyone's smiling face hugs and high-fives deep into the small hours and out into the night. Here’s hoping we’ve quelled the bangover enough to make it even bigger, better and bolder in 12 months time.
Many thanks to our amazing partners Marshall, Music Venue Trust, Dr. Martens, Blinding Talent, MEATliquor, Strongbow Ultra and Dead Man’s Fingers Rum.
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