Date: November 24th 2018
Venue: O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
Support: The Xcerts / Marmozets
In today’s dog eat dog world and the rise of the digital age, it says a lot when a band can reach a decade milestone on any of their more notable achievements or releases. Though they’ve had their rough patches, especially in recent years, You Me At Six have toughed it out for six full-length albums.
The Surrey pop-rockers put out their aptly titled sixth full-length ‘VI’ a little earlier this year, but they’re not only on a UK run to celebrate that, but on select dates they’re also taking a look back to where it all began – their debut album, ‘Take Off Your Colours’ – and tonight, they’re playing it in full.
Finally starting to gain some deserved traction off the back of fourth album ‘Hold On To Your Heart’ which dropped earlier this year, alternative rock trio The Xcerts  prove how confident they are in their latest material by composing their setlist with songs exclusively from their new record.
It’s not a bad decision to go with either; ‘Crazy’ gets a good portion of the front rows bouncing to its energetic chorus, and the pop laced through closer ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’ even urges some apparently newly converted fans to sing along. Not a bad effort.
Marmozets , however, are a bit more raucous in their approach. Since they started putting out full-length albums, the Yorkshire quintet have started to gradually tread down the path of hard rock and put their more math rock days of yore behind them. It’s certainly helped to bolster them into bigger venues like this; you can’t help but not stomp along to the infectious ‘Play’ just like vocalist Becca Macintyre.
Still, the grit certainly remains on a bunch of their more prominent cuts. Anyone who doesn’t head bang along to ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’ or ‘Move, Shake, Hide’ is a liar and/or a misery guts, both of which really showcase the play-off between axe-men Jack Bottomley and Sam Macintyre along with some animalistic fills from drummer Josh Macintyre.
The thing is, almost everyone in the room is here for one band tonight, and that’s You Me At Six , who all jauntily run onto the stage whilst Chris Miller reels everyone in with the opening riff of ‘The Truth Is A Terrible Thing’, before the whole band explode into its full coda. As soon as Josh Franceschi sings the first line “Nervous and you’re tearing at the seams”, the crowd more often than not overpowers him throughout the remainder of the evening.
Just like that, the waves of nostalgia continue on, from still heavily rotated pop-punk bangers ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ (which easily gets the biggest sing along of the night) and ‘If I Were In Your Shoes’, to the solemn tear jerkers ‘You’ve Made Your Bed (So Sleep In It)’ and ‘Always Attract’.
The latter of the two aforementioned heart-wrenchers sees a surprise guest appearance from the song’s recorded feature and Josh‘s sister, Elissa, performing it live with the band for the first time. It’s a truly special moment of the set, and one that sees the room completely elated.
We eventually reach the album closer – the call-to-arms mini-anthem ‘The Rumour’ – and as the final notes ring out, the stage envelops in darkness before a short encore commences. This time, instead of paying respect and homage to their beginnings of the past, the band set their eyes on their evolution and the future.
Indeed, though lacking some of the raw and rougher around the edges grit of their debut album cuts, freshly released numbers ‘I O U’ and ‘Straight To My Head’ have a gleaming pop sheen, even in a live format. Of course, there’s some more classic bangers thrown in for good measure, such as a pop-rock sensation ‘Reckless’ and curtain closer ‘Underdog’ before bowing out.
Tipping their hat to the past whilst simultaneously celebrating the sixth chapter in their careers is a bold move that – let’s admit it – not many bands would’ve dared to go for. By ensuring that they’re not ashamed of celebrating their past, even if a few songs sound a tad dated now, You Me At Six can open the door to their future wide open.