After the tent-bursting successes of their “secret” sets at Reading and Leeds earlier this year, You Me At Six are back on the road, playing venues they haven’t played in years. With their fifth studio album ‘Night People’ slated for an release early 2017, the band have embarked on an intimate venues tour, to whet the appetites of fans new and old; some of whom have never, and may never see this arena headlining band on such a small scale again.
With only one support act – Vant – opening up for the behemoth that is YMAS, the fans who have been queuing for hours don’t have to wait long for the headline act, who have a sizable hour and a half set to blast through.
When Vant, hailing from (and I quote) “planet earth” do head out onto the stage they open with ‘The Answer’. Their upbeat indie pop rock is greeted by cheers and claps throughout the first handful of songs; including new single ‘Peace & Love’, but does little to move the static crowd, who, after waiting for hours, have no intention of using up any of their energy before the main act. Fortunately, during ‘Time and Money’, guitarist / vocalist Mattie Vant manages to rouse the audience into action for the second half. Using the tried and tested method of “we’ve heard you are the best crowd. Prove it.” The four piece are tight. The hooks and riffs in stand out songs such as ‘Karma Seeker’ and ‘Fly By Alien’have the ability to get stuck in your head for days. They end their set on ‘Do You Know Me?’, and if we didn’t already, we do now. (4/5)
When the stage goes dark and the cheers hit the roof you know it’s time for You Me At Six. One by one the band enter the room, kicking straight into opener ‘Younger’. The room instantly rises in temperature as they blast their way through old favourites such as ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Safer To Hate Her’, but it’s not until the massive ‘Stay With Me’ that the room truly explodes. When we arrived, the queue snaking down the side of Rock City and across the road looked daunting, a physical manifestation of the fact this date was the first to sell out on the tour. But now the band are just a few feet away from those on the front row, making the 2000 capacity venue feel more like a 200 cap club compared to the arena tour that will surely follow the release of ‘Night People’next year.
For the next hour and a half, You Me At Six storm through select picks from their back catalogue, checking all but one album off the list. The band seemingly make a conscious effort to stay well away from ‘Take Off Your Colours’, their debut offering. The pop anthems are still in abundance though. ‘Underdog’ has everyone in the crowd shouting at the top of their lungs, while the stripped-down rendition of ‘Too Young’, performed by singer Josh Franceschi and guitarist Max Helyer is almost overpowered by the sheer numbers of people singing along. After a set dominated by hit after hit, the band leave the stage, before returning for a three-song encore. They finally conclude with the title track off the new album, ‘Night People’, wrapping up the narrative laid before us throughout the night – lets forget where we started, because this is where we have been and this – ‘Night People’ – is where we are heading – Onwards and upwards. (4.5/5)