It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the release of You Me At Six’s debut album Take Off Your Colours. With them over the years releasing a further five studio albums, touring globally and even creating a track for The Swarm at Thorpe Park. After seeing fans pleas of an anniversary tour in celebration of their iconic debut, the band listened with a series of dates across the UK and Ireland. We headed to the sold-out Bournemouth O2 Academy show at which support came from The Xcerts and Marmozets.
Opening up tonight’s show was Scottish trio The Xcerts, they might not be a name which many in the audience knew but that didn’t stop them performing like it was their own headline show. Performing a set full of material from their latest album Hold On To Your Heart, pockets of fans emerged from within the crowd singing along in unison with the band. Tracks such as infectiously good Drive Me Wild with its funky guitar lines allowed the trio to show off just what they can do as a confident unit. From bassist Jordan Smith jumping around stage with the biggest smile on his face throughout, drummer Tom Heron giving every drum strike his all and Murray Macleod roaming across the stage during Show Me Beautiful like a dominant frontman acting as a ringleader of the crowd; The Xcerts know how to perform well live and it didn’t take much to win over the room. Closing track Feels Like Falling In Love saw fans both old and new singing along to the power pop chorus. Murray took centre stage for an acapella ending to the set which was a simply stunning way to end a triumphant set. The Xcerts are rapidly rising in popularity, so we can’t wait to see what venues they’re headlining next year.
At the beginning of this year, Marmozets released their second album Knowing What You Know Now marking their first release since 2014. Sadly it appears the long time away from the scene has led to their live show lacking enthusiasm, in turn preventing the crowd from investing in their heavy rock style. Tracks such as Play and Habits are examples of their impressively strong new sound, becoming hooked within your head as Becca MacIntyre’s raw vocals fill the room. Performing older material in the form of Move, Shake, Hide and Captivate You there were the opportunities for mosh pits one minute and then swaying the next isn’t the easiest effect to achieve. Tonight by far wasn’t the best time we’ve seen Marmozets but this was by no way a representation of their talent, the venues sound didn’t work in their favour due to overwhelming bass in the venue. As the final notes of Major System Error rang out and the band left the stage, we found ourselves singing long after the set ended. Now that’s what we call a sign of a successful set.
Next up was the set everyone had been waiting for, You Me At Six playing Take Off Your Colours in full with some extra fan favourites thrown in for good measure. Opening up the rowdy set with The Truth Is A Terrible Thing, the crowd needed no warming up with pits erupting throughout the crowd and Josh Franceschi looking out and admiring the madness his band’s music was causing. Songs including Tigers and Sharks were incredibly well received due to them rarely featuring in the setlist but these soon became highlights of the night. Josh’s trademarks vocals soared above the guitar and drum lines with the crowd chanting back in unison relieving 2010. Save It For The Bedroom steals the show as expected, it’s hard to hear the band above the overpowering crowd vocals as let’s be honest; which YMAS fan hasn’t sung this track a bit too loud in their bedroom before?
Taking us down memory lane, the band told fans how ten years ago before the release of TOYC they played the small upstairs room at The Opera House (renamed O2 Academy Bournemouth) and couldn’t miss out a show at a venue so important to the album’s history. Always Attract always has and always will be a fan favourite especially with just Chris Miller and Josh Franceschi onstage as the acoustic guitar/vocal duo. This beautiful love song saw a sea of fans sitting on friends and strangers shoulders whilst the room was lit up with phone lights; from serenading your lover to serenading your friends everyone had a smile on their face during the special moment. From the calm sincere to the anthemic Take Off Your Colours; the band’s musicianship is faultless working together to create a powerful music unit. Closing the album set with The Rumour, the stage went black and it was time for round two to begin.
You Me At Six are a band who’ve grown significantly musically throughout their careers, the contrast between the first part of the show and the second which was filled with new material was clear. Both parts were well received but we can’t help but feel the first part had more energy from the band and the crowd, showing them having a lot more fun and a clear confidence increase. Throwing themselves right back into it with Fast Forward, the band were pacing across the stage, causing chaos at every moment and lapping up all the attention the crowd were giving them. It might not have been an arena but You Me At Six put on an arena-worthy show with a stunning light show fitting the theme of each song making this a visually pleasing experience too. You Me At Six were offering a musical rollercoaster of emotions taking us from the tongue in cheek Kiss And Tell to the heartfelt Straight To My Head. Crowd surfers made a lot of appearances throughout the night but we didn’t expect to see Max Helyer making the leap of his life from the stage and onto the front rows of the crowd during closing track Underdog. It was a powerful ending to an incredibly memorable show as very few people in the room could stop themselves from shouting along using up those last lingering drops of energy.
You Me At Six and their Take Off Your Colours anniversary tour was a great way to end 2018 for the band and fans alike. There’s no sign of YMAS going anywhere anytime soon as they’ve certainly still got what made many of these fans fall in love with them all those years ago. Recent album VI scored the band their fifth top 5 album showing that slowing down isn’t an option, we can’t wait to see what we’re writing about You Me At Six in ten years time…
Did you see You Me At Six at any of their recent shows? Tweet us @CelebMix and let us know!