You Me at Six, O2 Academy, Leeds
21st November 2018
Take Off Your Colours unifies people — the venue is packed with people of all ages, 15 year-olds and 40 year-olds bumping shoulders, all equally excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this amazing album. You can hear people jokingly singing ‘but tonight, oh we will be alright…’ in anticipation, and it just reminds you that this evening is set to be an absolute delight.
First openers The Xcerts win over the crowd immediately with their charismatic stage presence. Feels Like Falling in Love ends with an a capella verse by Murray Macleod and it shows just how great his voice is, telling the crowds that these Scottish boys have a bucket-load of talent. Marmozets follow, and, unfortunately, don’t seem to receive as enthusiastic of a reception. Their music never fully wins over the crowd, but the scattered loyal fans scream along unashamedly, front-woman Becca Macintyre catching their eyes throughout the set and grinning at them in appreciation. Despite the crowd not being fit for the performance, Marmozets are flawless, as always.
When You Me at Six come on stage, it shocks you just how much joy floods your system. The guitars ring out, signalling the start of The Truth is a Terrible Thing… and everyone collectively is transported back to being a teenager, to the first time they heard this album. After getting over this initial shock, following song Gossip sees the first moshpit of the night open. From then on, the moshing seemingly never falters, the crowd too swept away in the exhilaration of the night to stop.
You Me at Six themselves also seem swept away in this exhilaration; Josh Franceschi grins as he greets the crowd for the first time, giddily telling us about how ‘we wrote loads of this album in Leeds, y’know!’. This announcement adds even more vigour to the crowd for Jealous Minds Think Alike, every throat feeling raw as everyone screams ‘you can be everything I need, you’ll be the girl I don’t caaaallll’. Save It for the Bedroom follows and only adds even more pressure on the vocals, the pit freezing to scream ‘SAVE IT FOR, SAVE IT FOR THE BEDROOM’ at one another before bursting back into movement when the beat drops again. Franceschi once again shows his love of Leeds, telling us how London could never have this much energy, the praise making everybody glow with pride.
One of the most beautiful moments of the night is Always Attract; nearly every set of shoulders in the room has someone sat on them, the person on-top arching over to lovingly sing ‘we’re like noughts and crosses in that opposites always attract’ into their friend’s face. It’s a goosebump-inducing performance and feels incredibly special. The Rumour also feels incredibly special, a track that rarely sees the light of day and the first You Me at Six song ever written — and, considering the riotous response it gets, it truly deserves to be played live more often.
Newer tracks Fast Forwards, IOU and Straight to My Head also receive a great reception. It shows the growth You Me at Six have gone through over the last ten years, as well as reminding older fans that they still churn out bangers.
Franceschi tells the crowd that they begged to have more stage time, to squeeze another song in, and that they were given the all clear. He also tells us that ‘if there’s not a constant circle pit during this song… someone is gonna have to leave the band’. Everyone in the pit looks at one another, wondering what song they’ve added to the set… before Franceschi begins to sing ‘I hate to break it to you but…’ and everyone collectively SCREECHES. Bite My Tongue is met with one of the roughest pits of the night, everyone’s surprise at it being added to the set adding to their energy. This energy perfectly follows through into the closer, Underdog, and by the time the set is over, everyone feels entirely satiated.
As everyone piles out of the venue, one can’t help to think back on a comment Franceschi made during the set: ‘this night isn’t just for you… sometimes you have to go backwards to move forwards.’ You Me at Six are still going strong because they love and respect everything they’ve created just as much as their fans do — if not more. It’s also a reminder that it’s okay to have that moment in time, to revert back to being a teenager for a night. Take Off Your Colours will always be there as a little portal back in time, always ready to put a smile on your face, whenever you need it.
Catch You Me at Six on their remaining dates here.