Nos­tal­gia rules as YOU ME AT SIX cel­e­brate 10 years of Take Off Your Colours

Kerrang! (UK) - - Reviews -

“I’d rather some­one punched me in the balls for the rest of my life, ev­ery sin­gle day, with a sledge­ham­mer, than ever, ever, ever ad­mit to writ­ing Gos­sip,” said Josh Franceschi in a 2012 Youtube video. Over the years, the front­man has been pretty vo­cal about his feel­ings for some of You Me At Six’s early ma­te­rial, reg­u­larly re­but­ting re­quests for the band’s old­est songs at gigs. But nos­tal­gia is a pow­er­ful thing, and 10 years after re­leas­ing their de­but al­bum Take Off Your Colours the Sur­rey quin­tet have back­tracked on their re­luc­tance to play its tunes live by do­ing the whole thing in its full, breezy pop-punk glory. Tonight, Manch­ester rev­els in those for­ma­tive tales of young love and ado­les­cent angst, and for the thou­sands scream­ing along to the words a teenage Josh wrote, there’s none of the pre­vi­ous shame from him or his band­mates, but vi­brant, cel­e­bra­tory joy.

Be­fore You Me At Six ar­rive, The Xcerts open pro­ceed­ings by pow­er­ing through the likes of Day­dream and Feels Like Fall­ing In Love, in the process stak­ing a claim to play venues this size on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Marmozets, mean­while, serve up a huge dose of groove-laden, an­gu­lar alt.rock. The re­sponse is muted, how­ever, and de­spite this per­haps not be­ing a night to re­mem­ber for the Bin­g­ley

quin­tet, they still have an arse­nal of great songs. Why Do You Hate Me? finds the band truly clicking into gear via its mas­sive cho­rus, while Habits – per­haps the best song they’ve writ­ten – sees Becca show off her im­pres­sive vo­cal range.

It’s a hero’s wel­come for You Me At Six when they take to the stage, with plenty of ‘ Woah-oh’s com­ing from the crowd as TOYC opener The Truth Is A Ter­ri­ble Thing kicks in. From there on out, Manch­ester lets loose for one of the big­gest pop-punk par­ties the city has ever seen. The no­to­ri­ous Gos­sip is su­perbly ex­e­cuted, huge sin­ga­longs greet Jeal­ous Minds Think Alike, and Save It For The Bed­room sparks pan­de­mo­nium as dozens of crowd­surfers go fly­ing over the bar­rier.

The good times keep on com­ing thanks to the an­themic crunch of Take Off Your Colours’ ti­tle-track, while the re­ac­tion to If I Were In Your Shoes leads an elated Josh to de­clare that “the dream lives!” The high­light comes in the form of Al­ways At­tract, which, for the first time in years, finds the song’s orig­i­nal guest vo­cal­ist – and Josh’s sis­ter – Elissa Franceschi join­ing. Bod­ies climb on shoul­ders ev­ery­where, and it’s a mo­ment charged with un­de­ni­able magic.

The band de­part briefly be­fore an ex­tended en­core, which ac­tu­ally drops the mo­men­tum some­what, but the party spirit is quickly rekin­dled once they storm through Reck­less and tri­umphant closer Un­der­dog. Tonight demon­strates the joy that nos­tal­gia can con­jure up, but more im­por­tantly, this is an evening where You Me At Six out­line how, 10 years on from where it all be­gan, they have grown into a force to be reck­oned with. JAKE RICHARD­SON

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