CALL THIS A COMEBACK
Nostalgia rules as YOU ME AT SIX celebrate 10 years of Take Off Your Colours
“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