It’s amazing how far You Me At Six have come in the past few years, considering it’d be unheard of for the Surrey quintet to be playing venues almost five thousand kids back then, they’ve managed to headline Slam Dunk Festival, play Download, Reading and Leeds, and support Paramore on an arena tour. It’s alright for some…
Kicking off tonight in Newcastle, the first dosage of pop rock flurry comes in the shape of Texan sextet Forever The Sickest Kids. Pulling out all the stops, they do seem like they really own the stage, and not just because they barely fit on it. Their synth-laden pop tunes all sound like hits in themselves, and it pleases those still filing in greatly. Charasmatic frontman Jonathan Cook is in fine form tonight, and the band barely hit a note wrong. Airing upcoming single She Likes as well as old favourite Woah Oh (Me vs Everyone), and Forever The Sickest Kids have achieved more in half an hour than a lot of bands can do in a full headline set. Good on them!
We The Kings seemingly kill the rhythm a little; it seems a lot less people are as excited to see them, but they soon turn heads and send the room jumping in unison. The problem is, is that none of their songs really stand out, so only the hardcore few who do know the words are the only ones that really get the full vibe of the bands performance. It can’t be faltered however, it’s near-perfect and it’s fun, singer Travis Clark has a great set of chords on him, and if We The Kings haven’t graced anyone’s ears before, you can be sure a lot of kids will be Googling tonight.
You Me At Six have really stepped up their game. They’ve gone from strength-to-strength since releasing the hotly anticipated Hold Me Down, and there’s a smattering of tunes that are just aching to be heard tonight from it. The bands preferred choice of offence to open proceedings comes in the form of the catchy-as-hell Safer To Hate Her. Playing in front of a dark curtain, the band are almost drowned out by excited squeals as they take to the stage, and it’s clear everyone’s had the new album on repeat in recent weeks; there’s not one person who doesn’t know the words. This is proved even more so by Take Off Your Colours opener The Truth Is A Terrible Thing getting an outing, too.
What can be said for the band, is that they’ve got a hell of a lot of confidence and prowess going up on stage – it’s something they’ve always had, even when playing clubs. Frontman Josh Franchesci and guitarist Max Helyer trade onstage banter constantly, and seemingly feel right at home gracing such a large stage. Their performance itself is impressive too, and although Josh’s vocals sound quite off during storming tune The Consequence, among others, it’s hardly noticed; many are here simply to bellow the lyrics out themselves and enjoy a good time.
There’s a healthy mix of old and new here and there tonight; while the likes of Gossip and surprisingly The Rumour have been dropped, the band are armed with massive tunes that really show their maturity and growth as musicians over the past year. Liquid Confidence and hot favourite Trophy Eyes being just two of them. Always Attract still gets an outing within the encore, although it’s marred slightly by a backstory that a girl has been put in a coma from a car crash, and that the song is dedicated to her. (A lovely gesture on the part of the band, but it’s a slight buzzkill considering the jovial mood of teenage girls on a Saturday night) It still sounds awesome, as does old favourite Save It For The Bedroom, which sends the room, upstairs and down, into uproar.
Ending on single Underdog seems like a good choice, it’s anthemic chorus brings things to a close perfectly and caps off a really strong performance. While it might have been inconcieveable a couple of years ago, You Me At Six are going further up in the world every single day, the question is; is there really any stopping them?
– George Cannings.