You Me At Six are one of the most longstanding bands in the alternative scene that has still stuck with it’s original lineup. Formed in 2004, a whopping 15 years ago, You Me At Six have always been consistent in the UK scene but not so much in the states. Known for playing in O2 venues and even arenas across the pond, it’s strange to see them take to such a small stage in Brighton Music Hall’s 300 capacity venue.
It’s perhaps the intimacy of the show that draws back to the early days of the band, when flippy fringes were all the rage and all the band had in their back catalogue was Take Off Your Colours, a still widely adored album by much of their fanbase. Now, with much better haircuts, You Me At Six have 6 full length studio albums under their belts and their most recent VI is something to marvel over.
Over the years gradually You Me At Six have moved their sound away from the pop punk sound that they started with and further into alternative that VI perfectly encapsulates. The opening track of the album (Fast Forward), fittingly, is the opener for the 18-strong set. It’s dark and hard-hitting and a sure-fire hype builder. It doesn’t take long of course for the first wave of crowd surfers to come during Reckless, there’s an irony in there somewhere. Back Again is an unexpectedly groovy song that live is a powerhouse of pop, something you can easily dance and jump along to.
In their lifespan, there’s one thing to note and it’s that You Me At Six are truly more refined than ever, in particular vocalist Josh Franceschi seems to become more of a performer with each and every tour. Not only are have his vocals matured and become better with the recent album but on stage he’s brimming with energy and an unbridled charisma. Both of which as he starts a small speech before launching into Night People.
There’s a moment where Franceschi notes the old tradition of encores; “if this is your first show, usually the cocky frontman will say ‘this is our last song’ but you all know it’s not the last song and we know it’s not the last song.” It pulls a chorus of laughs from the crowd and the interaction is something appreciated by fans who are all too familiar with the tradition and know it’ll come anyway but it’s the perfect precursor for building tension before Bite My Tongue. It’s in this song that the other members and the fans are truly allowed to shine; guitarist Max Helyer has a moment off to the side with one of their crew, guitarist Chris Miller shreds effortlessly and the fans? Well they easily take the role of Oli Sykes to scream his part back to the band.
Now it would be very easy for the band to end the set here, on a high with such a punchy end. However, You Me At Six still return for a few more tracks to round off the night. No-one Does It Better brings the tone down a little, offering a somber moment and a chance to recharge. Is there any way to end a set without a classic? Clearly the band know what the people are here for as they pull out the huge Underdog to end the set. Despite the limited capacity, You Me At Six perform like they’re in the likes of House Of Blues and thrive with the intimate venue setting on interaction and a performance full of hits.