After a two-year period of teasing a ‘Take Off Your Colours’ tour, Surrey based band You Me At Six returned to Sheffield to play their debut album in full to a sold out O2 Academy.
“Are you fucking ready Sheffield? It’s Friday night let’s have a party” roared frontman Josh Franceschi as the band took to the Academy stage. Opening with ‘The Truth is a Terrible Thing’, the crowd had clearly taken Franceschi’s advice, a party was very much being had.
The first half of the set followed the debut album’s chronology. ‘Gossip’, infamous for being the band’s least favourite song to play, was followed by ‘Call That a Comeback’ and ‘Jealous Minds Think Alike’ before the first break in the set, which was greeted by the classic ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire…’.
“Now, if we’re really in Yorkshire and this is a proper Yorkshire crowd” Franceschi retorted, “security have been warned that during a certain song I’m gonna ask for crowd surfers. This is that song; this is your chance to prove to us that we’re in Yorkshire” he announced before rhythm guitarist Max Helyer played the infamous first chord of ‘Save it for the Bedroom’. Streams of crowd surfers made their way to the front, where Franceschi, to his credit, rewarded every single one with a firm handshake.
Title track ‘Take Off Your Colours’ was followed by ‘You’ve Made Your Bed (So Sleep in It)’, ‘If You Run’, ‘Tigers and Sharks’ and ‘If I Were in Your Shoes’ in quick succession. Technical problems with the frontman’s monitor delayed love song ‘Always Attract’, but he was on good form, riling the crowd with talk about how although their debut album had aged, their looks hadn’t. “This one’s for anyone that’s been fucked over. Which is all of us” Franceschi said before a sea of people, sat atop shoulders sang every word back to him.
‘Nasty Habits’ and ‘The Rumour’ closed the first half of the set and the band went off for an extended interlude, returning to the stage with brand new song ‘Fast Forward’. They completed the set with their greatest hits including ‘Reckless’, prompting the crowd to swing their t-shirts round their heads, ‘Finders Keepers’ and ‘Room To Breath’ as well as material from their sixth studio album, VI. The whole band thanked the adoring crowd before closing the set with arguably their biggest tune, ‘Underdog’.
Despite You Me At Six appearing so vehemently against playing stuff off their debut album, they made it an unforgettable show. Every one of them looked to be loving playing the album they wrote in their teens as much, if not more, than the crowd loved watching and screaming the lyrics back to them. The set was note perfect as was their energy, and it is good to see them bounce back so strongly after the apparent disappointment of 2017 album, ‘Night People’.