You Me At Six certainly made the most of 2016 with the release of ‘Night People’ (the first single and title track of their upcoming fifth album), secret sets at Reading and Leeds Festival and heading out on the most intimate YMAS UK tour for years. It didn’t take long for the five lads from Surrey to become inescapable once again. They’d been silent for nearly a year, but within days it felt like they’d never left.
Then, just before they go and take over the world in 2017, they announced that they would be headlining London Dingwall’s as part of the Dr Martens ‘Stand For Something’ Tour.
A mere 500 capacity venue.
That’s half the size of the “intimate” shows they played a month before.
Understandably, tickets sold out in minutes, leaving hundreds of fans disappointed and bringing frontman Josh Franceschi’s hatred of ticket touts to everybody’s attention. Never one to cower in the face of adversity Josh has gone on to speak in parliament on the matter as well as appearing on The Daily Politics show and personally selling 100 extra tickets to tonight’s show at the Dr Marten’s store in Covent Garden.
“Tonight we have sold 100 tickets or so above capacity for one reason, and one reason only,” he announced on stage to the jam-packed room. “We’re sick and tired of people taking the piss out of fans of music.”
Sadly, no good deed goes unpunished. With the queue snaking through Camden market, a never-ending line of people that looped around corners, through tunnels, up and out of sight the last thing that Dingwall’s wanted to do was open the doors over an hour later than billed. It’s what they did though.
As a result, support band Dead! did not have the crowd that they deserved: too many people were still stood out in the chilly November night, hands buried deep in their pockets, wishing they could be let in faster.
You Me At Six managed to play an almost comprehensive exploration of their back catalogue, only neglecting their debut album ‘Take Off Your Colours’: an album that the band haven’t been afraid to voice their dislike for. It’s undoubtedly a fan favourite, and when someone started a ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ chant it was quickly picked up by everyone in the venue hoping to somehow slip the track into the set without the band noticing.
Josh refused, quietening everyone down before saying “I want to personally invite you all, on b
ehalf of You Me At Six… In October 2018, we will play ‘Take Off Your Colours’ in full. But tonight is not that night. So get over it.” No-one is going to let him forget such an outlandish – and instantly popular – proclamation.
While the early material was neglected, the brand new songs were the focal point, namely: ‘Night People’, ‘Give’, ‘Plus One’ and ‘Swear’. Josh was uncharacteristically modest when he spoke about his feelings towards the new songs, introducing ‘Give’ by stating “This is the biggest song of 2017.”
It being guitarist Chris Miller’s birthday, the alcohol was flowing freely. Bassist and backing vocalist Matt Barnes was almost giggling when he contradicted Josh (who claimed that drummer Dan Flint had admitted he was “too pissed” to play) by shouting “No, he said we’re too pissed, not just him!”
We have become used to seeing a much more serious and overly-polished version of You Me At Six. They’re only in their late 20s but sometimes they seem much older on stage due to their mature and serious attitudes.
Tonight they just seemed to be having fun. The end of the set was banter-filled as Dan drummed over Josh’s closing remarks, leaving Josh to yell “Allow me, please! […] I’m trying to tell everyone how great our album is!”
But despite the distractions and the overall relaxed atmosphere of the night, Josh still had his thoughts firmly fixed on the future. “As of 2017, you will not be able to avoid You Me At Six,” he said solemnly. “We’re ten years deep, but we’re about to go ten years deeper.”
In their first decade as a band, You Me At Six have had an indescribable impact on the British rock scene, so what will they achieve in the next one? One thing’s for sure: they’re going to start it by releasing their most accomplished album yet.
‘NIGHT PEOPLE’ WILL BE RELEASED ON JANUARY 6TH 2017. YOU ME AT SIX WILL TOUR THE UK IN APRIL 2017. GET TICKETS HERE.
Words: Alyce Hunt Photos: Hayley Smith