25 April, 2017

[GIG REVIEW] You Me At Six @ BIC, Bournemouth, 11th of April 2017

YMAS rolled up to the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) on the Night People tour, something eagerly anticipated by fans since the band seemingly disappeared into some abyss for a couple of years before a triumphant return with a massive secret set at Reading Festival (followed by Leeds) in August 2016. I was at Reading Festival for that set and I kid you not thousands of people tried to cram into The Pit Stage tent. Way more than it could accommodate!

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But back to the beginning, Surrey band YMAS recorded 4 albums between 2008 and 2014 before dropping off the musical radar. I doubt it was deliberately contrived but if it was it was a PR stroke of genius. When rumours of the new album Night People started to appear in 2016 it led to massive anticipation and an air of mystery. In-truth the band took some time out to do ‘normal life’ stuff and re-kindle their love for what they do. They spent time in Nashville, Tennessee recording the new album and they returned to the UK at the very top of their game.

Back to the BIC. Twenty One Pilots ‘Stressed Out’ played out over the PA which was the sign that the band was about to come on stage. Mighty roar from the crowd and You Me At Six were on stage. Launching straight into ‘Night People’ Josh Franceschi took control and the next 90 minutes were full-on entertainment. Playing 7 songs from ‘Night People’ (‘Night People’, ‘Spell It Out’, ‘Swear’, ‘Heavy Soul’, ‘Brand New’, ‘Take On The World’, and ‘Give’) plus another 11 from the first 4 albums and the single ‘The Swarm’ the set list was perfectly balanced with the loudest, moshing, bouncing songs balanced with some ballads. Positive energy pervaded from the band throughout the whole venue. It was a happy place to be.

Franceschi’s charisma and personality comes across so strongly and when he took a moment to describe the world we live in, the need for positivity and grabbing the moment, everyone listened. Everyone was with him.

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Back into the music. Some epic drumming from Dan Flint plus Chris Miller (lead guitarist), Max Helyer (rhythm guitarist) and Matt Barnes (bass) all moving round the stage and taking up front positions all made it an awesome show. Finishing up with the crowd favourite ‘Room To Breathe’ from the Cavalier Youth album, You Me At Six left the stage.

You Me At Six has returned from their break at the very top of their game. They’ll be headlining the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival this summer. Main stage headliners in 2018 perhaps??

YMAS’s break away from the gigging scene has re-awakened their appetite for performing. They’re refreshed and back doing something they and their fans clearly love. YMAS has transitioned from medium sized venues to arenas, from big festival stages to headlining festival stages. Reading Festival 2017 will be massive. Main stage headliners of the future for sure.

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