Live review: You Me At Six, Leeds Temple Newsam

You Me At Six celebrate 10 years of Sinners Never Sleep with a whole bunch of pals…

Live review: You Me At Six, Leeds Temple Newsam
Emma Wilkes
Nat Wood

Move over, Platty Joobs, it’s You Me At Six’s time for a celebration. They’ve returned to the sites of the Slam Dunk festivals (well, two of them) that helped them grow from boys to men to throw a big, belated birthday party for their landmark third album Sinners Never Sleep. And when we say big, we mean big – they’re heading up a five-band bill in what’s effectively a mini festival.

First up are Yours Truly, drafted in last-minute after original supports YONAKA pulled out due to illness. It’s a valiant effort, and singer Mikaila Delgado is blossoming as a performer, slinking around the stage during Walk Over My Grave and new single Hallucinate with perhaps more confidence than ever, even if, unfortunately, her vocals are too quiet.

The curse of the dodgy mic almost strikes again for Kid Kapichi, but the issue is quickly alleviated. New one-man-one-guitar single Party At Number 10 receives a huge cheer after its live debut and the big clap-along and the sizeable pit erupting during Violence suggests they’ve acquired a fair few new fans.

Holding Absence could easily be forgiven if they seem a little weary after a couple of gruelling months touring America and Australia. However, they’re anything but. Frontman Lucas Woodland zig-zags about the stage high-kicking with the energy of someone having the best day of their life, sounding just as powerful as ever.

The Hunna, meanwhile, arguably the biggest outlier on the bill, divide the crowd. A decent number of punters scream along to the likes of She’s Casual and Bonfire, but those unacquainted with them (mostly those with the darkest clothes and brightest hair) aren’t won over, particularly when they don’t throw themselves into it as much as the bands before them.

The sinister thrum of bass and the glow of fuchsia lights announces You Me At Six’s arrival some 40 minutes later, preluding a rapturous airing of the anthemic Loverboy that has the twilight air crackling with energy. Frontman Josh Franceschi is on sparkling form tonight, roaring his lines with perfect pitch and steely determination that almost reaches a state of majesty. He’s owning it, and so he should, particularly when the first half of the record goes down so well. The highly underrated alt.rock stinger Jaws On The Floor receives a healthy sing-along, while the big-hearted, youthfully sentimental This Is The First Thing holds up beautifully in front of a big crowd. Naturally, however, the snarling bombast of Bite My Tongue is the star of the show, and no song does the sit-on-shoulders, lighters-in-air schtick better tonight than No One Does It Better.

It's not all quite as strong as this, though. Little Death doesn’t quite carry over the momentum from No One Does It Better as well as it could, and while Josh is wonderfully absorbed in the emotion of Little Bit Of Truth, a fair few gig-goers take it as the opportunity for a toilet break. Luckily, YMAS have some well-placed bangers to re-energise the crowd, with Reckless sending everyone bouncing, and the stylish dramatics of The Dilemma are thoroughly engaging.

On paper, beginning the four-song encore with SUCKAPUNCH is a curious choice, but it works surprisingly well – with the thunderous sounds of live guitar, it sounds monstrous. Appropriately for a night celebrating the hidden gems, the Weybridge lads dig out post-apocalyptic banger The Swarm (“Justice for The Swarm!” Josh cries) and cook up a storm with it, before concluding with the stirring call to arms of Beautiful Way and, of course, a spirited rendition of Underdog.

Save for a couple of weaker moments, tonight is a quality showcase of You Me At Six at their best, and a triumphant look at where they've been, and just how far they've come.

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