Review by Robert Moody and Photos by Carla Mundy
The sold out signs had been up for months and the queues were huge many hours before doors even opened, as Rock City welcomed one of the UK’s hottest Rock Bands of the moment, You Me At Six. With a strong supporting cast in tow, it was an evening which promised much.
The venue was already filling up nicely by the time The Skints took to the stage. The quartet from London were very much the ‘odd-ones-out’ of the evening, as their heavily dub-reggae influenced rock, which incorporated Saxophones, Flutes, and even a Melodica was the polar opposite to the Pop Rock which was to follow. The band looked comfortable on a large stage, and their performance was confident, although the lack of uptempo tracks seemed to disappoint the crowd, who seemed desperate for an excuse to jump around and sing along. A unique take of Katy B’s dubstep hit ‘Katy On A Mission’ briefly got things going, but the band failed to capitalise on this.
It was, therefore, no surprise, that once Mayday Parade launched into the chorus of ‘Kids In Love’ the majority of those in the room were off their feet. Having played multiple headline shows at smaller Nottingham venues, the band have already amassed an impressive fanbase in the UK, and tonight’s short set showcased several of the songs which brought the band success in the first place. Songs like ‘Jamie All Over’ and ‘Jersey’ had large sections of the crowd singing along, and by the time they closed out with ‘Black Cat’ there was little doubt that most fans of the headline bands who were unfamiliar with Mayday Parade would be checking them out when they got home.
Keeping the pace going were Kids In Glass Houses, one of the front runners in the exceptionally strong South Wales rock music scene. Once again, the limited stage time saw the band race through their most well known offerings from their three albums, with older songs such as ‘Fisticuffs’ alternating with newer tracks like ‘Diamond Days’. The constant throughout the set was the vocal delivery of Aled Phillips, which varied from high-pitched choruses to much heavier shouts, and everything in between. Despite this he hardly missed a note, and sounded just as good in a live environment as he does on a recording. Ably supported by the rest of the band, it added up to a highly impressive performance for a band who appear to be on the verge of much bigger things. Before signing off with the anthemic ‘Matters At All’, Kids In Glass Houses took the chance to remind the crowd that they are returning to Rock City next month to headline the Hit The Deck festival, and it’s safe to say that most of tonight’s crowd will take them up on that offer.
The anticipation had reached almost fever pitch by the time Josh, Max, Chris, Matt and Dan, collectively known as You Me At Six, took to the stage, and launched straight into ‘Loverboy’, the opening track from their latest album, Sinners Never Sleep. The nearly 90 minute set that followed highlighted just why the band have achieved their success, with a constant stream of singalong hits and very little filler. Almost every song was met with the same reaction, be it early hits such as ‘Take Off Your Colours’ or recent hits like ‘Liquid Confidence’. It seemed as though the whole room knew every word of every song, and vocalist Josh Franceschi was only too happy to let his adoring fans have their moment in the spotlight. Musically the band have explored a variety of styles without straying too far from their pop rock foundations, and the differences between the infectiously bouncy ‘Reckless’ and the thoughtfully downtempo ‘Crash’ exhibited how the band is comfortable writing songs of different styles, and in turn appealing to such a broad fanbase – whilst the majority of the crowd present tonight were in their teens, there were also a notable number of people in the older age brackets – perhaps accompanying their younger family members, but singing along nonetheless. In closing out with current single ‘Bite My Tongue’, Josh says “writing this song kept this band together”. You can be certain that everyone present was pleased they wrote it.
Setlist: Loverboy, Little Death, Safer to Hate Her, Trophy Eyes, The Consequence, Jaws On The Floor, Take Off Your Colours, Finders Keepers, The Swarm, The Dilemma, Liquid Confidence, Reckless, Fireworks, No One Does It Better, Crash, Underdog,
Encore: Stay With Me, Bite My Tongue