The torrential downpour tried its hardest but couldn’t dampen the excitement outside 53 Degrees in Preston. The reason; ‘You Me At Six’ playing there first night of a short UK tour in support of their third album ‘Sinners Never Sleep’. To say the excitement was high is probably an understatement. Bags, umbrellas and empty cans littered the entrance to the venue, evidence that the ‘Sixers’ (the name given to the bands fans) will have been there since the early morning to catch a glimpse of the band arriving and to get a front row spot to see the new songs in action.
Young rockers Lower than Atlantis kicked the night off, their blend of Classic Rock with Pop Punk comes off well and a medley of Foo Fighters songs got the audiences attention. I would expect to hear a lot more from them in the coming months after a great performance. The second support slot fell to London post-hardcore outfit Deaf Havana. Having only released one album in the past 6 years since they formed, they used this gig as a road test for new songs off their second album ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’. Over the years the band has gained a large fan base through touring all over the country, which was evident here with the crowd really getting pumped up. Frontman James Amadeus Veck-Gilodi (can I just say, what a name!) really put everything into the gig, controlling the crowd as if it was they were the headliners. Both bands got a good reception, but the crowd wanted one band and one band only.
After what seemed like hours, the lights went out to what must be the biggest scream that 53 Degrees has ever heard – that was until the opening guitar riff of ‘The Consequence’, when it got even louder. The first new song of the night followed with the catchy ‘Jaws on the Floor’ getting a great a response, with the ‘Sixers’ singing along word for word; well learned in only nine days since the album was released. In an odd place of fourth on the set, fan favourite ‘Save it for the Bedroom’ kicked off huge circle pits everywhere, and with its effective crowd sing-a-long parts no wonder it is viewed as one of their best songs. It set in motion how good a night was going to be had, after singer Josh Franchesci had almost pleaded for more, saying ‘we do this all for you guys, and if you guys don’t enjoy it then we can’t either’.
Following this they played three songs in a row off their second album, which didn’t really fit. Playing the quieter more chilled out songs at this point in the gig was not a good idea, with the Glee-sounding ‘Liquid Confidence’ and relaxed ‘Trophy Eyes’ not carrying on with the enthusiasm that ‘Save It’ had brought. The next song was key to restoring the excitement. Pulling out all the stops with the heavy, hardcore ‘Bite My Tongue’, the atmosphere was revived and the crowd went crazier than before. Without Oli Sykes [Bring Me The Horizon] for the screaming vocals, Josh took them on, something that he hasn’t done since the band were unsigned. Keeping the vibe at a high level they played thorough the infectious ‘Playing The Blame Game’ before the fast and catchy ‘Jealous Minds Think Alike’, the second of only three songs of their first album ‘Take Off Your Colours’.
In an unexpected twist Josh Franchesci spoke to the crowd about an article printed in ‘The Guardian’ last year which said that rock music was dead. He said “There are 3 UK band on stage here tonight in Preston to a sold out venue in the middle of a recession. So with the greatest of respect [to the author] you can f**k off”, to which he got the biggest cheer of the night! To end the set the band brought out ‘Tigers and Sharks’ from their debut, finishing the song gradually with members of the band leaving one by one.
Chants of “we want more” flooded the venue to which the band returned playing through latest single ‘Loverboy’; the crowd singing along to every word with great enthusiasm. Finishing the gig the band played through two of their biggest hits, the anthemic ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Underdog’.
This was not the best live show that ‘You Me At Six’ have done; with very few new songs and even less songs of their debut album, there wasn’t really any difference to tours in support of their last album. Nevertheless, they provided a very polished set and the atmosphere alone meant it was impossible to not enjoy the show. The band summed up the gig perfectly; “no offense Preston, we didn’t expect much. But you have blown us away!”.