You Me At Six @ Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

What a fun night that was! This was a cool experience for me as I haven’t seen any of these bands for some time so I was going into this gig without any real idea what to expect. It’s been eight years since I last saw You Me At Six. They basically soundtracked my later teen years with big hits and a generally easily accessible sound. To be honest, I’ve not kept up with their output over the last few years and I went to this gig without a clue what their newer material was like. However, it’s fair to say that they have continued to grow their fanbase over those years and maintained a firm presence in the rock world. Along for the night were Yorkshire punk-rockers, Marmozets. Who I haven’t seen in four years. Also, The Xcerts who I haven’t seen, or heard from, in seven years. Needless to say, I was a little out of touch for this show.

Kicking off the night was the three-piece alt-rock act, The Xcerts. Wow, what a performance. As the crowd were slowly filtering in, the band launched into an excellent and well-executed set. They definitely showed how far they have come in the seven years, I’ve not been paying attention to them. Everything about this set was impressive. The sound was well balanced and you could hear every member loud and clear. They certainly had an affinity with Manchester crowd, as they joked and generally had a laugh with them. This was apparent when the crowd starting singing “Rock N Roll All Nite” by Kiss and the band admitted to having tickets to see Kiss next year. They really came across as humble guys and their music reflected that. Moving on, the set itself was well paced and they had a good mix of more energetic tunes and big sounding ballads. Vocalist, Murray Macleod was really impressive, as his voice carried clean across the venue. I think The Xcerts made for a fun opener. The big sound, infectious energy and great stage presence, they now on my “to watch out for” list now.

Following that would have been difficult for most bands. However, Marmozets are not most bands. Every time I have seen this band in the past they have always brought it in a big way. This night was no different. I really enjoy their music, including their new record, Knowing What You Know Now. So, that’s probably why I was into this set more than the other bands on this night. Just because every song was familiar to me. Opening on the single “Play” the band sent the crowd into a frenzy and they went right along with them. They are such an exciting band to watch on stage as they just get so into their music, it’s always fun and engaging to watch and to listen to. The set really picked up steam with the smasher of a tune “Why Do You Hate Me?”, it’s just that kind of song that gets the blood pumping and makes the crowd go nuts. You can bet that they capitalised on that momentum and continued on with songs like “Move, Shake, Hide” and “Habits”. This was the part of the gig where I just lost myself in the music. They capped off the set with “Major System Error”. If this set proved anything to me it’s that Marmozets love doing this and their fans are right up there with them. This was an exciting and dominating set and I am convinced that they will never fail to excite or impress.

Well, eight years after my last You Me At Six show and it was finally time to check them out again. Though I was relatively excited, I was still sceptical but the scepticism wouldn’t last long. The band burst into their set and the crowd went completely bonkers. Seriously, this has to have been one of the loudest crowds I have heard in quite some time. Their fans absolutely love them and they showed that by singing every song at the top of their lungs.

There was such a feeling of appreciation and enthusiasm in the air, from the opening note to the closing fade out. Now I’m not familiar at all with their newer material but I was still able to enjoy every second of this show. The songs were well performed with a clear tone & dynamic sound echoing through the venue. The band were energetic and clearly having fun with the Manchester crowd. One special moment of the night came with the song “Take On The World”, which was dedicated to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombings and to the spirit of Manchester in general. It was a truly heartfelt moment of the night and they genuinely seemed humbled by the audience. Capping off the main set with their first big hit “Save It For The Bedroom” and the blisteringly good “Bite My Tongue” and with that, they showed their passion for playing live. I will say that the set flew by. The band simply flowed into their encore and it was excellent. Wrapping up the whole evening with the massive smash hit “Underdog”. Which I felt was a great way to send the fans home happy.
What a truly fantastic night.

Not only was Victoria Warehouse one of the nicest venues I have ever been in but all of the bands fully delivered. The Xcerts feel like that they have come into their own as a band, Marmozets came in like a punk rock tornado and You Me At Six took me back to being a teenager, Overall, it was an excellent gig.


Mick Birchall

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