Tag Archive: You Me At Six


You Me At Six – Hold Me Down

After the success of Take Off Your Colours, charting in at #25 on the UK album chart, which I wasn’t expecting in all honesty, You Me At Six had acquired a huge fan base. With multiple EP’s, festivals and tours, including a main support slot on Paramore‘s UK tour, Josh Franceschi and the boys were letting the world know their names. After signing to a major record label, releasing their debut album and touring the world, You Me At Six must have felt like their dreams had come true, but the ultimate hurdle was coming up fast. Could they create the success, the hype and the quality for their sophomore album? Hold Me Down was released January 11th 2010, and was commercially welcome at a more than respectable #5 on the UK chart.

The Consequence kicks off the album, with a little help from Sean Smith of The Blackout. It was released as a promotional single before the album’s release. Immediately, you can tell that Franceschi’s voice has matured. I’m not sure in what way, but it has a more raspy sound to it, compared to the clean-cut songs from most of the previous album. I welcome the screams towards the end of the song, as I think it improves the song, but I can’t say I’m blown away at the start to the album. Following is a song that I can’t quite make my mind up about. Right now, for me, Underdog is a great song filled with catchy choruses and changes in the arrangement throughout, and considering it’s only two and half minutes long, it does extremely well varying up the different elements in the song. Playing The Blame Game, in my opinion, should have been their second single. It has everything there to make it on the radio. A killer chorus, great elements throughout the verses, including a much better falsetto range compared to the falsetto Franceschi used in The Consequence. Now for my favourite song, Stay With Me. This song’s drum beat makes the sound for me, if you can understand what I mean. It adds an extra something which I can’t quite describe. It starts off relatively slowly, soaring into a 6 word chorus, but keeping you captivated throughout. Josh’s long-held notes are simple but extremely effective. Safer To Hate Her, for me, is a little forgettable. Franceschi’s vocals feel a little strained in the higher notes in the chorus. On the plus side, I really enjoy the guitars throughout. Take Your Breath Away leaves me a little baffled. The chorus is brilliant, everything about it is quality, but the lead guitar riff throughout the verses seem to clash, or overpower the vocals of the song. I don’t really enjoy the riff, so it spoils the verses for me. However, I like that they had a silence before bringing back in the guitar near the end of the song. It builded up an atmosphere. Onto the actual second single, Liquid Confidence, which I’m not sure was a good choice to release. The song itself is a decent song, no doubting that, but the softness in the beginning of a slower chorus, into a louder chorus doesn’t, for my ears, feel right for radio. Franceschi’s vocals are faultless throughout, through. Hard To Swallow doesn’t waste anytime firing out at pace, with a vengeance. The song just explodes into life from the get-go, and doesn’t dip in energy throughout. Definitely a highlight on the album. Contagious Chemistry follows up the quality on the album. I love the guitars in the verses. Such brilliance followed by a slow bridge into an energetic chorus. A song you just can’t fault. And when you thought that all good things come to an end, a third song in a row of pure brilliance, There’s No Such Thing As Accidental Infidelity. With added vocals from Aled Phillips from Kids In Glass Houses, it’s more of a slower song when it gets into the chorus. Similar to Stay With Me, in the fact that the lyrics are simple and effective even though there isn’t too many of them. Phillips kicks in with the harmonies towards the end of the song, which is truly brilliant. Can Trophy Eyes make it four? Well, it doesn’t quite follow-up to the quality of the previous three, BUT, the chorus is epic. It feels like one of those types of choruses, even though they’re not particularly ‘heavy’, it’s one you would be able to headbang to! Fireworks, for me, doesn’t get going until near the end, which is unfortunate. It’s a slow, love song, which will melt all the girls hearts. The chorus isn’t quite what I was expecting in the beginning. It seems unenthusiastic and it doesn’t feel like they actually want this girl back. Having said that, it could all just be build up to the moment when the vocals REALLY kick in. “I don’t know who you are” in the upper register is just one of those moments that kind of gives you goosebumps. It’s that good. Is it worth waiting for throughout the song, probably. But only just. I wish it had this much feeling all throughout. Finally, the bonus track from iTunes, My Head’s A Prison And Nobody Visits. I think they probably got it right, making this a bonus track, in my opinion. The song doesn’t jump out at you and announce its presence. It has some good moments, including a long note, rising in pitch nearer the end. Fireworks, for me, is the real end to the album.

As I said before, I truly was not expecting Hold Me Down to chart so high, and that just goes to show how far these guys have come. And how far they’re going to go. Because I have no doubts that they’ll go on to release another quality album after this. Until then, feast your ears on this while these guys tour the world and rack up the fans and sales to match what they deserve. 8.5/10

Advertisements

Paramore: Wembley Arena 18/12/09

Now if you know me well, you’ll know that I am an avid lover of snow. I wish on every occasion that it would fall, and to settle with several feet of it everywhere. Being in England, that is not likely to happen, especially in the South. But to get snow on Friday 18th December, I was not pleased. It should have arrived a week later in time for Christmas. I checked the train schedule and found that the 4 trains from Midday til 2pm were actually cancelled going to London Waterloo due to the snow. Travelling by train was the only means of getting there so this is where silent panic settled in. We decided to leave it til later, hoping that trains would run again. Thankfully they did, and we took the 4:31pm train to Waterloo. We arrived just over an hour later and after a wrong choice of entrance and a broken lift, we got on the Tube and packed against the walls ready for the half hour journey.

We got out of the station and passed the loud ticket touts chanting “TICKETS FOR PARAMORE, BUY OR SELL!” and slid all the way to the venue, Wembley Arena, which was literally about 2 minutes away from the station. After buying merchandise and a massive queue for the toilets, we sat down at 7pm in our seats, ready for the first band to play at 7:15pm. Nicely timed, if I do say so myself! Now, Now Every Children were up first, and I wasn’t too fussed in all honesty. I listened to all the bands before the gig, and wasn’t impressed with the first two bands. NNEC, however, were a pleasant surprise live. They were much better than what I’d heard previously and I really enjoyed their set. The crowd weren’t so enthusiastic though, and it was evident that most people were only there to see You Me At Six and, obviously, Paramore.

Although NNEC were pretty good live, the inevitable comparison to Paramore would come about, and I’m torn whether to  jump on that band wagon right now. There were differences, albeit slight ones, between them. But female vocalists in a rock band don’t escape the comparison. Whatever your decision, Now, Now Every Children have a long way to go if they want to even come close to the success of Paramore. Paper Route were the second support band of the night, and again they started off pretty good. The first couple of songs were really good and I was on my way to being converted to them. Unfortunately after those first couple of songs, I was a little bored with them, everything started to sound too similar. The crowd were barely enthusiastic, just about getting moving, but no one was standing up in the seated area.

But the band weren’t too phased, saying that they’ve saved the best song for last, playing it, then going on to play one last song. Tragically I cannot remember the first song’s name, which is actually a shame because it was my favourite. ‘Carousel’ was the other track that stood out. They started out bright, but faded into boredom as it went on. Most people were too fussed on the arrival of You Me At Six. The next quarter of an hour was the longest of them all, anticipating the set of one of my favourite up-and-coming English rock bands. The backdrop came down, and everybody screamed. Then nothing happened again for another 5 minutes. Then the lights went out and everybody screamed again. It was official now, You Me At Six had arrived. And it couldn’t have been more welcomed.

Screams continued to echo around the venue as the lead singer, Josh Franceschi, said Hello to his adoring fans. As soon as the stage was set, and the first song, “Kiss And Tell”, started, we were on our feet, as were many people in the seated areas. The concert really kicked off and everyone was moving. You didn’t need to be in standing to realise how much the crowd were moving. Many people were being pushed about down there. Aside from the slight violent feel in standing, everything was great. “Jealous Minds Think Alike” began, and I’m going to say it for all of these songs so I don’t have to repeat myself. Each time a song started, the crowd would scream like mad. They went on to play “If I Were In Your Shoes”, “Save It For The Bedroom” (one of my favourite songs) and “The Consequence” (A new single from their upcoming album).

The next, and penultimate song, was the highlight of their set in my opinion. “Always Attract”, on their album, is a highlight for me anyway, so bringing it to their live set couldn’t really go wrong for me. Inviting his sister, who was the mystery singer to the song on Take Off Your Colours,  on stage to sing her vocals was a touch of brilliance, added with Franceschi asking us to “Take out your phone lights and sway” made the atmosphere something else. Looking around the arena and seeing all the different colours moving backwards and forwards everywhere was special. Closing their set with “Finders Keepers”, You Me At Six would have been leaving the stage with huge grins all over their faces. I’m sure they’ve converted fans from this concert, if they didn’t already have them on their side in the first place.

And then they arrive. It was time for Paramore. Another lengthy wait before they finally arrived on stage, with the chanting of “Paramore” and various attempts at getting a Mexican wave started around the venue (which, may I add, was eventually successful). The lights go down, and bellowing screams (from myself, may I shamefully admit) were all that could be heard as we were all about to witness the greatest show Paramore had ever given. They played their “Brand New Eyes Intro” that they have played at the start of every show since their latest album came out. It really stepped up a notch two minutes later when they started the intro to “Ignorance”. With the crowd chanting in time with the “HEY” after the lyric ‘We’re not the same’ in the chorus, you know you’re in for a good night of crowd involvement.

Twilight fans (don’t get me started on Twilight) were in for a treat, as “I Caught Myself” began. I’ve never really been fond of this song so I wasn’t positive on the words. It didn’t matter as the chorus was easy to pick up on. Playing classics and new songs “That’s What You Get”, “Looking Up”, “Crushcrushcrush” with the crowd seductively whispering crush back at Hayley and the band, and “Turn It Off”, we came across something quite unusual. Hayley produced a letter and said they wanted to invite someone to the stage. Glares and comments passed everyone’s lips at the person or persons who got to go on stage. A minute later and all those glares were exchanged with tears, open mouths and gasps as Liam May asks his girlfriend Leona to marry him. A huge intake of breath and gasps around the arena should really have sucked in all of the people on stage.

This led onto the song “The Only Exception”, a love song fitting for the occasion. If I had more oestrogen in my system, I probably would have cried. But I did not, many people did though. It was definitely a significant moment in the set. One of many. They then went into a classic from their very first album, “Pressure”. Jeremy, the bassist, managed to flip on stage, which was something impressive. “Careful” and “Where The Lines Overlap” followed next, two songs from their latest album, both going down so well. Twilight fans got their chance to squeal again as the “Decode” riff started. So many girly screams filled the arena that only dogs could hear them at one point. I do like ‘Decode’, I really do. I just hate twilight. It’s good press for Paramore and all, but Paramore (as I’ve mentioned before) DO NOT = Twilight.

Then came the moment that beats all moments. The best ever part of any Paramore, or any, concert I have ever been to. They played the song “My Heart” from their very first CD. No other date did they play this. It was just for us. Josh Farro, the lead guitarist, did the screams during the song, and if you were near me, you would have heard me squeal “OH MY GOD” like a little girl. During the song, Hayley said that “This is the best moment of my life” and everyone believed her. We all could have screamed back those same words right at her at that moment. It was one that I’ll never forget. Ever. We then joined in with her singing “Whoa”. Just a simple melodic phrase that we sang in unison. Everyone felt the atmosphere in the arena. You don’t understand how intense it was if you weren’t present. They then went crazy with an instrumental afterwards.

It was incredible. Words can’t describe how I was feeling after that song. They then went offstage, to come back on and give us a three-song encore. On a chair, acoustic guitars in hand, “Misguided Ghosts was played. We were instructed to take out our “Cell Phone lighters” and without question we all did. No one would disobey Hayley Williams after what just happened. It was followed by “Misery Business” which was incredibly well received. Finally, the latest single “Brick By Boring Brick” where confetti poured out of the top of the arena onto the crowd. All the bands came on and bowed and we were all in awe at what had just happened. With the crowd singing along to the “Ba Da Ba’s” at the end of the chorus, there was nothing bad in the night whatsoever. It was just amazing.

I shall not bore you with the details of getting back, as they were far from interesting compared to the concert itself (even though I spoke about getting there in the first place). I have no doubt that this was the best gig I’ve ever been to in my life. It’s definitely getting 10/10 in my book. I would give it 100 if I could. But there is no such thing as 100/10.

Finally, I would like to say that all the pictures in this post were of Kimberley Collins’ taking. Please go and check out her photos here.

You Me At Six – Take Off Your Colours

After finally being signed in 2007, You Me At Six had already acquired a huge, loyal fan base from all the local gigs they’d been playing. Now they had a record label and were ready to put all the demos and recordings into a proper studio, and produce a quality album. And they didn’t disappoint either. Take Off Your Colours was released on October 8th 2008 and every single fan bought what they’d been waiting for. For so long, they’d hoped You Me At Six would get a record label and release a CD, and they were provided with one of the best albums of 2008.

The Truth Is A Terrible Thing is the first track off the album, and it sure sets you up for an amazing listening experience. With an epic intro riff to set you off, then Josh Franceschi, the lead singer, jumps in with the first word “Nervous” and reminds you how much you love this band, and how much you’ll love this album.

Gossip is next, and starts off with the irresistably catchy “Woah Oh”‘s which instantly makes you join in, no matter what you’re doing. The song continues to be catchy as you sing along to the chorus with Franceschi.

Call That A Comeback? follows and with a bridge-to-chorus change like in this song, you’ve got no room to complain. Franceschi’s voice is fantastic, accompanied by his band’s exquisite playing, and is just a joy listen to.

Jealous Minds Think Alike is next, and was the first single released in the Take Off Your Colours era. This is one of my favourites off the album, with Franceschi’s vocals really showing off their talents, and lyrically, the song is fantastic.

Save It For The Bedroom was one of the first songs I heard from this band, and I fell in love with it from the first time I heard it. They’ve released it as a single twice, updating the original recording for the album. “Keep your hands to yourself” is the first line which, when played live, no one forgets to sing back at the band.

Take Off Your Colours is next and the harmonies and change in dynamics is fantastic on the album. It really shows that You Me At Six are a quality band, that are capable of making many records in the future.

You’ve Made Your Bed (So Sleep In It) follows, and is also one of the first songs I heard by them. Remastered in the studio, it’s still as good as ever. It’s definitely another one that’d be sung back extremely loud as they play it in concert.

If You Run is next, and a killer intro with awesome guitar riffs sets you up for a song that really comes to life in the chorus. It’s probably my favourite part of the song, thanks to Franceschi’s vocals.

Tigers And Sharks follows and has a slower tempo than what we’ve been used to. It’s a welcome change, although that doesn’t discount the previous songs’ quality. The chorus brings a faster tempo though, so the speed is temporarily restored.

If I Were In Your Shoes is next and is definitely one to add to your list of favourite songs by You Me At Six, infact, just add most of them. The chorus is catchy, the guitar riffs are fantastic and Franceschi’s voice doesn’t fail to keep us hooked to the song.

Always Attract brings the tempo back down, with a little acoustic number featuring Franceschi’s sister Ellisa. His sister’s tender vocals intertwine and produce a wonderful melody and harmony that entrances you, making you repeat it over and over.

Nasty Habit is next, and it provides you with, yet again, another brilliant chorus. Franceschi sings “What a way for the ice to break” throughout. This song picks up the pace again after Always Attract.

The Rumour is the final track, and it’s super-fast and will have you jumping about at a live gig. The intro to the chorus is fantastic, as is the chorus itself. It brings the album to an end in style.

Overall, Take Off Your Colours is a fantastic debut from the Weybridge-based band. It provides you with fantastic vocals and guitar hooks that’ll get you singing and moving about. The album peaked on the UK chart at #25, which gives You Me At Six a promising future ahead of them. This album is definitely worthy of 9/10.