Live Review: You Me At Six - O2 Academy, Bournemouth 06/12/2018


When You Me At Six released their debut album Take Off Your Colours 10 years ago, the album shot the band into the heart of the pop punk music scene. A decade later, fans filled Bournemouth’s O2 Academy to hear the album played in full.

The show was opened by Scottish band The Xcerts, who filled the room with their infectious energy. Their setlist was made up entirely of tracks off their new album, Hold on to Your Heart, and it did not disappoint. The Xcerts are a real pleasure to see live - even if you don’t know a single song you feel like you’re part of something special just by being in the room with them.

Up next were Marmozets, and they brought the heat. Opening with Play, the first single released off their latest album, they burst into the room and immediately got the crowd moving. Their set was short but sweet - a mix of songs from both albums and each one played as fiercely as the last. Frontwoman Becca is a delight to watch, moving with every beat and still managing to never miss a single note. Marmozets are a band that you just have to see live, and you can guarantee by the time they play their last song and walk off the stage, you will not be ready for it to be over yet. 

Finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for - some of us for 10 years - arrives as You Me At Six take to the stage. As promised, Take Off Your Colours is delivered in full, and every single second of it is worth the wait. Classics like Save it For the Bedroom and Jealous Minds Think Alike send the crowd into a frenzy, but it seems acoustic ballad Always Attract is the one everyone’s been waiting for. As the rest of the band leave the stage, the crowd appears taller as people climb up onto shoulders, arms are thrust into the air and lighters are waved from side to side. The track acts as a beautiful break in the chaos - a moment to reflect on how far the band have come, and how incredibly well their debut album still stands up against all their later releases. 

Album closer The Rumour gets the crowd wild again, with the breakdown sparking a circle pit and a lot of incredibly satisfied fans. Shortly after finishing he track, the band walk off stage and the room seems uncertain - the album’s over, but no-one wants to accept that the show might be. Luckily for us, that clearly wasn’t the plan, as the band re-appear with the longest encore I’ve ever experienced. New track Fast Forward was up first and while it may be completely different from the debut album we’ve just heard, it’s a huge crowd pleaser. This whole encore is a celebration of the evolution of You Me At Six, featuring IOU and Straight to My Head as well as swinging back round to play Finders Keepers and Kiss & Tell, two tracks Josh says they couldn’t dream of missing out when playing Take Off Your Colours. The show ended with Underdog, a song bursting with so much energy it leaves the whole room buzzing. Tonight was about reliving Take Off Your Colours, an album that no doubt shaped the lives of a lot of people in the room. But on top of that, it was about celebrating You Me At Six, a band that in the last 10 years have never stopped creating, evolving, and playing damn good music. 

Words and Photography by Megan Smith