You Me at Six headlined the second stage of Download this year, and it was the perfect scenario. As the stereotypical summer festival faded out for the night into a tranquil vermillion sunset, the band approached the stage. Playing a varied discography of their best known hits over the past 10 years of being in the limelight, the crowd loving every second, and the band eating up every second of it. In more recent times, the band have decided to announce additional dates to the UK tour that went on sale back in June solely for the purpose of celebrating their debut album, ‘Take off Your Colours’. Which is quite something when you think about it since they have progressed so much as a band from a writing perspective in the past decade. Which is why they tend to avoid playing a lot of it’s material. Nevertheless, tickets sold out at rapid speed, probably fans wanting to relive some emo-rock nostalgia for their younger selves. This article is a rewind on Surrey’s finest’s debut album, and how it crafted them into an almost 6 album career.
“any lyric line saying “so who’s keeping score on who is a whore” would be welcomed by a metric tonne of millennial backlash and criticism.”
So let’s take it back to 2008, the year of Heath Ledger, Obama, and 5 Surrey lads who have just left college under the band name, You Me at Six. Or as it was typed back then Youmeatsix. Back in the Spring of that year, after touring with Elliot Minor, the quintet crammed themselves into Outhouse Studios in Reading with Matt O’Grady and John Mitchell (known for Enter Shikari’s debut ‘Take to The Skies’) and recorded for two weeks crafting their debut. On October 6th later in the same year, ‘Take off Your Colours’ (or TOYC) was release via Slam Dunk Records, telling the tale of relationships, revenge and having the confidence to do what you want.
“A track which Josh Franceschi has stated in the past that he would rather have “someone punch him in the balls for the rest of his life with a sledgehammer” than admit to writing it…”
The release received critical appraisal and opened doors to take the band further than they’d ever been before. Each track gave a message, and let’s be honest didn’t really beat round the bush about it either, in the most British lads way it could. Generally, any lyric line saying “so who’s keeping score on who is a whore” would be welcomed by a metric tonne of millennial backlash and criticism. Hence, when it comes to not as popular tracks from the album, the band tend to cringe at the thought of how young minded the lyrics are. From the beginning, the band show little hints of their capability as songwriters. Take the opening track, ‘The Truth Is a Terrible Thing’, it’s short, snappy and gets straight to the point. Even from a young age they had started to get the premise of clever yet simple songwriting, which since then they had perfected time and time again. Moving on to the infamous second track, ‘Gossip’. A track which Josh Franceschi has stated in the past that he would rather have “someone punch him in the balls for the rest of his life with a sledgehammer” than admit to writing it.
“it’s an Ode to adolescence…”
Though in November he’s going to have to grin and bare that, as he’ll be playing the track for ten nights in a row for all of their nostalgia craving fans. Tracks like ‘Save it For The Bedroom’ and ‘Always Attract’ carry something in common, though both tracks are completely different.. they have a damn catchy chorus. As an Ode to adolescence, ‘Save it For The Bedroom’ is a classic track, bound to make drunk emo-veterans at an alt-club night sing their hearts out. Whilst ‘Always Attract’ showed their softer side, dueting with his sister Elissa Franceschi. Showcasing that they wasn’t a one trick pony, and from this gave us all hints at the potential they had.
Take Off Your Colours is a time capsule, reminiscent of the soundtrack we had in our teenage lives; giving us the confidence we needed to do whatever we wanted, whilst being relatable on topics like relationships and heartbreak. So when November comes, I think we’ll all be singing along because it most definitely deserves some recognition.
WORDS: MATT LUNN
YOU ME AT SIX HEAD OUT ON TOUR LATER THIS YEAR TO CELEBRATE THE RECORD. TOUR DATES ARE AS FOLLOWED:
22 Birmingham O2 Academy
23 Manchester Victoria Warehouse
24 Manchester Victoria Warehouse (performing Take Off Your Colours)
27 Glasgow Barrowland
28 Glasgow Barrowland (performing Take Off Your Colours)
30 London O2 Academy Brixton
1 Cardiff University Great Hall
2 London O2 Academy Brixton (performing Take Off Your Colours)