You Me At Six

support Deaf Havana
author TL date 08/03/14 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

I'm well aware of the fact that You Me At Six's show with Deaf Havana has been sold out for weeks now - and in fact if it wasn't for the sold out pop show taking place in Vega's bigger venue next door I'm confident this would have been upgraded - but still, arriving at the venue five minutes before doors I'm still a bit surprised to see a queue that literally runs halfway around the building. Judging from the discarded pizza boxes, crisp bags and of course vodka bottles, there's been people lining up here for a while, which gives me fond memories of my own gigging youth, back when showing up early and getting plastered outside of the venue was mandatory.

Still, while it's nice to see a foreign band recognised in Copenhagen for a change - even if You Me At Six play ten times larger shows back home - the queue does pose a bit of a problem, because there's no way there's time to get everyone inside for Deaf Havana's set start at 20:45, and again I have to wonder: It says on people's tickets that the show starts at 21:00 - Why is Vega the only venue in town where tour packages routinely disregard this promise? If it weren't for the show selling out, I know half a dozen people that would've paid to see Deaf Havana alone. What is the point in fooling people that care about the support band on a regular basis like this?

See all photos over at troest.nu

Deaf Havana

Luckily for me, I make it in and past the cloakroom counter just in time to come upstairs when Deaf Havana plays the first few bars of "Boston Square", but as expected, the floor is only half full so far. Being a band of their own considerable accomplishments however, Deaf Havana go at it instantly with a workmanlike attitude, Matthew Veck-Gilodi strums his Spanish guitar energetically while brother James makes some almost overly dramatic faces while singing and playing his electric to his side. Together they're the nucleus of the band's live show along with bassist Lee Wilson and drummer Tom Ogden, who are also afforded room in the centre, while lead guitarist Chris Pennelis and keyboardist Max Britton look more squeezed in as they go about their business calmly on each side of the stage.

Soundwise, things are coming out reasonably well, although James is throwing his vocals around a bit recklessly, which feels weird when you're used to his infatuating recorded performances. Perhaps it's compensation though, because as he soon admits, the boys pulled an all-night binge before flying here at 7 AM this morning and are a little worse for wear. Taking the underachiever roles, the Gilodi brothers are generally entertaining between songs: "I swear everyone here speaks better English than I do. It's a little different when we were in Italy, I tell you that.. But then if you can speak Italian, why the hell would you want to learn English in the first place?".

It gets a little tired, hearing the band essentially excuse themselves alá Matthew's: "Here's a song I wrote, it's called Mildred, so if it sucks, I'm truly sorry!" but then if it's true what they say, that they just returned from playing to virtually nobody in America, you can perhaps understand if they feel a bit beat. Regardless, the crowd is actually acting quite welcoming towards them, eagerly clapping along to some of the better build-ups, although seemingly unfamiliar with the importance of especially the songs from "Fools And Worthless Liars", from which we get to hear "The Past Six Years" and the already classic "I'm A Bore, Mostly", so the show translates better than many support bands do around here. As a fan of the band's work however, I can't help but to wish their performance was a little less based on energy and a little more on delicacy, honouring just how great their melodies are at their very best instead of sounding rushed like is the case tonight.

7

You Me At Six

After a changeover during which Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark" and Kings Of Leon's "Sex On Fire" get louder singalongs than pretty much any bands regularly do in this venue, the mood seems buzzing prior to You Me At Six's coming on stage, and when they do appear it is to a predictably ear-piercing choir of screams that makes me appreciate my earplugs more than any heavy show ever could. Seasoned performers as they are here four albums in, there's not a hitch in You Me At Six's set launch, with singer Josh Franceschi immediately filling out the frontman role by bouncing about energetically and leading the audience into the first singalongs of the night with "Too Young To Feel This Old".

Despite the show's sold out status, there's decent room to breathe down back, as the mainstay of highschoolers in the audience squeeze in tight up front to get close to Franceschi, who is clearly the dominating focal point of You Me At Six. It's not that his companions aren't active, but both guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller spend most of the show obscured under manes of hair, and Franceschi is so constantly active that you almost forget that Matt Barnes on bass and Dan Flint on drums are also on stage. The singer is up on the monitors, leaning over the crowd, spinning around, holding out the microphone and busily making sure the people are clapping, singing and bouncing without compromising his own vocals as material from the new album "Cavalier Youth" does its work on its target demographic.

As I've written elsewhere though, "Cavalier Youth" - albeit solid - is perhaps the least great of the band's albums, and its songs do often trail off into slightly tiresome "whoa-oh" refrains toward their ends. Luckily, we get healthy servings from the band's two prior albums as well (though sadly nothing from the often overlooked debut "Take Off Your Colours"). The ballsy "Loverboy" goes down a storm, as does "Underdog", "Little Death" and "Reckless", proving that YMAS are arguably at their best when a bit of an edge finds its way into the sound, especially because Franceschi's higher notes still get a bit iffy as the show moves on and he increasingly opts to show off a gravely roar that has a delicious punch to it.

Between songs, Franceschi delivers the usual tropes - "how do you say thanks in Danish?" etc. - with a warm and seemingly genuine charisma that smoothes over their genericness, and there's lots to like about how the band keeps the crowd engaged constantly. "Liquid Confidence" capably shows that they can be compelling even in moments when they are essentially 'Westlife with guitars' and at the other end of the spectrum, "Bite My Tongue" comes across awesomely with Franceschi giving his own, thick version of the growls Oli Sykes do on the song's recorded version. It's tight and it rounds off a rock solid performance when the band treats the encore routine with down-to-earth dismissal and eventually sends us off with the super catchy "Lived A Lie", leaving us with a promise to come back in less than the four years it took them this time - a promise one can only hope is kept.

8

Setlist:

  • Too Young To Feel This Old
  • Fresh Start Fever
  • Stay With Me
  • The Swarm
  • Little Death
  • Loverboy
  • Forgive And Forget
  • Room To Breathe
  • Underdog
  • Liquid Confidence
  • Cold Night
  • Wild Ones

Encore

  • Reckless
  • Bite My Tongue
  • Lived A Lie

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