As the fading summer gives way to a chilly and overcast autumn, one of the best things to warm you up is a good old fashioned rock concert. The Guildhall was host to a night of hot British talent in the form of young indie-rock band VANT, and the headliners, You Me At Six.
As a crowd built up early on, VANT arrived on stage warming the audience with their first couple of songs, ’The Answer’ and ‘Welcome to the Wonderful World of Berners Bee’. As lead singer Mattie Vant suddenly addresses the crowd stating, “to all those over 30, thanks for fucking up our future” followed by much cheering, the band jump right into playing, ‘Birth Certificate’; a song with a very relevant subject for todays times, touching upon immigration. Their set was predominantly the bands’ political views on the world voiced out in their lyrics. Another handful of songs including ‘Parasite’ and ‘Time & Money’ were played, following on the political statements with the addition of “There’s a hole in my Ozone, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in my Ozone, dear Liza a hole.” Slightly different to the version we all know. VANT ended their set with two great songs, bringing a bit of humour in with ‘Fly-by Alien’ and finishing with ‘Do You Know Me?’.
You Me At Six arrived for their first Southampton show in many years and, going by the sold-out show, their large southern following still remained in force. They started off slow with ‘When We Were Younger’ from their 2011 album, ‘Sinners Never Sleep’. Franceschis’s soft, low vocals highlighted beautifully with the almost continuous growing intensity of the music and prominent drum beat, and finishing nicely with higher and stronger vocals amongst the peak of the musical build up, following on perfectly to the incredibly popular ‘Bite My Tongue’ from that same album.
The set was a mixture of songs from, ‘Hold You Down’ (2010) ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ and ‘Cavalier Youth’ (2014). Some of the most popular songs throughout the set included ‘Loverboy’, ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Reckless’ and ‘Underdog’. In between the assortment of older songs was the latest release of the bands’ new album. The reception to ‘Plus One’ was probably more than what the band could have hoped for. The new sound they’re going for clearly works and fans, new and old, are very much on board with it.
At one point Franceshi addressed the crowd with an interesting speech. Getting a little serious for a few mintues, he brings up the topic of “a man that doesn’t know what he’s talking about, saying homophobia and racism are okay”… No need to guess who that is. “He goes by the name of Donald Trump.” Cue an incredibly loud cheer of agreement from the crowd. He went on to instruct the crowd to “look back out of the doors on to the street, and wave to the outside world… and now raise your middle fingers up to all the shit going on in your life outside these walls – none of it comes in here.”
You Me At Six finally finished their set with ‘Too Young to Feel This Old’, keeping the fans on a high after their great performance of ‘Underdog’ of which the atmosphere was truly electric – the type of performance to give you goosebumps. The band went off stage before aggressive chants from the crowd enticed them back out for a 3-song encore. Starting with ‘No One Does It Better’ to which Franceshi dedicated to his parents who were in the audience, and followed by ‘Room To Breathe’, the band finished with their leading song from their new album. ‘Night People’ is certainly heavier than their previous work. It’s loud, catchy and full of energy. Everyone was on their feet, hands punching the air. A great end to an excellent night of British rock music. You Me At Six are musicians at the top of the class. They’re great showmans and seem to be very down-to-Earth people, connecting with their audience well.