5pm on a Tuesday afternoon and a sea of blankets, sleeping bags and hoodies lines the street outside the Barrowland Ballroom.
The girls at the front of the queue tell me they’ve been sat there, in the freezing ‘November in Scotland’ weather, for around 10 hours. Dedication.
You Me At Six have been around for more than ten years, and have an ever growing fan base – including the ones that have been around since day one, and have grown up alongside the band and their music.
They’ve embarked on a massive tour across the UK, playing double dates in each city. The first night, their new set for the new album, VI, that was released earlier this year. The second night, an anniversary show for their debut album, Take Off Your Colours’, tenth ‘birthday.’
We’re ushered inside by Max who was accompanied by the band’s tour manager, and up to the dressing room. It’s been a long day of press, radio performances and soundchecks but Max is still keen to have a chat.
I was particuuuuularly excited to be sat in a backstage dressing room at the Barrowland, not only because it’s a “backstage dressing room at the Barrowland” and 140000 of my favourite artists have probably stood in that room before me, but also because of a wee nugget of information I learned from a Vic Galloway documentary; all around the room there are “Barrowland Stars” (like the ones on the ceiling in the actual venue), and apparently David Bowie pinched one ‘back in the day,’ and it was one of his most prized possessions.
With support from the Marmozets and The Xcerts, night one was off to a flying start. I’ll not talk through every song (just my favourites) cos the tour is still on going as I’m writing this and #spoilers, but I’ll add the full set list to the bottom… so if you don’t wanna know, don’t scroll all the way!
Max, Dan, Josh, Matt and Chris took to the stage to the classic Glaswegian “here we, here we…” chant, and kicked off an electric night with one of the current singles, Fast Forward, complete with my favourite, punchy lyric, “and I might be down, but I’m not fxcking out,” which, going by the initial reaction of the crowd, seems to be a favourite of many. This was swiftly followed by 2014’s Lived A Lie, which saw the crowd screech every single word back to lead singer Josh the whole way through.
“Don’t hold your breath I’m not losing sleep over you, I’m Mr Reckless with a capital R.” – the third song of the night from 2011’s Sinners Never Sleep album had the place in an uproar, and the pace didn’t seem to slow down all night.
Save it For the Bedroom, an obvious favourite, led to Josh having to apologise to security in advance for the fact he was about to encourage the whole room to crowd surf… and what Josh says, goes, apparently! I’ve never seen so many shoes in the air!
Cold Night, Take on the World and Give were the ultimate set highlights for me – Take on the World being one of my very favourite songs ever… the place was lit purely by the crowds’ phone lights, and this photo surfaced online afterwards; I love it!
(pic by Thomas Lisle Coe-Brooker)
The first encore of their double header at the Barrowland Ballroom came round all too quickly, even though the band had been on stage for almost 90 minutes, and, finishing the show with Underdog made sure everyone bounced their way out of the venue on a high; totally set and ready for night two.
Take Off Your Colours. Round Two.
The atmosphere in the room was incredible, and we’d literally walked into the venue and straight into four separate people that we knew. We made our way to the bar, for the obligatory ‘gig pint,’ ran into yet more people who were all here to re-live the last ten years of You Me At Six, and, without even really having to try, made our way to the middle of the crowd… because come on, you can’t pretend you’re 14 all over again from the back of the venue, can you?
The Truth Is A Terrible Thing kicks off the album, so, obviously, kicked off the TOYC show, and the set list went in order from there. By the time they reached Call That A Comeback, (the third track), the crowd had bounced around and moved so much, it was a miracle that we were still stood together, but everyone was having the time of their lives.
Save It For The Bedroom, for the second night in a row, saw Josh pre-warn/apologise to security, and for the second night in a row, there were many shoes in the air and bodies being launched towards the stage.
(pic by Hannah Allison)
Always Attract brought many phone lights (and tears) across the room – as expected – and I’m not sure about anyone else, but I, for one, was really grateful for getting to experience that particular song live.
Playing through the rest of the album, and leaving the stage after The Rumour, the band came back for a massive eight song encore, which included lots of fan favourites, like Finders Keepers and Kiss & Tell.
You Me At Six played two sold out nights in the Barrowland Ballroom. Even though Josh was particularly ill. You could tell by his face at certain points that he was uncomfortable, however, had he not mentioned it, no-one would have known. Two flawless nights (although the band said on stage that they were convinced otherwise), two different set lists and two ecstatically pleased crowds.
Ten stars however.
Ten Barrowland Stars.
Night One Setlist:
Lived A Lie
Stay With Me
Take on the World
Save It For the Bedroom
Bite My Tongue
Room To Breathe
No-One Does it Better
Straight to My Head
Night Two Setlist: