Download 2012: You Me At Six

June 17, 2012 7:32 pm


You Me At Six are very much a rock band. Yes, they are a commercial success, and yes, they play pop-rock, but notice a keyword in that sentence: rock. Unfortunately for them, the Download masses don’t think so. A sparse crowd is in attendance for their second stage headline slot, made up of two types of people. The first are the diehard, teenage fans donning animal onesies. The second are the brute metalheads who have given up on finding a decent space to watch mainstage headliners (and all-around metal giants) Metallica. With a fanbase as expansive as theirs, those at the back of that crowd are going to get an earful of what they don’t want to hear.

When the Surrey quintet take to the stage, however, they are on top form. Playing a handful of tracks from last year’s chart-soaring album ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, this is a performance that is difficult to fault. It’s a shame that tonight’s audience remain static for the bulk of this 60-minute jaunt – something that frontman Josh Franceschi doesn’t fail to notice. “Why do I feel like I’m at a JLS concert?!” he asks in a venomous tone. Given the high amount of roaring youngsters about, though, he can’t be blamed for asking that question.

Despite the thin reaction, they’ve come armed for the billing. The stage is filled with lights, pyrotechnics and steam jets that are nothing short of a visual phenomenon. Given the time, effort and (whisper it) budget, there’s no reason why they couldn’t compete with tonight’s mainstage headliners when it comes to putting on a show. They simply need to widen their appeal, but given that this is Download – a haven for the ‘metal or die!’ brigade – there’s little chance of that happening tonight.

That is until closer ‘Bite My Tongue’ commences, sending everything into overdrive. With Bring Me The Horizon vocalist Oli Sykes joining them to perform this track at the highest possible standard, You Me At Six prove that they know how to be heavy when it matters. They prove that they are a band on the up. They prove that this is an event not to be missed. These are the wise reasons behind this booking, regardless of what the average Download-goer thinks.

Rating: 4/5

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