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Live Review: You Me At Six, Forever The Sickest Kids and We The Kings - O2 Brixton Academy, London - 20.3.2010

We are You Me At Six and you can’t hold us down” announces Josh Franceschi defiantly from his perch on Brixton Academy’s seemingly never ending stage. On tonight’s performance, few would have grounds to doubt him. It has been a whirlwind couple of years for the Surrey quintet that has brought them to this the final date on their sold-out tour. From their debut appearance on the Warped Tour, to seeing sophomore album ('Hold Me Down') reach number 5 in the UK album charts and supporting all conquering Paramore on their recent visit to our shores, You Me At Six have shot to fame quicker than even the most ardent fan could have expected.

First up are Florida 4-piece We The Kings who rouse attention briefly with their delightfully catchy tale of young love ‘Secret Valentine’. ‘Stay Young’ and 'Check Yes Juliet' are well received by the hoards of teenage girls pressed upon the barrier, making for a pleasant if slightly laboured set.

There is an expectant buzz in the air when Forever The Sickest Kids enter the slowly filling room. The Texans provoke a jolly little sing along with ‘She’s A Lady’ and seem to gather fans after every song, leaving the stage to a rapturous applause.

If anyone expected the 5000 capacity venue was too big a step for Franceschi and company, they couldn’t have been more wrong. From the moment the distinctive drums of ‘Safer To Hate Her’ invade the ears of the adolescent crowd, carnage ensues. A fan favourite, it manages to create driving rock with a devilish pop twist, something that sets them apart from their peers. ‘The Truth is a Terrible Thing’ delivers a slice of pure pop-punk optimism, a sentiment that is roared back at the stage by the now delirious masses.

Appearances by The Blackout’s Sean Smith and Gavin Butler make for a brilliant recital of ‘The Consequence’, which serves to show You Me At Six’s edgier side, a scope which many bands more established than themselves would kill for. Whilst ‘Always Attract’ is the sort of song that sounds tame on record, but rousing, uplifting vocals from Elissa Franceschi make for a beautiful performance, that leaves the hairs on the back of ones neck pointing skyward.

We The Kings front man Travis Clark lends his support to shamefully seductive ‘Save It For The Bedroom’ and at the request of Franceschi, bodies converge upon the stage, much to the annoyance of the burly security guards, whose only real role tonight has been rescuing distressed teenage girls from the crowd. Closer ‘Underdog’ is an explosive end to the night, one which consists of a blur of singing, dancing motion, to the obvious delight of band.

What is clear from tonight is that You Me At Six are growing at a rate neither they or anyone else could have possibly expected. With another stint on the Warped Tour to come, it would appear that no one is going to hold them down. First Brixton, and then the world.

Words by Liam McGarry

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