Gig Review: You Me At Six at Portsmouth Guildhall

Gig Review: You Me At Six at Portsmouth Guildhall

After almost 20 years together as a band, You Me At Six announced that they would be splitting up next year and so I had to make sure I managed to see them before they called it time.  I don’t often find myself out on a Sunday evening but tonight was a special occasion as the band were bringing their 8-date tour celebrating 10 years of the album ‘Cavalier Youth’ to a close at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Unfortunately as there was a bit of a miscommunication with the door times, I missed the first couple of songs of the first support band ‘Call Me Amour’. However I did manage to catch the rest of their set which was great. They have a very unique, dark electronic sound and great stage presence. These were a band I hadn’t heard of before but will be trying to catch them again properly.

The next band on the line up were the amazing Deaf Havana, who are a band I have loved for a long time but have not had a chance to see them live before. Opening with ‘Trigger’, James’ voice hits hard and has such a natural rasp and emotion, that just is perfectly suited for their music.

Over a decade of being a band and some line up changes, Deaf Havana are still an incredibly tight act with brothers James and Matt leading front and centre and backed by their talented touring band.

Playing a mix of classics and ending on my favourite ‘Fever’, they have proven again how important they still are in this scene and can tell how much this means to James and Matt. Being able to showcase their music to dedicated fans and tour with their friends You Me At Six.

You Me At Six are a band that I have grown up with since first hearing Save It for the Bedroom and instantly fell in love with them. Having seen their direction change with each album they release; I was excited to see them perform some of those songs live. I first saw them play live as a support band for New Found Glory at the Wedgewood Rooms so to see them on their own tour years later, is a dream.

Opening with two tracks off the Cavalier Youth album, an extended version ‘Room to Breathe’ and ‘Fresh Start Fever’, you can see why they have been around for so long and how they have perfected their stage presence with Josh dancing, jumping, lunging across the stage with so much energy, you’d almost forget that this is the last date of their tour.

Slowing it down in the middle section of the show, the lights turned a more ethereal white, the band grouped together in the centre of the stage to play acoustic versions of the beautiful ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Be Who You Are’ before the highly emotional ‘Take On The World’.

Turning all the lights out and asking the crowd to use their phone torches to light up the stage, this was such a beautiful moment and for such a big venue, created such an intimate moment.

After the last few songs of their set, the band finished off with ‘Beautiful Way’ which was such a great way to round off the night. Although they are going to be splitting up next year, they will still remain one of my favourite bands and this would be a gig I am going to remember for a long time.

Words and Photos – Hannah Kenyon


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