Oct 11, 2013 - The Summit Music Hall
Door Time: 7:00 PM

Day: Friday, October 11, 2013
Door Time: 7:00 PM
Age: All Ages
Advance Ticket Price: $15
Day Of Show Price: $17
Buy Tickets

A little more than one year after the release of the group’s debut album, Take Off Your Colours – a collection that propelled its creators into the UK Top 30 (number 25) and onto concert stages the world over – England’s You Me At Six return with Hold Me Down, their second full-length LP.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the music we’ve recorded,” says Josh Franceschi, the band’s frontman. “We wanted to strike while the iron was hot. Obviously over the past 18 months or so we’ve had some momentum behind us, and we wanted to capitalize on that, to build on it. A lot of bands take two years off [between albums], but what the hell is the use of that?”

The momentum of which Franceschi speaks rose to a boil with the release of Take Off Your Colours, unveiled to the public in the autumn of 2008. But even prior to the release of this debut set, these Surrey boys had already begun to make waves. The group had supported Angels And Airwaves (the outfit formed by Blink 182 mainman Tom DeLonge) at London’s now demolished Astoria theatre. Without a debut album to their name, the young group also toured with Charlie Simpson’s Fightstar and American pop-punkers New Found Glory, to name but two.

Once Take Off Your Colours was finally released its creators slid further through the gears. First of all, they were able to sell-out Westminster’s 2,000 capacity Astoria theatre under their own steam. As if to prove this was no fluke, they then bettered this achievement with a sold-out headline performance at the 3,200 capacity Roundhouse in London’s famous Camden Town. YMAS also toured Europe under the wing of American teen idols Fall Out Boy and, separately, Paramore. In the United Kingdom YMAS appeared as part of the Download, T In The Park and Give It A Name Festivals; while in the United States and Canada the quintet toured as part of the Vans Warped Tour package and subsequently as one of the five groups that made up Alternative Press magazine’s AP Fall Ball Tour.

You Me At Six also accompanied Paramore on last year's European winter arena tour, which visited such venues as the world famous Wembley Arena, among others.

“It really has been an amazing time,” says Franceschi. “One minute we’re practicing in our rehearsal place in Leatherhead, and the next minute we’re onstage in Salt Lake City or somewhere. But nothing will sharpen a band up more than touring and working together. You can practice all you like, but there’s no substitute for real experience… of getting your hands dirty.”

Recorded before the clocks called time on British Summer Time – and, as with its predecessor, produced by John Mitchell and Matt O’Grady - Hold Me Down is the sound of a band who are proud to have learned their trade the old-fashioned way – with long haul travel in diesel vans and overcrowded buses; cheap food eaten at lonely hours and two-or-three-to-a-room in budget motels on the outskirts of sketchy cities. The band’s willingness to put in a shift shouldn’t be a surprise. Even in their earliest incarnation the members of You Me At Six – at the time aged no more than 15 - were willing to transport themselves and their instruments halfway across the UK on Happy Shopper buses and Network Rail in order to play a show they’d arranged with someone on MySpace.

But at some point between the recording of their first album and the release of their second, You Me At Six have gone from a hobby to vocation. And it shows.

“I know I’m expected to say this, but I can’t believe how strong Hold Me Down is,” says Franceschi. How so? “The fact that we play so much better now is obviously a result of the sheer amount of touring we’ve done. Such a heavy workload means that we’ve got to know each other really well, which infuses the music. If you’re all sharing the lounge of a tour bus on the kind of drives that go on all night – well, let’s say that you make friends with those people, or you get out. And I mean friends. When you’re out in the American Midwest for weeks on end, or in a van riding through the Canadian Rockies, there’s nowhere you can escape to.”

Both in terms of musical finesse and lyrical moxie, Hold Me Down is a stellar stride forward for You Me At Six. The words that can be seen shining back from songs such as Underdog – the verse to which warns of a feeling “that comes and goes like the strength in your bones”, but “to put your mind at rest/I’ll never let the two of us be friends.” Or in Contagious Chemistry where Josh Franceschi warns his “Dearest Enemy,” to, please, never “smother me/I swear that I need some room to breathe/ what with you all up, down and all over me/you’re not a name just a face/it’s contagious.”

To go with such foreboding and resolute sentiments, Hold Me Down is also fortified by the marriage of both the blueprints of classic songwriting – any of these 12 compositions could be distilled into its purest form of one acoustic guitar and one singing voice – with a band who whip and lash like a bed full of firecrackers. Noisy when they choose to be, tender when the occasion demands, usually infectious, You Me At Six are a surplus of energy and motion. Their music is a collection of songs in the key of life.

“Bands these days come and go so quickly,” says Josh Franceschi. “It’s terrifying. But we don’t want to be like that. We want to last, and I believe that we will last, and that we have what it takes. I think listeners will be surprised by Hold Me Down. Some of the kinds of preconceptions some people have about what we’re really about are wide off the mark, and I’m looking forward to putting that right. How are we going to do that? We’re going to do it by working hard: by getting into people’s faces and not going away.”

Cute Is What We Aim For
Cute Is What We Aim ForPop music from NY


Dinosaur Pile Up
Dinosaur Pile Up 
Dinosaur Pile-Up’s Matt Bigland knew exactly where he was heading when he started the Britrock outfit’s second album. “I wanted this album to make you feel something,” he says, “good, bad, whatever. I wanted it to drag whatever was inside of me kicking and screaming and dump it on the tape, so that whoever’s listening to it can feel the same. I wanted this album to kick you in the face.”
Impressive talk. But as is suggested in the record’s title, ‘Nature Nurture’, sometimes the forces around you can have ideas of their own, and the journey will take you to places you had barely imagined. To recap, Dinosaur Pile-Up broke out of the fervent Leeds rock scene at the end of last decade, their debut album ‘Growing Pains’ inviting favourable comparisons to the cream of 90s US college rock, and touring with likes of Pixies, Feeder, Cage The Elephant and Twin Atlantic. They quickly became one of the hottest-tipped of a new generation of UK rock acts, and the latest incumbent of the ‘grunge revival’ at the hands of a media hungry for one. Bigland had written and recorded ‘Growing Pains’ himself, but touring had turned the outfit into a ‘proper’ band, albeit one with something of a revolving door policy.
And after two years in the road in support of ‘Growing Pains’ that door spun faster on Matt than ever before, with drummer Mike Sheils and bassist Johnny Seymour deciding to leave the band within days of each other, mere days before sessions were due to start.
“It did feel like a weird break-up,” he remembers, “because with Mike especially, it wasn’t like he did anything wrong. Being in band is hard, I understood that. For a while after I was so down, but it was either I did the record on my own or I didn’t do the record. And I had to do the record. So I just went and did it.”
After an intense six-weeks relearning all the other instruments, the now reluctant polymath went into Rockfield Studio in Monmouth and the Courtyard in Oxford with producer Ian Davenport (Band Of Skulls, The Duke Spirit) to do something he had already done in an entirely new way. Matt learned that “Ian likes to feel the music, which is quite an interesting point of view. I always just think, ‘well how does it sound’ whereas he’s like ‘how does that make you feel when you’re playing it, and if it doesn’t make you feel something then you should probably change it’.”
An intense period, of both creativity and self-discovery led eventually to ‘Nature Nurture’, a record that builds on the crisp, euphoric power-pop of ‘Growing Pains’, but paints it in broader colours and a wider emotional range, from the brazen Main Stage pop bluster of lead single ‘Arizona Waiting’, through the Kinks-infused psyche of ‘Summer Girl’, to the robotic crunch of ‘White T-Shirt And Jeans’. While retaining what made the rock world fall for them in the first place, it revels in the rich history of British pop from the sixties and seventies.
As proud as he was of ‘Growing Pains’, the clue was maybe in the title, and this is the realisation of a grander vision. “This time, I saw everything on a bigger scale. I wanted people to connect with these songs. I didn’t see crowds of kids in shitty basement clubs listening to this album. I saw thousands of kids all losing their shit at the main stage of some festival or something, all feeling the same thing at once.”
And that title? “It felt like a nice place to take it from ‘Growing Pains’ and I like the fact that it’s a question of, ‘is this how it’s meant to be? Or do you try and change it because that’s how you think it should be?’ For some reason it seemed to fit my situation where I always end up doing stuff on my own. Should I be trying to change something, or is that just what I’m meant to be?”
Getting the record made certainly forced Matt to confront a couple of demons. The title track, he says, was in a roundabout way inspired by Marlon Brando’s character in Apocalypse Now. As he explains: “He’s gone from the height of this controlled, tamed way of being, to the most far-out, bare human instinct he can find. He’s gotten to grips with weird character that was under everything else, and he was that person all along – it was just hidden under all these layers. That’s feels relevant to what this album is about for me.”
“I suppose that’s what the album’s about, being that person that’s under all that other crap. I feel like people are always living in these boxes that they think they should be, when they’re not really like that at all.”
So this record’s unlikely gestation just goes to underline the lessons in that journey, and in the contradiction of its title. At the end, there is the revelation that what you find within yourself is probably going to be okay.
Dinosaur Pile-Up now emerge with one of the brightest, most bruising rock records of 2013. To give the story an extra sweet twist in the tail, actually hearing the record made Mike rethink things once again and is now back, fully paid-up and more committed than ever. After a period of adversity, Dinosaur Pile-Up are a team once again facing a brighter tomorrow. “Making the album, things felt very on the edge,” nods Matt, “but that only had the effect of making the songs come out more real, and alive. It’s a REAL guitar record, I couldn’t be more proud of it.” 
Get ready to be kicked in the face all over again.