Singer Josh is happy to take lead in the battle against ticket touts

You Me at Six, with Josh Franceshi second from left

You Me at Six, with Josh Franceshi second from left

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You Me At Six, The Dome, Doncaster, Friday, April 7, {http://youmeatsix.co.uk/#home|You Me At Six|click here}

Ticket touts make Josh Franceschi’s skin crawl – which is why he is happy to lead the fight against them.

The You Me At Six frontman is proud to stand up and be counted – and is determined to change things.

It is 13 years since a teenage Josh formed the rock group with friends Max Helyer, Chris Miller, Matt Barnes and, later, Dan Flint, and 10 years since the Surrey five-piece’s debut album, Take Off Your Colours.

Another four records have followed, including 2014’s number one smash Cavalier Youth, and their latest, Night People.

The release of Night People helped get 2017 off to a flying start for the band.

It reached number three on its release in January, while You Me at Six have also become the first band to land 15 concurrent Radio 1 A-list records in a row.

And Josh is enjoying their current UK tour promoting the album, which kicked off in Newcastle on Monday and arrives at The Dome in Doncaster tomorrow, Friday, April 7.

However, he admits he is still riled by ticket touts, who use computer programs to mine for tickets before immediately posting them online at several times the face value.

“They say on average it’s about 30 per cent of the venue,” he says. “So if you’re playing a stadium and it’s 15,000-20,000 tickets, then you notice that. It’s a big gap in the arena, you look around and think ‘that’s a lot of empty seats’. It kills the artist, it affects their performance.”

But it is not just the impact on artists the 26-year-old is concerned about, but what it means for fans.

He first spoke up last year, when a You Me At Six gig at the 500-capacity London venue, sold out immediately.

A “buzzing” Franchesci rushed to see what fans were saying online, and hit out at touts on Twitter.

“The fans seemed really annoyed and I always position our band based on the read I get from them,” he says. “I take a lot of pride in them and I take them very seriously, sometimes a bit too seriously and I get caught with my pants down.”

His tweet was spotted by Conservative MP Nigel Adams and industry body, FanFair Alliance.

Soon, he was speaking in front of MPs and has continued to ensure the topic is given column inches. Publicity has been helped by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Adele and Stormzy teaming up with face value ticket exchange platform Twickets for recent tours, after disgruntled fans directed anger toward the artists.

However, that partnership alone is not enough, Josh argues.

“It’s all very good them putting their name on Twickets, but what would be really powerful is if they all turn around and go ‘we want to talk to MPs’, he says.

“British music is one of Britain’s best exports, so if the big artists go to MPs and say ‘here’s a deal for you, you either stop this happening or we’re not going to play live shows in this country any more’, it would be a pretty powerful thing.

“I think the power is in the artists’ hands and I think the power is in the fans’ hands.

“It’s about being united.”

Musicians on strike might sound unlikely – and it might not be necessary. A possible breakthrough came in March, when Sheeran lent his support to a guide for fans, which advises avoiding touts and secondary websites.

The following day his manager appeared in front of MPs at a select committee hearing.

Josh says: “When history looks back, when change is made, they will probably celebrate the people who were trying to do something.

“People will remember Josh from You Me At Six was trying to do something positive for fans of live music, and I want to be able to turn around to new bands that come through and say ‘at least I gave it a go’.”

Tickets for You Me at Six’s Doncaster gig are on sale now from www.dclt.co.uk