WHILE SHE SLEEPS BRINGS TOP 10 ALBUM 'YOU ARE WE' TO OXFORD'S O2 ACADEMY 2
While She Sleeps are riding the wave of their independently released new album, ‘You are We’ which has gained both critical and commercial success, charting at Number 8 in album sales. The set, decorated by long hanging light bulbs and a white Background depicting the name of the album indicated from the outset how this band had progressed. The gig felt like a celebration of what the band has achieved since leaving their record label and producing the best album of their career to date and indeed one of the most crushing and inspiring albums released in the scene in recent times.
The opener, title track ‘You Are We’ transformed the crowd into a moshpit engulfing almost all the already limited floor space. The Hard-hitting anthem gave Lead vocalist Loz Taylor an early chance to interact with the surging crowd, marauding the small stage a man possessed. ‘I Hope Your God can save you, because your devil leads the way’, the lyrics integral to one of the best breakdowns on the album, led to bedlam with the floor of the venue physically shaking. This was, however, the first of many times it felt as if the band would explode with the extraordinary power they possess in their arsenal. ‘Civil Isolation’ followed, with the lyric ‘I’m running on empty’ bellowing around the venue. The 5 on stage were nowhere near empty in terms of sheer energy as ‘Seven Hills’ from 2013’s This is the Six album led into ‘Brainwashed’, which has always been a crowd favourite and stand out anthem from the 2015 record which shares its name.
WE’RE BEING BRAINWASHED screamed the crowd back at the stage, matching the passion of the band. The calmer starting ‘Empire of Silence’ gave the chance for the crowd the sing back one of the catchiest choruses on the new album, ‘We’re building walls where there should have been bridges’, highlighting both the vocal talent of Loz and the musicality of the band, before a typically cruising breakdown ensured normal service in the mosh pits quickly resumed. ‘New World Torture’ , ‘Wide Awake’ and ‘Our Legacy’ followed, following the theme of old and new songs having prominence in the setlist.
New Song, ‘Feel’ ignited the crowd once again, with bassist Aaran Mckenzie leaping into the middle of a swarming circle pit to the delight of those amassed. ‘This is the Six’ was the prelude to an impassioned Loz Taylor demanding people onto the shoulders of others for one of the lead singles from the new album, ‘Silence Speaks’, which features Bring me the Horizons Oli Sykes on record. The song was as mesmerising live as it is on the album, with the highlight coming from the rampaging presence of the vocalist to allow the crowd to bellow out the lines ‘ I Think the Silence Volumes’ louder than any other part of the set. The end of Silence Speaks gave way to the encore, with the band off stage for enough time for the crowd to regain their composure before the last two belting tracks, ‘Four Walls’ taken from the album Brainwashed, and single Hurricane. Both tracks featured numerous crowd surfers and people on shoulders with Loz at one point screaming into the face of one devoted fan. The gig was wrapped up in the suitable manner of a crowd surf from Loz, encapsulating an extraordinary performance which further backed up the brilliance of their new record.
While She Sleeps have always been a raucous live band, however it now feels as if all the shackles have been released since becoming an independent force, as a sense of renewed vigour is clear for everyone to see. The band is currently one of the most significant in the country and show no sign of slowing down.
WHILE SHE SLEEPS UK TOUR CONTINUES:
APRIL 28 - THE FLEECE - BRISTOL, UK
APRIL 29 - MANCHESTER ACADEMY - MANCHESTER, UK
MAY 01 - THE ACADEMY - DUBLIN, IRELAND
MAY 02 - OH YEA CENTRE - BELFAST, UK
MAY 03 - ARTS CLUB - LIVERPOOL, UK
MAY 05 - THE SUGARCLUB - STROKE-ON-TRENT, UK
MAY 06 - THE WATERFRONT - NORWICH, UK
MAY 08 - RIVERSIDE - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UK
MAY 09 - THE GARAGE - GLASGOW, UK
MAY 10 - RESCUE ROOMS - NOTTINGHAM, UK
MAY 12 - ASYLUM - BIRMINGHAM, UK
MAY 13 - STYLUS - LEEDS, UK
JUNE 01 - GLOBE - CARDIFF, UK
JUNE 02 - THE HUB - PLYMOUTH, UK
JUNE 16 - BOOKING HALL - DOVER, UK