While She Sleeps

While She Sleeps – The Globe, Cardiff, UK (1st June 2017)

The intimate surroundings of The Globe in Cardiff  – a capacity of only 350 people – was the setting for a very special gig with the Sheffield based, metal-core band While She Sleeps

The tour showcased their 3rd album ‘You Are We’, an album which was independently funded by the fans. The gig in turn was a ‘thank you’ to the fans for allowing them to create music without the restraints of the music industry.

While She Sleeps were supported by local Welsh boys, When We Were Wolves,  who were clearly humbled to be able to open the nights proceedings. Through incredible, unified head banging and impressive showmanship the guys told the crowd how they were there for ‘one reason and one reason only,’ and that was because they ‘love music’ and it was ‘such an honour to support a band who has inspired us so much.’ Commanding their home crowd like headliners themselves they did a great job at getting the crowd going.

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After the second support act, The Family, the crowd was buzzing and already sweating in the airless venue. The lights dimmed and slow, steady beats let us know that the main act was coming. The Spanish sounding guitars that begin the title track of their album of the same name — You Are We — began and the audience started to push back and out, creating a mosh pit which stayed in place for the rest of the show.

Like a king overlooking his empire, lead singer Loz (Lawrence Taylor) tells his fans that ‘they’ve got nothing to lose.’ He explains that it’s a safe space, for men and women to go mad, throw punches, scream and forget who they are. Sweaty, exhausted guys stumble to the back of the room for air, attempting to catch their breath as one song ends… but are throwing themselves back into the mosh pit moments later as another song begins in a slow, dramatic manner. Each song building to a crescendo of screaming, fast drum beats and riffs.

The loyalty of While She Sleeps fans is like no other, as is the loyalty of the band to its fans. The trust the band puts in their audience is what allowed them to create this third album, and as the crowd watch the band go wild against a white backdrop depicting the While She Sleeps logo and the words ‘You Are We’, you really understand that the fans are as much a part of the band as the actual members, and the guys are not afraid to affirm this. 

Loyal fans repeat back the lyrics to each and every song. No longer do they appear as kings overlooking an empire, but instead they are comrades to those in the room. Throughout the set Loz often beckons the audience closer with one hand and offers his microphone in another, giving multiple fans a chance to sing. The band continue to smash down the walls of separation between music and listener, allowing everyone — both band and crowd — to let lose via explosive drums and heavy riffs in songs like Brainwashed and Silence Speaks. 

The band close with Hurricane, a song that starts with melodic riffs and harmonic singing only to be clashed with fast drumming and endless riffs. The crowd descends into madness as the mosh pits grow and people throw themselves around. Loz too throws himself around, from speaker to speaker and into the crowd he is held up by a sea of grabbing hands. The climax of the show happens as Loz makes his way up to the balcony of The Globe and singing the final lyrics of Hurricane ‘falling down this well now, I’m reaching but it’s too high’ he falls backwards into the crowd. The unspoken connection in the room means he is caught effortlessly and surfed back to the front of the stage.

Through this show and the rest of the tour it shows unity, support and togetherness, all without the hindrance of a major record company ‘pulling the strings’.

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