Live Review: While She Sleeps - O2 Academy 2, Oxford 27/05/2017

Off the back of their crowd funded album “You Are We” While She Sleeps headed out on a two-month tour with indie rockers Fizzy Blood and Aussie Metallers In Hearts Wake. We caught them at a sold-out show at O2 Academy Oxford.
Fizzy Blood are definitely the odd ones out on the bill with both In Hearts Wake and While She Sleeps being solidly placed in the metalcore genre. Despite their best efforts, the Leeds based 5-piece struggle to get a positive reaction from onlookers with the best part of the crowd stood with arms folded, it's more than apparent that tonight is not the night for indie rock.

Fizzy Blood - O2 Academy - Oxford - 27/04/17

The venue if filled with cheers and applause however when the Byron Bay boys hit the stage. Kicking off with the heavy hitting 'Refuge' goes down an absolute storm and the crowd is instantly brought to life. The set list is an absolute on slaught of heavy hitting bangers, finishing up with 'Earthwalker' which sees the entire venue shouting out every lyric in unison with Jake.

In Hearts Wake - O2 Academy - Oxford - 27/04/17

The Music played between In Hearts Wake finishing their set and While She Sleeps starting theirs can no longer be heard over the “While She Sleeps” chants from the eagerly waiting fans. The band make their way on to stage one by one with Loz finally making his way to the mic, and instantly kicking in to the title track of their newest album 'You Are We' this causes a circle pit to open up which engulfs the best part of the crowd dead centre.

While She Sleeps - O2 Academy - Oxford - 27/04/17

Loz’s vocals sound just as good as they do on the album if not better and with fans singing along with the gang chants it’s hard to see why WSS aren’t as recognised as some of their counter parts in this genre. Playing 7 of the 11 tracks from the new album and a few old favourites including 'Four Walls' and 'This Is The Six' the fans make it very clear that While She Sleeps have been sorely missed. Taking every chance to interact with the fans, be it Loz and his crowd surfing or Aaran playing in the middle of a mammoth circle pit clearly the band feels the same.

Braving the move of releasing 'You Are We' purely funded by fans was a bold move, but after seeing fans follow every instruction from opening up pits, crowd surfing and to get as many people up on someone else’s shoulders it is plain to see that While She Sleeps don’t have fans, they have an army.

Words and Photography by Anthony Hunt