Live Review: While She Sleeps, Conterfeit & Blood Youth - O2 Academy, Bristol 05/02/2018

After touring Europe with Architects and playing a sold out Ally Pally show along the way, While She Sleeps hit the road on their own headline tour. Stopping off in Bristol on the first date, we headed down to see the action unfold.

Opening up the tour, Blood Youth, kick off with a banger of a set, calling for circle pits left right and centre. Although they aren’t the headline act, they pull off a set close to being worthy of one, only looking a tad small on such a large stage, maybe in a few years? Ending their set with the two biggest tracks they’ve released, Closure and Reasons To Stay, many members of the crowd are singing along to the catchy chorus while headbanging to the racous riffs.

Blood Youth - O2 Academy Bristol - 05.02.18

Next up, Counterfeit, take the stage with confidence and break into opening track, As Yet Untitled, packing a punch showing they know the importance of a good riff. Their stage presence is like no other, all over the place in style with complete composure, is there anything they can’t do? From previous Counterfeit gigs we know for sure that they don’t like a barrier, made perfectly clear as Jamie Campbell Bower made his way onto the barrier during the 3rd song and later on in the set breaking the barrier rules again, making his way to the sound desk to finish the end of their set with heavy hitting track, Enough. Campbell Bowers vocals are perfectly raw, the emotion is there in every single word throughout the set, and Counterfeit are making massive waves in a massive scene. It won’t be long before they’re playing these venues themselves.

Counterfeit - O2 Academy Bristol - 05.02.18

The lights go dark, strobes flash, You Are We rings in the background, it’s time for While She Sleeps to take the roof off the venue. Bringing fire to the set from the off, the crowd are off their feet in an instant, headbanging and moshing breaks out like we’ve never seen at the O2. There is no sense that While She Sleeps are slowing down at all as they power through a run of older tracks including crowd favourite, Brainwashed. Lead singer, Loz Taylor’s voice echoes throughout the venue with the crowd hanging on to the end of every word, screaming them back with no care for how their voices will feel tomorrow. A set full of passion is upon us, talking of their latest album release, proving you can release an independent album and still take yourselves to another level. With the crowd sweaty and bruised but asking for more, the band kick into their final few songs, starting with Four Walls, the venue explodes with voices singing along to the acoustics before running towards the pit like there no tomorrow when the song kicks off properly. Ending on Silence Speaks and Hurricane, easily their two most popular songs since the You Are We release, the set ends with a sense that everyone in the room had just witnessed something inspiring, the band pulled off an incredible set which left no one standing still. The only way is up for the northerners.

While She Sleeps - O2 Academy Bristol - 05.02.18

Photography and Review by Ami Ford