After hitting the big cities with Cancer Bats on their co-headline UK tour last year and gallivanting in the States with Bullet For My Valentine and Asking Alexandria, Sheffield metalcore saviours While She Sleeps are taking their ‘Brainwashed’ tour to the corners of the country, and hitting up some of the best independent venues while they’re at it. Tonight sees the turn of Rugby club turned venue The Hut in Corby.
Biggleswade boys Scar City are delighted to be up first to warm the crowd before the furious Grains  hit their second of two shows as main support. Vocalist Sam Beardsley is already among the audience with a siren blaring megaphone before the music starts, and, although his mic wielding skills are much to be desired, he’s able to initiate the rowdiness from the off. These are big guys playing big songs, and they’re throwing so much at the set that you can taste their sweat in your mouth. A huge crescendo finish for ‘Capgras’ builds exponentially as Beardsley starts the song cross legged on the club floor facing the stage but finishes on the top balcony and the rest of the band scattered amongst the venue – most notably drummer Cameron Farrell has moved his whole kit to the centre of room.
The now iconic While She Sleeps  red flag hangs behind the stage while the band enter the room with smiles on their faces; this tour is about giving back to the scene and having fun doing what they do best. Straight into the title track from the excellent ‘Brainwashed’, and Corby don’t need a reason to riot as soon as they hear the opening riff. As one of the more melodic songs that WSS have released, it’s the perfect set opener to warm up the voices of the mosh pit and its surroundings, although nothing can get the crowd involved as much as ‘This Is The Six’, and you can physically feel The Hut bouncing.
The party atmosphere is put on hold for 5 minutes for ‘Our Courage, Our Cancer’, but Loz Taylor throws himself fully back into the action when Sean Long introduces THAT riff on ‘New World Torture’ and climbs up to the overlooking balcony, only to throw himself off for a big finish. Not one for one-upmanship, Taylor encourages as much crowd-surfing as possible during ‘Seven Hills’ and the owners of The Hut are surely thankful that they have such a high ceiling here, as there are legs kicking around all over the place.
Going back to their roots for these shows is such a great touch and spectacle from WSS, and you can tell they’re in the element; throwing in the first song the ever wrote together ‘Crows’ is a perfect for the fans who’ve been there from the beginning, but the combination of ‘Our Legacy’ and ‘Four Walls’ is an unbelievable advertisement for what British metal has to offer and a testament to what a band they have become.
There’s a reason that this run of shows is sold out, and it takes a humble band like WSS to contribute back to the small town venue circuit that every successful band started out on. A great night for a bright little venue in Northamptonshire that deserves to see more bands like this come through, but tonight everybody in Corby is thankful that WSS would even entertain playing a town like this, never mind put on such a triumphant show.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)