LIVE: While She Sleeps @ Garage 2, Glasgow (23/06/2011)

Date: June 23rd, 2011
Venue: Garage 2, Glasgow
Support: Set Astray, Definitions, Kill The Commodore, South Of Summer, My Friend The Arsonist


Sheffield’s While She Sleeps are back in Glasgow to help celebrate the inauguration of Scotland’s newest independent record label, Thanks For Nothing Records. Having organised and sold out the gig in only a month along with signing their first band, the boys over at the label have set incredibly strong foundations to which they hope they can build upon.

Kicking off the night were young Stirling hardcore crew, Set Astray (****). Standing at the very tender ages of 13-14, these kids brought huge energy to the stage and a performance you would expect from a seasoned touring band. They have shown that they have the potential to grow into an incredible band, but it’s really just a matter of time.

Edinburgh’s Definitions (**) were next to the stage. Without showing anything too spectacular, they raced through a set of alternative hardcore, failing to get much reaction from the crowd. Lacking the synth sound that seemed to hold them together when recorded, the band give it their best shot. They’ll undoubtedly have better days and are definitely worth a listen, however to date, they are missing the winning formula that could turn them into a truly great band.

Kill The Commodore (****) blew the room away with their alt metal noise. Conducting the first real reaction from the crowd, the band soared through a blistering set. Stamping their mark on the Glasgow scene, the Perthshire quintet left a lasting impression on many new faces.

As the anticipation for While She Sleeps grows, South Of Summer (*) take to the stage. There seems to be something not quite right about their performance. The generic guitar sound swallows the dual vocals which fail to gel, as a sheer lack of originality is displayed. The whiney, Scottish tone of clean vocalist Fraser McPhee‘s voice gets increasingly annoying as their set drags on, failing to leave anything worth remembering.

As a cry of “Spartans, what is your profession?” echoes from wall to wall, the room explodes in a cry of “Aoooo! Aoooo! Aoooo!”. Lying beneath the 300 allusion however are My Friend The Arsonist (****), one of Glasgow’s most promising bands. The dub-core mob ooze with energy that the crowd feeds from, and they soon have everyone dancing and skanking to their dubstep infested metalcore.

By the time While She Sleeps (*****) take to the stage, the crowd are running up the walls. The 350 capacity venue is filled, from front to back, with a mix of adoration, excitement and energy, sending the room into a frenzy. Having spent the last year touring relentlessly, the WSS boys are no strangers to the Glasgow crowd. Every word Lawrence Taylor spits is screamed back at him as the room builds from frenzied to chaotic, the noise is shuddering and their is a thick aroma of beer and sweat lingering.

Everything the band do sounds massive, they could do no wrong tonight and as the interlude ‘Trophies’ plays to the crowd, everyone knows what’s coming next. The room literally explodes as the first notes of ‘Crows’ is played. Having somewhat become their trademark song, the band and crowd become completely in motion with each other, and as it bursts into the chorus with a cry of “Give me your hand”, a ruckus thunders through the room. Ending the night with a mammoth wall of death and umpteen stage divers, While She Sleeps accomplished in turning a club used to blasting dirty hip-hop into metal mayhem.

Written by Chris Loomes