Tonight Oxford’s Cowley road could be compared to an old western film, two huge bands (While She Sleeps + Trivium) squaring off at separate venues, fighting to have the better show. In my opinion and probably the opinion of everyone else at the WSS show, they were definitely the victors.
First up this evening were winners of the support slot competition, Perception, as I stood to the side the singer decided to leave the rest of his band on stage while he proceeded to scream from the crowd for the whole of their set to my annoyance and what looked like quite a few others in the crowd. Maybe if he was to cut the fringe that he was sporting, he may finally realise that he wasn’t on stage. A rather lack lustre set from them as well, with it hard to differentiate between songs. Not my cup of tea. (2/10)
I was very much apprehensive about the next two as were they about to come crashing down just like the first? However Create To Inspire left me feeling pretty fulfilled and feeling like I wanted more despite the lack of low expectations that I did once have. The band most definitely out done themselves, they won me as well as the crowd over with their spectacular performance, making me feel as if I wasn’t in the crowd anymore but with the band itself. There were plenty of eye contact during the set and on one occasion the front man took his mic and stood in the centre of the crowd with nonstop moshing and screaming. I very much enjoyed the performance and would be happy to photograph them again. (7/10)
I was always looking forward to While She Sleeps; as The Bullingdon was plunged into darkness and the rumbling of guitars started to be heard, I could already tell this was going to be a memorable set. WSS went from 0 to 100 by kicking things off with the title track of their latest album “Brainwashed”, with frontman Loz Taylor urging the crowd to sing throughout. The madness did not stop there with “This is the Six” and “Death Toll” following shortly after. “Our Courage, Our Cancer” brought a slightly softer and heartfelt side to the show, with Loz passing the mic to members of the audience countless times to sing with him and the rest of the band.
Halfway through the set Loz crowd surfed over the to the bar at the back of the venue to try convince them to give him a shot, unfortunately the bar staff were not willing to start giving away free alcohol, many fans then decided to thrust money at the bartender wanting to be the one to get their favourite singer a drink. Once this was over he made his way back to the stage, not before taking his shot of Jäger and leading a chant of “TIGHT BASTARDS” at the bar staff, to then play a fan favourite “Our Legacy” to which I just had to sing along to. The Sheffield metallers then closed their set with a triumphant “Four Walls”, with near enough every person in the venue clambering on stage to mosh and dive off. Pure Carnage!
My only disappointment was that the set wasn’t long enough; I would have happily stayed there for at least another hour. Maybe next time… (9/10)
Review By Joe Dick