When While She Sleeps announced that the London date of their UK So What? tour would take place at The Roundhouse in Camden, we were pretty surprised. From playing The Dome In Tufnell Park to The Roundhouse seemed a massive jump and we genuinely didn’t think they would be able to sell it out. To be wrong on this account is a genuine pleasure. It’s fantastic to be part of such a huge crowd who enjoy what While She Sleeps do.
Not only that but the show happens to coincide with the release day of the new album, So What? You can read our review of the album here or watch a video review below.
You couldn’t ask for a better venue in London to showcase the new songs that Sleeps has especially considering how layered they are. The Roundhouse is one of, if not the best venues in London for sound and it works incredibly well for them. Not so much Trash Boat though who really struggle to squeeze anything listenable out. Energetic as hell, the muddy sound stops their short support set getting anything but a shoulder shrugging reaction.
That is not an issue for Stray From the Path, a New York hardcore/punk band. Delivering an absolutely killer set, the reaction to their meaty breakdowns, energetic highs and head-banging lows would have you believing they were the headline act. I knew nothing about this band before this show and by time they were finished I couldn’t wait to find out even more. They took the main support slot and made sure everyone would remember their name.
We’re all here for While She Sleeps though and the very first thought that goes through the mind as the lights dim and the band come out is how they look like they belong on a stage this size.
To say the excitement in the air is infectious is an understatement and the explosion of noise that follows with ANTI-SOCIAL gets the floor vibrating. The band then work their way backwards through their back-catalogue. With You Are We, Brainwashed and Seven Hells getting an airing. These four songs, off four different albums really show you the growth of this band. Each has even more impact in the live environment.
It helps that the sound is crystal clear and the band are jumping around without a care for their well-being. Add the interesting (if under-used) addition of a live choir and it was clear tonight was always going to be a special night for Sleeps and their fans.
It’s a brilliant night. The best While She Sleeps show to date however the setlist overall is a little head-scratching. Out of the 14 songs they played, the majority comes from You Are We. In fact half the setlist is off You Are We. As the likes of Civil Isolation, Steal the Sun and Feel get an airing. Only 3 songs come off the new album. A strange choice considering this show was billed as an album release party. However the three tracks played, the afore-mentioned ANTI-SOCIAL, Haunt Me and The Guilty Party all sound incredible and will be live favourites for the future for sure.
The heat in the venue reaches boiling point as we hit the encore. The band return quickly for three of their heavy hitters. Silence Speaks, a truly spectacular showing of Our Courage, Our Cancer (what a bloody track) and Hurricane. The band take their bows as the crowds slowly file out. You can tell by the smiles and chatter that every single person will be talking about this show for a long time afterwards.
While She Sleeps have finally arrived at the big time and they proved tonight they deserve their position.
While She Sleeps at The Roundhouse, Camden, London (01/03/19)
While She Sleeps - 8.5/10
Stray From the Path - 8/10
Trash Boat - 5/10