One fiery crowd, a sweat infused venue and five hot bands on the bill, this was Friday and this was the Corporation, Sheffield. With local boys While She Sleeps playing a homecoming gig there was no doubt that this would be a sell out as friends, family and fans of the band packed into the Corp to welcome them home.
Kicking off the evening was local band, In Arms, fairly new to the scene they were picked for the gig by our headliners. Starting hard and fast they were keen to show how hardcore they are and were eager to make an impression as singer Ross O’Donnell went straight for the crowd with mic in hand and landed in the pit. Maybe it’s just me but 6:30pm is a bit early for this, still a promising start for the five-some as they got the audience going and provided a decent 20 minutes worth of warm up for the next four bands on the bill.
If In Arms want to make more of an impression at their next gig, they should look no further than Southern boys Polar embracing the tag of ‘big beats, strong booze, loose morals, good times’ they provided a feisty mash-up encrusted with stage dives, circle pits and ear piercing volumes. The Surrey based punksters warped the crowd into one big fast and furious mosh. In summary, tight and aggressive yet ear bleedingly entertaining.
Appearing on stage with a hint of melodrama was Japanese band Crossfaith. Fusing hardcore with electronic, in short they were something else, something spectacular. If Polar were energetic then these guys were off the scale. Highlighting tracks from their Zion EP, they bounced around the stage without a hint of exhaustion staying full throttle with vigour. With sweat pouring from every orifice it was the turn of Bleed From Within to take the stage. Could the Glasgow band keep the pace up? Of course they could and yes they did. Crowd surfers and circle pits kept up the tempo as the metallers ran through a set filled with riffs, pounding musical technicalities that would have the hardest of metal fans weeping for more. Front man, Scott Kennedy, worked the crowd with his roaring vocals and an air of ferociousness. Savage to watch as Bleed From Within tore apart the Corporation.
It was time for our headliners, While She Sleeps, the local boys who have already made their stance in Sheffield’s rock history as one of the finest bands to come out of the city. With a home crowd already fuelled with furore from the previous four bands there was a roar of appreciation for the quintet as soon as they walked on stage.
Quickly turning things up to eleven, While She Sleeps, to coin a phrase, ‘ripped the Corp a new one’. Fast and furious they opened with Until Death, fuelled with grungy riffs you could feel the temperature soar as the band flew around the stage.
Without dropping a note they went from song to song working in tracks such as The North Stands For Nothing and Crows alongside new ones including Dead Behind The Eyes and Our Courage Our Cancer from their new and critically acclaimed This Is The Six album. There were bodies flying over the tightly packed crowd as Loz Taylor soared around the stage, it was hard, it was messy and it was a night that no one there would ever forget.
A warm welcome back to the city for While She Sleeps, and a sterling line-up at the Corporation these are the kind of nights you have dreams about, to some they are nightmares but this was something rather spectacular.