Review: While She Sleeps @ The Triffid (Brisbane)

While She Sleeps played The Triffid (Brisbane) on 1 July, 2022. While She Sleeps played The Triffid (Brisbane) on 1 July, 2022. Image © Clea-marie Thorne

It's a Friday night (1 July) and The Triffid (Brisbane) has opened its doors to welcome the herd that has gathered in anticipation of copping an earful of UK's While She Sleeps (WSS) with Loathe (also from the UK) and Mirrors as support acts.

Mirrors are up first and take to the stage for a six-song set that included 'Automata' with its huge guitar riffs that is a favourite with the punters.

Patty Goodman (vocals) is delivering impressively gorgeous cleans with hard-edged un-cleans tonight and the rest of the band have got it going on behind him. They're playing tight from their opener to the head-banging of 'Rebirth' that's leaves us in a thrashing mood with the bands to come.

I hope these Aussie lads come back and give us their hectic heavy belters, sooner rather than later.

Mirrors - image © Clea-marie Thorne 

With a contrasting style of volatility and serenity, their music makes them a playlist must, Loathe are loudly welcomed onto the darkened stage. Punters shift in tighter to the stage and you can feel the pit is getting twitchy for the mosh.

Kadeem France (vocals) screams and commands attention as he paces around the stage and his voice soars to our ears enthralling us at other times.

We are getting our favourite songs to sing-along to, including 'Gored' and 'Is It Really You', which I can clearly hear a Chino Moreno influence in and it's bliss. The highlight is 'Two Way Mirror' that has punters singing the most loudly.

Loathe showed us they remain at the top of their game this side of the COVID pandemic touring hiatus. I love the creativity of their music compositions and look forward to them returning to our shores with their own show and a much longer set.

Loathe - image © Clea-marie Thorne

We are nowhere near warmed up for WSS – we are totally hot for it! I pray to Apollo to let the break be over already!

My prayer is answered as WSS take over the stage to a roaring welcome from unsatiated punters who have feasted on the entrée supports like a pack of starved wolves waiting for this main course.

The killer pipes housed in the throat of Lawrence (Loz) Taylor teamed with the consummation of melodic and heavy sounds made by Sean Long (guitars, vocals), Aaron Mackenzie (bass), Mat Welsh (guitar) and Adam Savage (drums) are unleashing the magical recipes of 'Sleeps Society' and 'Antisocial' for our audible consumption.

Energised by killer drums and thick flowing bass, enmeshed with the swift and hammering fretwork of their lead axeman, WSS is cranking so hard I think we are going to get a set that never lets up. The calves and neck are going to feel this tomorrow.

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While She Sleeps - image © Clea-marie Thorne

We are vibing in resonance with our awe of WSS on the stage before us and the swift response is bodies crushing closer to the stage and centre mosh forming a circle pit.

Sean Long reminds us why we love him as he's playing his high yet crushing riffage for 'You Are All You Need'. This is followed by a selection of well-known songs that are like our favourite pair of jeans are on high rotation in the wardrobe play, but feel so good on they are never thrown away.

Coming back to the 'Sleeps Society' album we get 'Eye To Eye'; the mosh continues to energise the room and arms raise up in waves in the breakdowns. Punters are singing the anthemic lines almost in harmony. I said almost.

Not only a seriously great guitarist but the vocal harmony of Long tonight is also blowing me away. His voice seems to have matured and I like what I'm hearing.

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While She Sleeps - image © Clea-marie Thorne

You never know how much is produced in recording and what programming is going on, so to watch and listen to him unleash clean harmonies and screams on the stage alongside Taylor is awesome! Look out enigmatic Taylor, you may have to start sharing frontman title! Gulp. Jokes – all WSS are all our favourites! But seriously, I ask my mate: "Just how good is Long tonight!?"

However, Taylor's frontman status is well and truly safe as he walks atop the crowd who are holding him up, and as he moves out he's now laying on them surfing and singing at the same – now shirtless, he encourages everyone to get amongst it!

There are people up and down on shoulders, including one woman close by who is liberating her girls in celebration of the occasion while the never ending merry go round of crowd surfers, looping from the pit to the barrier and back to the pit to do it all again – exhilarating to watch.

I'm seeing grins on their faces as they circle by. It's been years since I surfed a crowd, but I can relate to the rush they're feeling each time.

Keeping the momentum up, are another two cranking tracks from the 'Sleeps Society' record before I get my wish!

My favourite WSS song – thank you very much. It's the unconventional 'Silence Speaks' – the way this song has been structured into being, is to me an orchestrated chaos that was most unexpected on the first listen and stays fresh on repeat.

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While She Sleeps - image © Clea-marie Thorne

It just works – and for a bittersweet moment as Long's guitar work takes centre stage for the song towards the end, I feel we could be left high and longing for more, with this being their last song. Or is it?

There are bellowing calls for more from WSS. It was is sufficient enough to fuel them up to storm back on the stage to "take a moment" to 'Enlightenment (?)' us with more of their very relatable and contemporary lyrics and massive sounds.

WSS are also showing us there's no let up as Long, Mackenzie and Welsh are playing their guitars while jumping and spinning on the spot.

'Systematic' has held our attention with its abrasive industrial flavour that works with the thick instrumentation. As the musicians retreat their music and programming beats loop, Taylor is commanding "everyone down" and at the moment when 99.9 per cent of punters in the room are complying by crouching low he growls "I know we're only the elements – imbalancing, go put the mirror down – we give everything just to seem innocent; now, everybody, get the f... up!" and a barrage of noise literally lifts us back onto our feet – what a rush!

The release of pent-up energy created from the band's performance and crowd engagement can still be felt swirling in the room as we are filing out across empty beverage vessels and drink spillage to the drizzle that awaits us outside.

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While She Sleeps - image © Clea-marie Thorne

This is what a Friday night should feel like, every weekend! I mean a cranking line-up, great crowd of punters all here for the same reason and having a great time in a venue that lends itself to a decent crowd while keeping that element of intimacy with the band.

I've had my fill. I am spent. This gal is going home to lay her head on her pillow and dream up a rerun of tonight's show, while she sleeps [wink].

More photos from the show.



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