Brooklyn outfit We Are Scientists pulled into Manchester as part of a short UK tour with a couple of new tunes in tow plus the usual banter and shenanigans we have come to expect from Keith Murray and Chris Cain. Tonight’s venue is the hot, sweaty and long since sold out Gorilla, an intimate venue in a railway arch that allows the audience to get up close to the band and really get involved.
Things got under way with the heavy riot of Dinosaurs which immediately brought about a broken string, but being the consummate professional Keith saw it through to the end before changing guitars. The crowd did seem a little subdued at first, maybe this was down to the stifling heat inside the venue but the riff of Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt kicked people into life and from this point were up and at it for the rest of the gig.
The banter flowed throughout between Keith and Chris and the audience, Keith’s jacket coming in for particular ridicule (probably best not to ask about the stains though)! At one point the pair got so carried away they had to ask stand-in drummer (regular sticks man Andy Burrows was nursing an injury) which song was next. The antics weren’t confined to the stage though and Textbook saw Keith take his mic stand and guitar out into the audience and play the whole song from the floor surrounded by the audience, not sure the security really appreciated it but the crowd loved it!
The set list had a nice blend of tracks from the previous 3 albums plus a sprinkling of new tracks. You forget how good these guys are at writing insanely catchy tunes and it’s great to hear track like The Scene Is Dead, Nice Guys and It’s A Hit which had the crowd singing back every word. The new tracks on the whole stood up well to the older material, Something About You had a ballad quality to it with chiming guitar and vocal harmonies, Let Me Win had a much slower pace than a staple WAS track and isn’t as instant but for me the stand out track of the new material was Slow Down with its frantic pace, killer riff and heavy bass line, a definite hark back to classic WAS territory.
The night finished on The Great Escape with the crowd chanting along to the opening guitar riff and then proceeding to go crazy. Whilst we may not see the heights of With Love and Squalor again tonight’s show proves that WAS still have something to offer and certainly know how to put on a cracking show full of laughs, entertainment and of course great tunes.
This Scene Is Dead
Rules Don’t Stop
What You Do Best
Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
It’s a Hit
Something About You
I Don’t Bite
Let Me Win
The Great Escape