We Are Scientists

Barrowland, Glasgow on Sat 12th Apr 2008

This is the first time I have seen We Are Scientists perform since the departure of original drummer Michael Tapper last October, and prior to the gig I wondered if the dynamic stage presence once felt would be there now. It was time to find out.

The lights darken, the crowd swarm around the stage and from one end of the infamous Barras to the other, we wait in anticipation. Lead singer Keith Murray and guitarist Chris Cain grace the stage to a flurry of cheers and head straight into 'Ghouls' off their new album 'Brain Thrust Mastery'.

Previous shows had seen them enter the stage to Phil Collins and so to be greeted by a new song was a nice but interesting start. Could it be that we would be in for a run of the mill showcase of their new songs with just a sprinkling of old?

Within minutes I knew the answer was no. We were treated to 'Nobody Move' straight after the opening song and we all remember the initial buzz felt when we first felt the chords of this song tickle away at our ears. I began to feel optimistic that although a man down (not literally as they have been joined by Max Hart helping with guitar duties, and a temporary drummer) the quality would not be affected. They ran through 'Scene Is Dead' and plummeted straight into 'Inaction' and the paying punters welcomed it emphatically.

An evening with Keith and Chris is a mixture of musical madness and comedy genius. Their eccentric sense of humour is almost as entertaining as their music, if not better at times. This was what we wanted, to see the banter flow as it had done when they were not just a dynamic duo but a tuneful trio. They rattled off next single 'Chick Lit' followed by last single 'After Hours' and proceed to ask the audience if they are having fun. Talk of "trysts with a walrus" and how they do not succumb to the power of Keith leave all that can hear the exchange in fits of giggles.

Keith has a way of warming the hearts of the crowd and they in return warm him back when he joins them at the barrier for an up close performance that leads us to the end of the set. They rampage their way through old favourites 'Lousy Reputation' and 'It's a Hit' and leave the stage with the same rapidity they entered it. As an observer you can’t help but get swept away with the charm of these guys and their quick wit and loveable nature radiate off the stage and into all of us. We wanted more, we needed more. We got more.

"We needed more beer, you can understand that?" they ask. Well, of course we can! And as long as they reappeared after said beer, we did not mind. 'Lethal' courtesy of new album was the start of our encore and despite not being an old hit, they played their hearts out on that one and the fans who had rushed out last week to buy the album sang along. The biggest cheer was kept for 'Great Escape' however and the crowd erupted into a mass of hands and beer in air, flailing and darting across the room, singing along to what would be the final song of the evening.

This was not the best performance from the band I have seen, but certainly no less entertaining. After the trials and tribulations of losing a band member and recruiting new, even if temporary replacements and additions, they have done well to keep going. The new songs did not have the same instant hit impact as from the previous album, but I do not doubt they will be growers. And not long from now, maybe even before the nameless Michael replacement gets the spotlight to show his talent on the sticks, we will find ourselves singing along to the polished, almost poppy, catchy tunes of 'Brain Thrust Mastery'.

The Scientists have a winning formula with their quirky sounds and profound lyrics. However if the worst came to the worst and they gave up on music, I am sure they would get a place on the stand up comedy circuit, and would not disappoint there either.

Set List:
Nobody Move
Scene Is Dead
Let’s See It
Cash Cow
Can’t Lose
Chick Lit
After Hours
Text Book
Lousy Reputation
It's A Hit

Great Escape

article by: Karen Rennie

published: 15/04/2008 13:59

     added/updated in last day
     added/updated in last week

more about We Are Scientists
more about Barrowland, Glasgow