We Are Scientists | Live Review


Although, when playing, We Are Scientists are as good a band as any, it’s these comedic moments that make you feel engaged.

After two years in the making, We Are Scientists released their latest effort ‘TV En Français’ at the start of this month and naturally took a visit to Bristol’s O2 Academy to show it off. There was an air of eager anticipation as the room filled with everyone from teenage indie kids clinging to the crowd barrier, through to the slightly older crowd in their late 20s — the latter having matured a little since perhaps fighting their way to the front circa ‘With Love and Squalor’, nearly a decade earlier.

The Heartbreaks got the evening underway with a slice of the 80s, tight harmonies and some sharp haircuts. Driven by drummer Joseph Kondras, whose energy seemed to invigorate the band from behind the kit as they delivered a solid and convincing performance. Next on the agenda was Birmingham four piece Superfood, who clattered their way in to the next decade with guitar and vocal hooks galore above the simplistic yet solid foundation of the rhythm section. Emily Baker played the moody, mysterious bassist role to perfection with her hair draped across her face, swaying with each nod of the head along with everyone in attendance, suitably primed for the headline.

With the crowd packed in awaiting their arrival, We Are Scientists took to the stage amidst REO Speedwagon’s ‘Keep On Loving You’ and, to the satisfaction of the crowd, waste little time dipping in to older material as ‘After Hours’ is slotted in immediately after opening number ‘Return the Favour’. Surprisingly, the set opener was just one of five songs from the new release to make the cut this evening with the band opting for a set shared between each of the four albums. Out of the selections from the new release ‘Make it Easy’ and ‘What You Do Best’ went down well, with them providing the better moments from ‘TV En Français’. Inevitably though, it was the band’s older songs that pleased the room most, with appearances from ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’, ‘This Scene is Dead’, ‘Chick Lit’ and ‘I Don’t Bite’ to name a few. ‘The Great Escape’ brought  the evening to a close with Keith leaving space for the crowd to sing the last bar of guitar riff before singing every word from start to finish.

Music aside, the onstage chat between Keith and Chris transformed the show into some sort of bizarre stand up routine with talk of eyes popping from skulls, shitting the bed and murderous ex-wives — just to give you a brief and terribly out of context snippet of their constant ramblings. Although, when playing, We Are Scientists are as good a band as any, it’s these comedic moments that make you feel engaged, with their utterly likeable nature being largely what people have been turning up to see from them for the last ten years — and why they will continue to do so for a long time yet.

Watch ‘Dumb Luck’ from the new album right here: