We-Are-Scientists-band-620x411– THE RITZ, MANCHESTER –

It’s Sunday night at The Ritz, and a pretty much packed house are eagerly anticipating effortlessly cool American indie rockers We Are Scientists. Then it happens. Out of the speakers blares the distinct 80’s stadium rock styling of soft rock aficionado’s REO Speedwagon, with their smash hit ‘Keep on Loving You’ and out they come – Devilishly handsome best buds Chris Cain and Keith Murray take to the stage to a hero’s welcome, along with their equally handsome drummer Keith Carne (I mean, I’m happy in my hetero stance, but have you seen these guys?) The girls swoon, the guys swoon – everyone’s swooning.

Oddly, they opted to open up with ‘Return the Favour’ taken from their new record TV En Francais I think it’s a great song, and I love the new album, but as a show opener? It is a little weak. I think it could have worked better buried within the set. Following on from that, they kick the show off proper with an up tempo ‘After Hours’, and from there it is just hit after hit. From ‘After Hours’ we then stride straight into ‘I Don’t Bite’ followed by ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ and the crowd are eating it up. Dipping in and out of all four studio albums, they play pretty much everything I was hoping they would, with everything from the new album sounding great (even though the aforementioned ‘Return the Favour’ was an odd opening choice). I particularly enjoy new tunes ‘Sprinkles’ and ‘What You Do Best’, two standouts from TV En Francais and which sound belting live.

The thing I love about We Are Scientists is how much of a complete package they are. Not only are they a great band musically, but their onstage patter is second to none. You can tell it’s genuine too, as Keith Murray pisses himself laughing whilst Chris rambles on about the existence of “sexy angels” and lovingly dealing with shout-outs from the crowd. It’s great to see a band not having to force themselves to have a good time on stage, and to just be completely natural with it. I’d hate to see We Are Scientists looked upon as a joke band, because even though they’re absolutely hilarious between songs, when it comes to the music they absolutely kill it every time.

The set flies by for me, and I have not even realised how many tunes they go through before they move onto the encore. It’s a pet peeve of mine when bands perform an encore regardless of whether it’s warranted or not, but with We Are Scientists the crowd are clamouring to hear more, and thankfully the three piece dutifully oblige. Closing on crowd pleaser and massive pop hit ‘The Great Escape’, it is clear as to why we love We Are Scientists so much in the UK, and it doesn’t look like that’s  going to change any time soon.

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Andy Hughes

Hi, I'm Andy.I'm the man behind Birthday Cake for Breakfast, a site featuring music news, reviews and interviews.Big believer in Birthday Cake, Pizza, math rock and beer (preferably all in one sitting.) I spend my mornings daydreaming about gigs and my evenings going to gigs. Lunch times are spent walking about town listening to Tom Waits.'Id rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy'