We Are Scientists


Out of that mid noughties indie disco scene, there haven’t been many bands that have stood their ground and kept going in the same way that We Are Scientists have. Keith and Chris have just released their sixth long player Megaplex, which sees the band take a more electronically infused tone to their indie rock sound. Ultimately, they’ve made a really fun pop record that acts as a well needed break from the sometimes serious nature of everyday life.

Tonight, the band are back at the Ritz as part of a UK Tour in support of the album, a show originally across the road at Gorilla but upgraded early on thanks to their forever loyal and eager following. The reason why this show has been upgraded is pretty simple; We Are Scientists are great live band, they have the tunes, they have the moves and most importantly their in-between chatter is always on point; some have coined their live shows as half rock show, half stand up.

Needless to say all three of the above are out in full force today as the band (completed by drummer Keith) blast through a well balanced set sifting through tracks from every album. Naturally, with the band’s debut album being a classic in its genre, the trio do tend to delve into that record a little more and although I’ve seen this band a fair few times live now, tracks like ‘This Scene Is Dead’ and ‘Its A Hit’ still pack a punch and I find myself with a fist in the air screaming the choruses back to Keith often.

Keith’s energy tonight is sky high as he swishes around in luscious grey locks, jumping up and down on the drum raiser, shredding away as he brings some big solos into play on big hitters such as ‘Great Escape’ and ‘Dumb Luck’. It’s cool to hear the rock element of WAS’s sound come up front for the live show and definitely helps get the front of the room off their feet; “its time to get the tennis balls moving under the floor,” Chris later comments as he introduces the full throttle dance rock of ‘Chick Lit’.

Of course, the band do play a good chunk of tracks off the new record, some which sound great; the chorus in ‘No Wait Five Leaves’ is massive and latest single ‘One In, One Out’ pumps out a huge pop hook which leaves its mark on tonight’s enthusiastic crowd. There’s a few tunes off the album that are quite hard to play as a three piece rock band and much to my dismay we don’t get the synth laden sass of ‘Heart Is A Weapon’ or ‘Not Another Word’. The band tend to play the more guitar driven moments on the record which translate well but I can’t help but thinking how great those big sparkling synth pop melodies would sound through a big PA. The band even joke when playing ‘Now Or Never’ that Theresa May isn’t a huge fan of that track despite apparently being the biggest WAS fan. However, the band have probably written their best rock song on this record and opening the set with the gigantic ‘Your Light Has Changed’ is an extremely good idea, with crunchy, overdriven guitars brilliantly squeaking their way through the amps.

All in all, you can’t fault We Are Scientists tonight. Every time I see them their live show gets tighter and bigger with neat links into songs and passionate moves from all three members, Keith spends most of last track ‘Text Book’ in the crowd singing into punters’ faces! This band show no signs of slowing down and I am more than happy with that.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.