Live Music + Gig Reviews

We Are Scientists @ Academy 2, Manchester

29 November 2005


We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists

The less said about tonight’s support act the better. Test Icicles were frankly the worst live band I have ever seen, and that’s quite a claim when you consider I’ve witnessed The Others and the (amazingly) accurately named, One Man His Beard both take to the stage.

The trio charged around the stage unleashing an assault of tuneless riffage and screamy, shouty ‘vocals’. Do not be fooled – Test Icicles are a talent-devoid, load of bollocks.

How particularly witty and scathing was that? Maybe I’ve been inspired by headliners We Are Scientists‘ caustic, and genuinely original banter. The New York band were sheer aural pleasure during and between the musical treats presented by their fifty minute long set. Every song seemed to strengthen the band’s grip around seemingly perfect live execution of some magnificent guitar pop. Keith Murray’s voice was note perfect and on the sticks, Michael Tapper was impressively crisp.

Witness the four-four, foot-to-the-floor stomp of This Scene Is Dead, behold the tightly-spun rocker that is Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and worship the Cure-esque, brooding, Textbook. Some of the stuff on offer here was first-class, on a par with anything those darlings-du-jour Arctic Monkeys have produced. Without a doubt, this band deserve to be much, much bigger than they are – bassist Chris Cain’s moustache alone would warrant that.

Admittedly the pace of the set lulled a little bit in the middle, as the less spectacular tracks of debut album, With Love And Squalor, were wheeled out. I could scarcely have cared less though, with just one album under their belts and at the beginning of a short road to stardom, I believe we can expect a great deal more from the Scientists, and in all fairness during tonight’s performance there was nothing you could ever describe as ‘bad’ – ‘well above average’ was as bad as it got.

As the gig drew to a close with a phenomenal performance of The Great Escape, this reviewer found that he had moved from the journalist position (at the back, arms folded) to the idiot position (in the middle, dancing). And if a band have the power to do that, then that says it all really.


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