Live Music + Gig Reviews

We Are Scientists @ Camden Barfly, London

5 September 2005


We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists

Science is a serious business. We Are Scientists are not in the business of being serious. “We’re doing this exact same show tomorrow, only naked”, they deadpan two songs in. This comes as no surprise to those familiar with the scorched dry wit of a band becoming as well known for their comic turns as their music.

Instead of tedious biographies, their website has interviews with groundhogs and instead of brooding band photos, their soon to be released album will see their faces hidden behind three startled kittens. Perhaps the funniest thing about the obvious piss taking is that the songs rival anything produced by other New York bands with sensible suits and a sterner outlook to promotion.

The stinking upstairs bar is packed to the door. At least half the people here already know every word of With Love And Squalor. The other half are mouthing along anyway. And despite their obvious joy in the obtuse, W.A.S. have made everyone do the clichd thing of dancing like idiots. Like Franz Ferdinand they have the bass to get the dour art house girls bobbing along at the gallery after show party .The difference being, the bass player has too silly a moustache to be too detached and too cool.

He’s singing backing vocals with the warmth of a forgotten Teenage Fanclub song whilst the guitars are manically sliding and scratching like the kick from a particularly potent shot of mescal. And that’s the other thing. We Are Scientists like a drink. Not in a Manhattan Cocktail party way. They have the spirit of downing spirits and making a fool of yourself out of sheer boredom.. “The party’s alright, I might want to stop drinking, what were we talking about?”. God knows, but we all know what you mean and the way we’re grinning along to the chorus makes Can’t Lose live up to its title.

It’s all about balance and before they drunkenly stagger into the gutter, they prop themselves up with rehabilitating pillars of pop. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt has people involuntary doing the opposite but it’s worth the price of bruises. Single The Great Escape will soon have devoted fans postponing adventure holidays in the Rockies, seeking rejuvenation in Britain’s dank venues on the limited tour schedule.

You won’t explain this by growing an ear on the back of a lab rat. Plotting graphs would be useless. They are not Scientists. They are just a great live band. That’s a scientific fact.


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