Live Music + Gig Reviews

We Are Scientists @ Somerset House, London

15 July 2008


We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists

There are certain rules to this reviewing malarkey, hard as that might be to believe. You must never say ‘I’. ‘I’ is too small, too easily countered as being the ravings of the minority. The reviewer must be grander than this: we; the magazine; anyone with an IQ greater than that of moss; the entire northern hemisphere. These are the kind of grandiose terms that must be used in order to signify the magnitude of the point being made.

Also, you never think. It’s not that you think that if the band were on fire you wouldn’t even bother to piss on them, you know this to be the case. Example: if Phil Collins was on fire, you wouldn’t even bother to piss on him. Because the reviewer has no doubt in their mind.

Third, and most important, never, ever, ever, describe something as being like something else on acid. In fact, just steer well clear of the whole drug/band simile thing. It isn’t big, it isn’t clever and moreover, it makes you look like a complete tool. Get fruity with your descriptions. Confuse. Write something so ridiculously contrived that people will assume that it’s actually really clever and it’s just the feebleness of their intellect preventing them understanding it.

Ach. Screw that. Hear this:
*chew*
*chew*
*chew*?
That’s the rules being eaten. That’s me, chowing down on them. Mmmm. The rules taste good.

Because I like We Are Scientists. I think they’re great. To me, they’re like Napalm Death on copious amounts of peyote.

This balmy evening, in the grounds of Somerset House – a setting grand enough to make you feel like you’ve somehow stepped into a lost scene from Pride & Prejudice (where Mr Darcy and Miss Bennett drink pear cider and hit the festivals) – I had a fantastic time. I grinned and I gurned and I punched the air at the myriad of occasions that We Are Scientists songs serve up so invitingly.

Thing is, I’m not even that fond of the last record. But live, WAS just step up a notch. They’re charming and witty and just plain funny. And if we’re talking about rules being crushed, there goes another one. Bands shouldn’t be funny. Generally, it’s a bad thing.

But they make it work. This Scene Is Dead sounded great, Textbook was a beautifully melancholy interlude and the set closing The Great Escape was as bouncy as ever. Plus it offered an unsurpassed opportunity to shout “Fuck that” within spitting distance of the Inland Revenue.

So kids, sometimes you should just say bollocks to the rules. I did, and look where it’s got me…


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