WE ARE SCIENTISTS | LIVE REVIEW
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, Sat 8th October
It’s been a while since New York indie-rockers We Are Scientists have played in Cardiff, but if Saturday night’s sold-out crowd was anything to go by, they’ve been very sorely missed in the capital. Kicking off a string of UK dates with a show at Clwb Ifor Bach, the witty duo were shaking the rafters right from their much-anticipated entrance to Lionel Richie’s Hello, all the way through to closing the night with latest single Too Late.
With five albums’ worth of absolute bangers under their belts, sitting in on the set-list discussions would have been an interesting experience, but the outcome (unsurprisingly) was a well-curated mixture of old anthems Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt, The Great Escape and It’s A Hit, with a smattering of new fan favourites garnered over the band’s lengthy career.
Warming up with This Scene Is Dead and the punchy Buckle, the crowd were well and truly under the thumb before the latter’s scintillating guitar instrumental had hit its’ crescendo, and from there on out it was a rollercoaster of energetic tunes that transported every headbanger in the room back to the golden days of indie-rock. Chanting along to the instantly recognisable opening chords of I Don’t Bite, it was a wonder the shaking floor hadn’t already fallen through from the pounding it was taking, but the excitement level was about to be ramped up a notch when silver-haired vocalist Keith Murray had climbed down off the stage, jumped up on an eager fan’s shoulders and was belting out Textbook whilst swinging from the ceiling lights – much to the joy of everyone in the room.
While Murray unwound himself from the throng before the stage, bassist Chris Cain kept up the band’s trademark on-stage chat, that’s almost as famous as their extensive back catalogue, before launching into Headlights, a lesser known but uptempo number from Helter Seltzer, ensuring there wasn’t one boring moment throughout the whole show.
With the addition of Dumb Luck, Nice Guys and the iconic After Hours, it doesn’t take a genius to work out why these guys have been at it for over ten years. Superb songwriting, energetic, guitar-fuelled classics, and an endearing onstage presence, all brought together with the quirky personalities of Murray and Cain make for not only a fantastic night out, but a band that you truly feel like you can form a personal connection with – and that’s what live music is all about.
words Angharad Bishop