If there’s a band with more underrated indie bangers than We Are Scientists, we are yet to find them. Since the release of With Love And Squalor in 2005, the New York duo of Keith Murray and Chris Cains have consistently been pumping out good quality tunes and tonight they’re here to do it upstairs at Clwb Ifor Bach.
Coming early in the set is The Great Escape from their debut album, gratefully followed by Buckle from 2016’s Helter Seltzer. Part of the duo’s charm is their onstage banter, which is in full flow tonight and very much tongue-in-cheek: jokes about sparkling rosé, the Red Hot Chili Peppers (which sees Keith play the riff from Can’t Stop so the crowd knows “what sort of shit show you could be at”), Jeff Bezos, coming to Wales more often, and many more.
Of course, the duo also released their latest album Lobes in January and there’s a decent chunk of it played tonight, with the likes of Turn It Up and Operator Error fitting in nicely alongside the old bangers: It’s A Hit, Nice Guys and After Hours, which closes the main set. It’s slick, it’s tight, it flies by, and it’s a lesson in how to combine the arts of indie bangers and comedy with more one-liners such as “We’re finally 10 years in, I don’t feel a day over 20 … we had a band before this called We Are Scientists. We were shit,” and “what a wonderful Saturday night in Cardiff!”
Despite the early Wednesday evening finish time, we get an encore, a double whammy of You’ve Lost Your Shit straight into This Scene Is Dead before rounding the evening off with recent single Less From You. “Enjoy your lazy Sunday tomorrow!” Keith quips, Chris adding “enjoy your day off!” before the duo departs. It’s been a fine evening from one of the purveyors of fine indie jams and, even without We Are Scientists’ promised subsequent Sabbath, it’s a memorable gig nonetheless.
We Are Scientists, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, Wed 2 Aug
words JOSHUA WILLIAMS