Music / Reviews

Review: We Are Scientists, Rough Trade

By ellie pipe, Thursday May 3, 2018

It is a mix of the nostalgic, the intrigued and the genuine super fans mingling, ciders in hand, amidst the records of Rough Trade early Wednesday evening.

We Are Scientists are due on stage for a low-key, stripped-back acoustic set for – as the band themselves put it – “the poor scum left out” of their sold-out tour gig at the Thekla later on the same night.

There is an excited gasp from a woman in the front row as, with little preamble, the trio amble onto the dark stage looking fresh-faced, full of energy and far too young to have a career spanning almost two decades under their belts.

It’s straight into an easy-going, love song with an upbeat pop sound from their new album, Multiplex, that wins over the modest but enthusiastic audience, quickly followed by the real crowd-pleaser – an acoustic version of Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt.

“We’ve been waiting back here for four days before they put the lights on,” quips Chris Cain pausing mid-tuning for a brief set of on-stage banter with long-time bandmate Keith Murray.

While the music is a chilled-out, toned down version of the usual frenzied tempo, the energy and spark is very much alive, and the comic routines that make the New York-based Indie-rock band such a joy to see live is on form.

Never mind that it’s barely 7pm on a Wednesday evening and most people are only one cider in – in the darkened venue to the back of the record store, the crowd sing their hearts out to a rendition of After Hours.


The short set is a mix of old favourites and tracks from the new album that demonstrate We Are Scientists have still got it and are back with a bang.

Barely has it started than it is over – the show a tantalising appetiser for the main gig later on, or – for the “poor scum” unable to get a ticket, one that leaves them wanting more.

Filing out of the hot, dark venue, the crowd emerges blinking in the bright lights of the record store and it’s not long before a long queue is snaking back through the expansive shop as people wait patiently in line to get their albums signed.

This is the start of a long summer of touring for the indie-rockers, who first burst onto the scene in the early 2000s. Music trends may have shifted since then, but you get the sense that this is one band that will have no trouble in holding their own.


Read more: Review: Tigers Jaw, The Exchange

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