Gig Review: We are Scientists at Glasgow’s 02 ABC

We Are Scientists, picture courtesy of Magnet Magazine
We Are Scientists, picture courtesy of Magnet Magazine

Date: 12/3/14

Keith Murray and Chris Cain of We Are Scientists brought their endearing and eccentric brand of indie rock to the stage of 02 ABC in Glasgow on March 12.

With Keith dressed in a denim jacket and Chris sporting a t-shirt with a picture of Michael Caine holding a shotgun, the pair seemed to epitomise an effortlessly cool NYC air.

To mark the release of their fourth studio album, ‘TV en Francais’, Cain and Murray started the show with a selection of popular tracks to warm up the crowd before introducing their new material.

Opening with ‘After Hours’, the optimistic song kicked off the gig as the crowd sang along with Keith to the emotive lyrics, ‘Say that you’ll stay’.

The duo picked up the pace with ‘I Don’t Bite’ as the guitars drove the rhythm of the show forwards. ‘Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt’, the classic track from their 2005 release, ‘With Love and Squalor’, warranted a great reception from the audience as the band returned to their rockier roots.

Akin to their trade-marked banter in between songs, Chris addressed the audience: “You guys…are really nice guys.”

Keith responded: “There was definitely a huge air of disapproval to that segway- well the next song is ‘Nice Guys’”, leading onto the 2010 track.

The duo’s constant asides to the audience were engaging and brought out a mix of stand-up comedy and live music throughout the performance.

During a break from songs, Keith brought up one lucky member of the crowd on stage as the singer noticed that he was not laughing at their jokes. The young man was declared by Keith to be a “fair-minded representation of Glasgow”, and subsequently posed with a guitar as an honorary member of the band. This brief moment illustrated the group’s unique humour.

From ‘TV en Francais’, the band went on to perform ‘Dumb Luck’, with the riffs of the two guitars warring with drummer Keith to create an animated performance.

The dance-inducing ‘Rules Don’t Stop’ from the 2010 release, ‘Barbara’, swiftly followed, with 2005′s‘Textbook’, the melancholy harmonies and blue lighting of which introducing a brief respite from the up-beat set list.

Overall, fans were treated to a range of material from the band’s back catalogue that mixed in with several new tracks that warranted a content if somewhat tentative reaction from the crowd.

The use of strobe lights and a series of clap-alongs resulted in We Are Scientists successfully engaging and captivating the audience.

The show ended with Keith stating: “As we say every night to our own peril, thank you Glasgow- it’s nice to finally be in a town where speaking our mind doesn’t mean getting our asses kicked.”

The crowd appreciated the duo tailoring their banter for Glasgow, creating a memorable gig that ultimately brought the American indie-rockers even closer to their Scottish fan-base.

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