We Are Scientists at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
As though stepping back in a time warp to 2005, the indie rockers began their tour for new album Megaplex 13 years after their major label debut With Love and Squalor. In some ways, it seemed like nothing has changed, with the band members still sporting skinny jeans, quiffs and bouncing round the stage playing guitar-driven pop; in others it has dramatically: gone are the sell-out crowds, the trendy teenagers and, to some extent, the atmosphere.
The fans appeared muted as the musicians started playing through the first couple of tunes in the set. We Are Scientists have definitely not lost their sense of humour, and it was nice to see a band who don’t take themselves too seriously, cracking jokes between songs and chatting with the audience. Perhaps they even sensed the lack of atmosphere in the room, as they made wise-cracks about “playing another set”. This seemed to elicit a slight change in tone as they dove into an amped-up version of I Don’t Bite, however, the energy seemed to abate once they went into the brand new Now or Never.
A room of old indie kids struggled to get excited about the new tracks and there was a distinct lack of spirit in the Empire. Though there’s no doubt people were enjoying the gig, it didn’t seem to capture the imagination in the way one supposes it would have done back in the day. This all changed once the rockers started pulling out the crowd-pleasers, beginning with One In, One Out, followed by After Hours and culminating in their most famous hit Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt. Then, the concert-goers really began to move: arms were waved, beers were thrown and even a small mosh pit formed. As the band went into the encore things picked up and during Dumb Luck lead singer Keith Murray, keen to capitalise on the change in mood, dove into the audience in some impressively co-ordinated crowd surfing, held up by his excitable, now beer-soaked, fans.
The audience left satisfied, having achieved a strange half-trip down memory lane. But the atmosphere largely failed to ignite the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. We Are Scientists are currently in the early stages of a European and American tour and hopefully they will be able to combine their refreshing humour with the energy of those final songs in their later shows.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit the We Are Scientists website here.
Watch the video for One In, One Out here: