We Are Scientists at the Forum
We Are Scientists bounced onto the stage at Kentish Town Forum last night, air guitaring as Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing boomed from the speakers – the calling card for their long-awaited tour this winter, which completed its UK leg in London. Singer Keith Murray made a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the 70s icons, saying, “Thank you Steven for writing these lyrics” (oddly, given the song and its lyrics were notoriously written by Diane Warren!) and the tone was set for an upbeat gig from the get-go.
The indie-rock golden agers were on fine form, bringing a sprawling setlist of tracks drawn from new album Huffy and the full scope of their career. Released in October nearly 20 years after their debut, the sound on the new album is as fresh as ever. They opened with You’ve Lost Your Shit from the latest record (bringing a West Coast vibe and recalling bands like Green Day), which segued into fan-favourite Inaction, from their very first album, establishing their intention to give a thorough airing to their oeuvre.
Buckle (initially released as a single in 2016 and included on their fifth album, Helter Seltzer) was followed by Contact High – a mix of their earlier material plus a hint of fellow NYC band Nada Surf. It’s some of their best work to date. Clearly, with Huffy they haven’t forgotten their roots, but at the same time they aren’t too nostalgic, venturing into new territory.
The group have been full of pep since their 2019 50th Anniversary shows in 2019 (14th, but they decided 50th sounded better), and the banter was non-stop between songs. At one point singer/guitarist Keith Murray threw a “Grazie, grazie, molto bene” at the audience, and Chris Cain quipped, “I like the way on tour you are always learning something: Italian, fixing a car engine…”.
It’s a Hit and Rules Don’t Stop were characteristically buoyant. The funk-laden I Cut My Own Hair was next, released in 2020 and directly referencing the shut-in months of the pandemic. Ballad KIT (off 2018’s Megaplex) was soulful, chased by the grungier Your Light Has Changed, which rebounded into the exuberant The Great Escape, an early track laden with splashy drums.
The journey continued with Chick Lit (off Brain Thrust Mastery, 2008), Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and No Wait at Five Leaves, before the hotly anticipated hit, After Hours, brought the audience the infectious riff they’d been raring to hear. It was reprised as an encore after Nice Guys rounded out the set – and then band bounced back off the stage again, thanking the fevered crowd at the end of their UK run.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit We Are Scientists’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Bought Myself a Grave here: