We Are Scientists began their tour to mark the release of their fifth studio album, TV en Français, on the 6th March in Oxford. Travelling around the UK, they were joined by Superfood and The Heartbreaks to reach our own University of Southampton.
After forming in Berkeley, CA in 2000, the three piece indie rock band have gained steady fame, becoming a well known name on the music scene. Comprising of Keith Murray (vocals and guitar), Chris Cain (bass) and Michael Tapper (drums), the trio have gained critical appraisal for their previous album releases, reaching number 11 in the UK charts with their 3rd album Brain Thrust Theory and having two Top 40 singles, ‘After Hours’ and ‘Chick lit’. Not only are they famous for their music, but also their on stage antics, with plenty of banter and audience interaction to keep the audience entertained in between sets.
University of Southampton has a great venue, situated in Garden Court, mainly due to its proximity to the bar and, indeed, our own residences, making it far easier to drag your friends to. It is difficult to fault the venue itself, except perhaps a lack of ventilation in the venue itself.
The Heartbreaks, although not leaving a big impression on me, were strong musically and vocally. Their set was solid and had a number of people nodding and dancing along, and although they didn’t hit the spot for me, they appear to be very confident and comfortable on stage and are definitely aimed for bigger things and venues. Soon to head out on their own headline tour following the release of their forthcoming album, the band have gained a strong fan base, with over 30,000 Youtube views on their latest single.
Superfood‘s energetic and tight set at the gig certainly hit the spot. All songs were warmly received by the crowd, their singles ‘Bubbles’, and ‘TV’ being notable favourites, with some nice harmonies in the mix. ‘Houses On The Plain’ and ‘Melting’ from their latest E.P both had unpredictable elements that fascinated; certainly no shoe gazing in sight. Ending on ‘Superfood’, overall they played a very solid set, with the perfect amount of chat between songs. [Phoebe Cross’ article – wasn’t sure how to reference that]
We Are Scientists themselves were as casual and comfortable onstage as I had seen previously at The Fly Awards. With natural showman skills, both lead members, Keith Murray (vocals and guitar) and Chris Cain (bass), quickly began the banter with a gravy related fantasy Chris had had the previous night in a dream. Blasting open the set with the classic ‘After Hours’, setting the crowd into a frenzy and leading to a large number of people dancing around the moderately sized venue.
The band continued smashing out hits, disbursing them between new material from their recently released album, creating the perfect balance between new and old. The crowd were highly appreciative, listening intently to what the band had produced in their musical silence, as well as reacting well to the old classics, creating a healthy atmosphere and a happy headlining band.
Overall, the band are phenomenal live, demonstrating strong musical and social skills with a venue filled with complete strangers, they are a force to be reckoned with and I can definitely recommend them live as well as on record.