Saturday 27 November 2010

We Are Scientists, Rock City, Nottingham

With a door time of 6.30 we miss the opening band of three, Rewards. I didn’t even now we had three bands tonight.

We do catch second up, London’s Goldheart Assembly. Who were once supposed to be one of those happening bands but I don’t think much happened. Something might happen tonight though as they drag an oil drum on stage... The band have been known to use unusual objects as musical instruments and tonight appears to be no exception. Perhaps the fact that the bands two lead vocalists are both ex-zookeepers at Whipsnade Zoo accounts for such eccentricity or maybe not.

They start off a bit messily, with guitarist John Herbert on vocals, using the oil drum and I can’t really make head nor tail of their first two tracks. Track three though is mellower and much better with the bass player, James Dale, taking over vocals, which he seems to do from here on in. From there they kind of kicked on into a sort of more standard indie style and were rather good.

So to another hugely interesting set from We Are Scientists. Keith Murray and Chris Cain are two of the nicest guys you’ll ever see up on stage and rather appropriately they now have a song about ‘Nice Guys’ to open with. It’s probably not autobiographical, when Keith Murray singing ‘Nice guys finish last’ he can’t possibly be talking about himself and it doesn’t stop him complaining about the snow. Though I’m sure they have snow in America too. Perhaps he’s worried about it snowing in Rock City; it certainly seems cold enough in here tonight.

‘Chick Lit’ stokes an already lively crowd before ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ makes things really kick off. The oldies are still the favourites. So much so everyone susses the intro to ‘This Scene Is Dead’ even if Keith does try to disguise it a bit.

They roll ‘Inaction’ into it, a trick they do a few times, making up for the time lost to the inevitable stage banter which comes between most songs. Keith casually swigging on a beer, Chris appears to be on juice. The pair of them have a very good rapport with each other, honed through plenty of live shows, and with their audience. It’s clear they love what they do. Then Keith throws his beer at the drummer and... ‘It's A Hit’.

‘Impatience’ is eventful. First some random girl dances across stage and then Keith breaks a string. He gets tangled in his shoulder strap as he attempts a guitar change and it’s to his credit that he manages it without missing a single word of the lyrics.

For ‘Textbook’ Keith leaves the guitar duties to Aaron Pfenning of 'Rewards', who we missed earlier. I think Rewards is basically just him, although random dancing girl might also have something to do with it but I’m not sure. He’s one half of the band Chairlift, who I vaguely know of. I guess we should have been here earlier if we wanted to know everything.

Once he is guitar-less Keith climbs the crowd barrier so that he can get closer to his public, well mainly the adoring female ones. Of which there appear to be many. In fact later, as we do our usual post-gig debrief, my partner only really talks about Keith's bare midriff.

‘The Great Escape’ is as popular and proficient as ever, but also many of the new tracks from 'Barbara' are well received. Particularly 'I Don't Bite', lead single 'Rules Don't Stop' and the excellent ‘Jack & Ginger’. What their material lacks in variety they make up for with the sheer energy with which they deliver it live.

For the closing ‘After Hours’ Goldheart Assembly return to the stage accompanied by their oil drum, Aaron from Rewards and the random dancing girl for the usual communal sing-along. The Scientists always seem to bond with their support bands.

The encore of ‘Dinosaurs’ and ‘Cash Cow’ completes a short but very sweet gig, only just over the hour mark including encore.

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