WE ARE SCIENTISTS
There’s a mix of younger student types and old-guard indie heads from the mid-2000s in the Theatre tonight, and I’m loathe to admit that I’m part of the latter group – even though I don’t recognise the old-guard as ‘old’, given that the night’s headliners first exploded merely 10 years ago.
But whatever, time flies. I’m no indie head, but I grew up through its surge in popularity during the last decade and loved some of the stuff that was going on. It’s plain to see from taking a glance around the room that indie rock still has its appeal, in particular among laddish party crowds enjoying the last vestiges of their youth and happy-go-lucky late adolescents. And there’s no intention of undermining the music in describing that demographic. There’s a lot of depth and substance in the music of this scene. It just shows, though, doesn’t it? It’s been 10 years and, at least culturally, little has changed.
With their vintage style grunge and pop rock, opening act BEVERLY sound like they’ve come straight off an early 90s mixtape. They have a similar style to Speedy Ortiz, Yuck and Paws, with that lo-fi, homegrown garage sound surfacing throughout the set. They make an impression with a potent set that contains Bulldozer, Honey Do, Crooked Cop and Madora, which turns some heads with a commanding chorus.
The playlist for the changeover boasts everything from John Frusciante abstractions to World War-era big band swing. It’s a surreal, humorous environment but the people gathered at the front seem unfazed, even as WE ARE SCIENTISTS burst on stage all smiles and launch into an energetic, wild set for an adoring crowd. This is the first time that they’ve played in Liverpool for a number of years and it seems as though they’ve been missing us.
Touring on the heels of their latest album, Helter Seltzer, the set is injected with a lush variety of tracks both old and new. The tight and precise performance of new tracks Buckle and In My Head serve to show a clear progression from their older works. Lead singer Keith Murray’s voice is powerful and cutting; he commands the stage with volume and the strong presence of a highly adept frontman. The trio storm through a blistering set with crowd favourites such as It’s A Hit and The Great Escape. As Murray journeys through the crowd of smiling faces while singing it’s clear that the band seem right at home on the live stage.