“How y’all doing gang?” coyly beams We Are Scientists frontman Keith Murray to the eruption of a capacity Duchess crowd. While the rest of the world’s eyes are on the opening of The Olympics, We Are Scientists bring sweat, sass and sound in a bid to compete with the greatest show on Earth.
The heat in the Duchess tonight is enough to melt your face off. It’s rammed to the rafters and you can almost taste the sweat dripping from the low ceiling. Kicking off with the aptly titled Nice Guys before the bristling aceness of Impatience, WAS and their inimitable insanity add a sense of occasion to this rare intimate affair.
Ever the showmen, the whole gig is held together by a relentless stream of surreal banter. Tongues firmly in cheek, Murray and Cain take us on a journey through everything from crushing a child’s dreams in the British Railway Museum to Zane Lowe performing in a brothel. Everything’s always on the right side of crude, and WAS hold the crowd in palm of their sweaty, sweaty hands.
Showcasing three new songs, The Scientists’ new material is packed with their trademark hooks and sweet melodies, but doesn’t have the same electric sense of urgency of their earlier material. Along with a few cuts from third album Barbara, they seem somewhat tired and limp in comparison to the volatile response saved for welcome outings of the likes of Can’t Lose and the undeniably infectious Great Escape.
Murray dives into the sea of clamouring hands for a rousing finale of After Hours. As his flailing limbs surf the crowd, he’s met with a deafening chorus of “SAY…that you’ll STAY”. The crowd mean every word.
Ending on an encore of the short sharp kick of It’s A Hit, We Are Scientists seem victorious. They took on the Olympics with valour and aplomb, and while it’s sad to think their Golden days may be behind them – they’re still champions on stage.