When Glasgow surf punk trio PAWS released their debut album ‘Cokefloat’ last year, they probably didn’t expect that one of Brooklyn’s finest indie acts We Are Scientists would not only discover and share their music with their own fans but invite them on their next full UK tour. But that is exactly what has happened and now it seems our boys have made best friends for life in Keith Murray and Chris Cain.
On a tour which they’ve already been loving every minute of, this homecoming stop is particularly special for the trio which is evident from the relaxed yet excitable nature of Phillip Taylor and co. They come across as relatively comfortable onstage, despite missing a trip to the little boys’ room before taking to the stage and thus pounding (and I mean literally pounding) through their set, sometimes at break neck speed. Tracks from ‘Cokefloat’ take priority, with ‘Bloodline’, ‘Tulip’ and ‘Jellyfish’ standing out as highlights before WAS’ Keith Murray joins the band onstage for ‘Sore Tummy’, pretty much blowing the rest of the set out of the water. But it’s not all go, go, go, as the band slow things down with ‘Poor Old Christopher Robin’, showing those new to their sound that they’re not just crazy noise makers, although they are bloody good at it.
Even by this point in the evening, the intimate downstairs venue of Oran Mor is already cloudy with body heat and things are about to get a whole lot hotter. It’s evident that the Glasgow audience are here tonight at this sold out show for the hits and the WAS boys deliver to no end. After opener ‘Dinosaurs’, ‘This Scene is Dead’ is the first to get the crowd pogo-ing away and from then on it’s just a sea of bobbing heads as they soar through the best of their back catalogue (though still nothing from ‘Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order)’ but we live in hope!).
Upon listening to the band’s recently released double A-side ‘Something About You/Let Me Win’ it felt like they didn’t quite have that hyperactive indie spark they once had in the days of ‘With Love and Squalor…’ but if this show, this tour proves anything, it’s that both Keith and Chris are still in it for their love of playing live, something shown by their humble “thank you”s, constant grins and Keith’s interaction with the crowd as he performs ‘Textbook’ from the barrier. Ending the set before the encore, PAWS return the favour from earlier as Phillip joins the band onstage for ‘After Hours’. And after hearing new track ‘Slow Down’, it’s clear that the next album will still hold at least some of that early fresh faced, fast paced indie rock and roll that they’re known and loved for so much.
And what WAS show would be complete without a little of that signature witty banter? The charming Chris Cain warns the crowd to be on the lookout for werewolves before mistaking a crowd member’s “Easy!” chant for ‘Egypt’. From there, they create a continuing inside joke about campaigning for Egypt by drinking beer. As always, it’s like a music show and comedy show all wrapped into one.
The band may have seen their peak in the mid-noughties and it’s easy to forget that they’re actually one of the most entertaining live acts around. But that’s just it, they are still around and after the success of this tour, it’s clear We Are Scientists still have some great times ahead of them and an incredibly loyal and supportive following to boot.