We Are Scientists are one of the few American bands that have found far more success in Europe than they have in their own country. The band have a geeky charm without trying to be too cool which makes them appeal to the British crowd, and in Keith Murray they have a frontman who has made a seamless transition from behind the drum kit.
Kicking off with a blistering version of Nice Guys from their latest album Barbara, Murray and Chris Cairn immediately took hold of the vociferous Leeds crowd. Unfortunately drummer Andy Burrows was not there, having been replaced by Danny Allen for the tour due to commitments with I Am Arrows.
They set the tone for the night when they play a track from their other two major albums-Brain, Thrust, Mastery and With Love and Squalor-within the first three songs of the night. The first half of the set continued with a couple of tracks from Barbara, which they followed up with crowd favourite, The Scene Is Dead their own swipe at hipster culture in their home city of New York.
Murray was then replaced on guitar by the guitarist from support band Rewards as he serenaded the audience during the brilliant Textbook. With Murray back on guitar We Are Scientists hammered out a punked up version of their ode to drinking, Jack and Ginger, which sounded amazing.
The band finished their regular set with After Hours and The Great Escape which drew great receptions from the crowd as they are two of their biggest hits to date. We Are Scientists then came out for an encore, firstly playing Dinosaurs, then ending the night with fan favourite and highlight of the evening, the sublime Cash Cow.
We Are Scientists may well be a band of geeks but they put on an excellent show and you’re guaranteed a good night if you see them, it is also this unashamed lack of ‘cool’ that makes them so great.