We Are Scientists - 53 Degrees Preston - 3.2.06

As the second act on the NME Tour, We Are Scientists are playing a number of headline dates on their days off and the day before this New York trio play two sold out shows at Manchester Academy they turn up to a capacity crowd at Preston's 53 Degrees. On their album cover We Are Scientists are each holding up an adorable kitten and on stage these guys look part of the geek chic shared by fellow American's Weezer, but do not be fooled by appearances as We Are Scientists are no pussies and make one hello of a rock'n'roll racket on stage.

Not the most good looking or charismatic band, WAS comprise of lanky cheery guitarist and lead singer Keith Murray, Steve Wright meets 70s porn legend John Holmes lookalike bassplayer Chris Cain and hidden at the back drummer Michael Topper.

We Are Scientists songs play a lot better live than on their debut album "With love And Squalor" which has three killer tracks, a few passable efforts and the occasional filler. There may be a retro feel to WAS, but their affection for 70s rock is touching. "Can't Lose" and "Cash Cow" are sharp short slices of guitar punk rock performed with energetic vigour from these likeable larakins. The joy and excitement on their faces is easy to see as they relish the opportunity to play a headline slot to their own fans.

The spirited drumming and guitar breaks are on par with U2 during their very early eighties period when they released their "Boy" album and add onto the top some very funky bass lines and you essentially get WAS. Tonight the cheeky yanks even play a passable yet unexpected cover of the Ronettes "Be My Baby". "It's A Hit" ignites a dancing frenzy and singalong and the fans leave happy after the hour long set

Nicholas Paul Godkin
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com

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