Live Review: We Are Scientists - O2 Ritz, Manchester 09/05/2018
We Are Scientists played a sold-out show at Manchester O2 Ritz in support of their 6th studio album, Megaplex.
Support came from The Lottery Winners and The Pale White, both creating an atmosphere amongst the early crowd.
The Lottery Winners came on only ten minutes after the doors opened. Playing to a fairly empty room it wasn’t long before cheeky singer Thom Rylance addressed this. The lack of a crowd did not let this affect their performance, this was the first time I’ve seen The Lottery Winners but they put on a great show full of energy and humour. The Manchester based band finished on a song called ‘21’, which was certainly fitting with lyrics “It’s nice to be home”. The joint vocals, chatty frontman and upbeat tracks got the crowd ready to go for the night ahead.
Second support came from The Pale White, who are definitely a band to watch out for. Releasing a couple of new singles this year, the Newcastle based three-piece have got a whole lot of potential. It’s really rare you get a support band so good, they set up the crowd ready and waiting for We Are Scientists.
Originally taking place at smaller venue Gorilla, which is just across the road from the Ritz, the gig got a venue upgrade due to high demand. Lights went down as We Are Scientists came out onto the stage. Lead singer Keith Murray said “We are the We Are Scientists band” ahead of playing new song ‘Your Light Has Changed’ back to back with ‘The Great Escape’. We knew we were in for a treat of a night!
The New York based band are without a doubt the best comedy duo in music. They spoke with one another and made jokes throughout the set, with the whole audience listening and giggling along. Mocking Manchester and Britain in general, the friendly banter continued throughout the set.
‘The Scene Is Dead’, ‘After Hours’ and ‘No Wait at Five Leaves’ were all stand out tracks for me. After an epic set list playing well loved songs from each album amongst new songs, ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ concluded the set and We Are Scientists left the stage.
As the night drew to a close, the band came back out for an encore. Playing first album track ‘Textbook’ as their final song, the nostalgia really started to kick in. Keith Murray jumped down off the stage and was suddenly walking about the crowd with adoring fans hugging him and singing into the microphone.
I first saw We Are Scientists when I was thirteen, they supported Kaiser Chiefs at Hull Arena and I was probably more excited about seeing We Are Scientists than I was about the then pop sensations Kaiser Chiefs. I saw them a few months later on their own tour and I remember standing there, younger than the age I was meant to be at the 14+ gig, thinking “I want to be in a band”. This dream never came true, I never took the time to learn about music, I can’t sing nor play an instrument, but that dream was there. And I think it still is to some extent, there’s an insane kind of jealousy you get when you admire a band for their talent.
This evening We Are Scientists prove they have well and truly still got it. Coming up to almost twenty years as a band, and constantly touring for the best part of that, it has to be said how they are an amazing live band. Always playing unusual venues in a city near you, We Are Scientists are one of the only surviving bands of their generation. It’s important that we keep supporting them so we can show our appreciation for the great music they have given to us.
Words and Photography by Abbie Jennings