Helter Seltzer is my definitely one of my top albums of 2016 and this is one of my favourite tunes from it, with its clever drumwork and infectious guitar loop.
I was supposed to see New York band We Are Scientists last November when they were to do a double headline show with Ash (who happen to one of my favourite bands), but a few days before the Bataclan attacks happened and W.A.S.’ Keith Murray had been at that ill-fated gig with his wife and decided to accompany her home. Very understandable and no bad word said about that decision, but seeing later W*A*S*H gigs on YouTube, the audience in Amsterdam missed out! Luckily Chris Cain and Keith Carne still joined the Ash guys for the encore and the gig ended on a massive high. I may put a review of that gig on at a later date.
I cannot tell you how psyched I was for this gig (Yes, I just used the word psyched). Because it did not quite work out last time, it simply felt overdue, and I was expecting a lot from these guys. I mean, this is a band that has been around for over a decade and have a vast array of songs about drinking and falling over – they know how to party. And simply put – I was not wrong!
Before the gig singer/guitarist Keith Murray was happily working the merchandise stall. I am pretty positive there is no better marketing trick – the merch definitely got shifted! It’s good to see a band who are not up their own a**e and just seem to enjoy the job they are doing. It’s surprisingly refreshing.
Right from the start they blew any cobwebs or haze that may have lingered after a balmy day in Amsterdam from their audience’s collective mind. The burst of energy coming from the stage right from the first tune ‘This Scene Is Dead’ fed into the crowd and I don’t think any of us looked back.
They did joke they brought Ash, but they were in the dressing room. There was some arguing over the metric system as well. Nonsense, because of course the metric system is better than any the Americans dreamt up. But it is that really quite random chatter between Keith and Chris that bring a touch extra to a W.A.S. gig.
Scintillating (great word) renditions of ‘Buckle’, ‘In My Head’ and ‘Classic Love’ proved that new album Helter Seltzer stands up with the best they have produced so far, while old classics such as ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’, ‘Chick Lit’ and ‘The Great Escape’ still sound fresh and had a frantic reception. ‘The Great Escape’ solicited an impromptu singing of the guitar riff (always a brilliant sign) and the mosh pit was born. Keith put down his guitar and jumped down into the audience for ‘Textbook’, which no doubt made many a fan’s night. The band closed with ‘After Hours’, which to me remains the signature We Are Scientists song with its chirpy guitar loop, sing-along chorus and well, it’s about drinking. And yes, I believe I was right where I was supposed to be…
Of course there was to be an encore, which they duly gave with ‘Nice Guys’ and ending with ‘Too Late’, from their new album, which was the perfect wind-down track after a pretty electric performance. A last time in the audience for Keith and Chris and it was done…
The sound was a little patchy at times, but that is nitpicking and who cares when the band is at the top of their game and you are having fun!
Of course I could not resist buying something from Keith after the show and it gave me a chance to tell him how awesome they had been.
I came to the gig loving these guys and I came away a massive fan. Job well done, I’d say.