At their gig at the Liquid Rooms, We Are Scientists started their set by assuring the audience that they are aware of With Love and Squalor's popularity. They started their set with its incredible album track, 'The Scene Is Dead'. This theme carried through the set with six songs being played from the album, outnumbering the songs from this year's Helter Seltzer.
The band have really evolved since With Love and Squalor though. A lot of the raw simplicity of the album is no longer a part of their sound and replacing it is a much richer sound. This is not to say new songs are worse. 'Buckle' from Helter Seltzer and 'Dumb Luck' from 2014's TV en Français are among the sets early highlights.
The later songs also display how proficient the band are. Keith Murray plays so many intricate guitar licks, even whilst singing. There's always a danger of a sounding of flat when, like We Are Scientists with their later albums, bands are strip back their music to be played by a three piece. Chris Kain's frenetic yet well rounded bass playing alongside Keith Carne's powerful drumming, however, more than makes up for the lack of instruments being played.
This stage presence goes a long way. The band play, arguably one of the weaker tracks from With Love and Squalor, 'Textbook'. While one of the other tracks from that album may have received more of a response, We Are Scientists use it as an opportunity to do something a little different. Keith Murray put a guitar note through a delay pedal, hopped the barrier and sang amongst the crowd. One lucky audience member even helped him sing a chorus.
The band ended with a four track encore, surprisingly ending with their Cars-esque ballad 'Too Late' from Helter Seltzer. While, their second to last track, 'After Hours' was a much bigger hit and, therefore, a more expected closer, 'Too Late' is such a euphorically epic anthem with great solos and instrumental fills added in live that it suddenly became very easy to see why We Are Scientists chose the song despite it being one of their lesser known.
We Are Scientists play their prolific set energetically and with accomplishment. They have outlived a lot of their mid noughties indie peers and this concert showed why. The fact they open with a brilliant eleven year old song and close with an equally great yet completely different new one really displays the longevity of the band.