Live Review: We Are Scientists, PAWS, The Yawns at Oran Mor, 29/7/13

IMG_5368 copyIt has been quite a while since we have heard from Brooklyn’s most raucous of sons We Are Scientists.

During the mid noughties the trio released a plethora of feel good indie hits that would launch them into the public eye; radio play, MTV and even a performance on the infamous Late Night Show with David Letterman would follow.

Things were going pretty swell for the colloquial trio.

For them to come back to the UK no less than eight years on since the release of breakthrough single ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ and still sell out venues the size of the cathedral-esque Oran Mor well in advance is testament to both how loyal a fan base the band has amassed through the years, but also a nod to their own musical consistency, which we will get to later.

Up first tonight we have The Yawns who squalor and squelch around the carnivorous basement stage, before endeavouring to paint a vibrant rainbow of well-harnessed harmonies and melodies.

There are moments when the Southside mob sound muddy and exuberant, for example on latest single ‘Full of Admiration’, there is a cadence of psychedelic melancholy that harks back to an era of carefree and nonchalant times, more commonly known as the raving late 80s, all we are missing is Siouxsie and the Banshees dancing around the back of the stage with a bunch of prowling cats to complete the scene.

Gathering from the chitchat among the crowd tonight, it is fair to say that there is quite a bit of intrigue about the next band to take the stage tonight.

IMG_5225PAWS is a rare breed of band, bringing with them an arms race of songs that deal with isolation and paranoia yet dipping them in a deeply saturated saccharine of summer haze and euphoria.

New bassist Ryan Drever (ex No Island and Drive By Argument) is introduced by the band tonight and brings with him an intensity and enthusiasm that delves itself intrinsically into the pockets of what is already a fantastic live band.

Joined onstage by We Are Scientists very own Keith Murray for a stirring rendition of ‘Sore Tummy’, it is clear PAWS are going places in 2013; keep your lips sealed with this lot.

By the time We Are Scientists close tonight’s proceedings the party is already in full swing, which plays entirely into the New Yorkers hands.

Over the piece of their hour and fifteen minute set there will be jokes about Egypt, songs for peace and a tangible deliverance of what brought them to the dance in the first place: catchy, contemporary hits drizzled in a quaint coating of irony and realism.

While the old hits such as ‘It’s A Hit’, ‘After Hours’, ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ and eventual curtain closer ‘The Great Escape’ all sound as fresh and frivolous as they ever have it is actually the newer numbers which bring a much needed diversity and airing of intelligence to a We Are Scientists set in 2013.

There is a moody and matured hindsight to be found within new single ‘Something About You’, which adds a more refined edge to the Brooklyn trio in a live environment.

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Tonight, however, the most fascinating and surreal moments are to be found in the smiles and lurking happiness emanating from Keith and Chris onstage, this is a band that are at the pinnacle of their career, that much is clear from how tight and comfy they are onstage together, as they bounce off each other seamlessly with banter and charm, still having a blast after ten years.

It is this banter and charm that has reciprocated and translated into a successful career and a loyal fan base that will continue to flock back in their numbers every time the trio are in town.

more photos

Words: Chris Kelman
Photos: Vito Andreoni

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