Live Review: We Are Scientists at Shoreditch Village Underground – 18th November 2010

By on Wednesday, 24th November 2010 at 2:00 pm

Words by Jason Thomas
Photos by Thomas Roundell Greene

So last Thursday I ventured into the cold London night, as We Are Scientists had invited me to a special showcase at Village Underground, in deepest darkest Shoreditch, East London. The gig was part of their ‘American Barbarians’ UK tour. My best mate Tom was given photography duties for the night, so you have him to thank for the snaps, though I was the one who got a sore arm filming a video of ‘Chick Lit’ (which, sadly, wasn’t up to our exacting standards for posting on TGTF). This was one of two We Are Scientists gigs of the evening. The latter, which I couldn’t obtain passes for, was a ‘Little Noise Session’ for Mencap at Union Chapel in Islington, with support from the Kooks and Example. Next time lads, next time!

Tonight’s gig at Village Underground was the band showing their support for UK charity Live Unltd International, an organisation built upon rewarding young entrepreneurs with funding for community based projects related to music, sport and the arts. The room was set with an automated rodeo bull, coconut shy, its own tin pan alley and a few scantily clad glamour girls. Come to think of it, where’s the pictures of them, Tom? That’s the problem with married photographers! I was originally expecting to review a ‘full’ live gig from ‘We Are Scientists’, but upon arrival I realised this was not the case; air drums sound and look pony by the way! Acoustic it is, to the bar then. After draining a couple of beers from the ‘one per industry bar’ (they really should keep better tabs on us) and devouring an enormous spit-roast pig sandwich, it was time for the band to take to the stage.

It’s always a nice treat to hear a band’s songs played acoustic, and the lads didn’t let the party down. All crowded around one microphone they rattled through past hits and new tunes alike for thirty minutes, to the delight of competition winners, charity founders and ‘beered up’ industry wigs alike. Highlight for me, and the stand-out tune of the night was ‘After Hours’ (“time means nothing”) probably one of the band’s best-known tracks to date. The band were their usual jovial selves and complimented the party atmosphere of the night well; jostling over the mic, ducking in and out for harmonies, narrowly avoiding a lonely shaker, which was only doing its job I hasten to add. I was surprised at how well the songs came across in this format, but hats off to the three of them, I really enjoyed the set.

The band were whisked off stage and on to their second gig of the night, and it was left to Nihal from Radio 1 to fill the arches beneath Shoreditch tube station with audible pleasures. After spending a few minutes mincing about to dubstep, we decided it was time to take our nigh on thirty frames back into the horizontal drizzle of the London streets, to reflect on the nights activities over a pint of Badger. And that’s when the inevitable happened; sitting in the pub garden we were accosted by a particularly rude and unsavoury character offering substances concocted by a totally different sort of scientist than the three we had just so recently witnessed….we knew we were in East London! We quickly left by the way, exactly the way we had come in.

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