24th Oct @ The Liquid Rooms
With doors opening at 6:30pm and the first support playing at 6:45pm, the Liquid Rooms are clearly demonstrating that live music is not their priority these days. Wrapping up by 10pm means that the venue can switch over into a night club and haul in the cash. Sadly, having such a tight turnaround naturally restricts audiences and acts alike, and is part of a worrying trend in the Edinburgh live music scene. The Liquid Rooms could be a great spot and a bastion in an otherwise stifled and vanilla city, but we desperately need more venues which put live music first rather than as a side show to the monotonous cattle-market clubs that dominate much of the entertainment in the city.
Retro Video Club, a local act, are on first with an upbeat set. Rumbling through with a series of catchy songs, including ‘1993’, ‘Heart Brigade’ and ‘Recovery’, their performance meets an enthusiastic response from a crowd clearly packed out with their friends and family. Anthemic, rough-around the edges, and energetic these boys deserve to make it out of the local bubble and onto larger stages elsewhere.
Brooklyn-based quartet Beverly follow, their fuzzy, reverb-soaked tunes are grungy, punchy and memorable. They’ve been touring now with We Are Scientists for the best part of three weeks and playing from their recently released second album The Blue Swell which came out in May of this year.
We Are Scientists are a New York-based indie rock act, active for the past sixteen odd years and a consistent presence on the UK touring circuit. Their latest album, Helter Seltzer, came out earlier this year. I first saw We Are Scientists playing a gig in a small record store in the rural backwater I grew up in, my eldest brother took eleven-year-old me along. It feels like a bit of a peculiar circle, ten years on, standing in the crowd at the same age he was – but despite the passage of time, they’ve gathered no rust.
Playing through a host of crowd-pleasing hits from their earlier albums, With Love and Squalor and Brain Thrust Mastery, We Are Scientists are engaging, energetic and, in between songs, damn funny. As always, an enthusiastic drunk decides that his presence should be the centre of attention, and starts proclaiming his love for Keith, the lead singer, at the top of his voice, while slamming into the folk on the front row. Heckling is often a bit of an awkward affair, and thankfully the moment passes after a few snappy put-downs from the stage.
Tracks from their latest release are met with the same enthusiastic response as more familiar tunes like, ‘The Great Escape’, ‘It’s a Hit’, and ‘Textbook’. We Are Scientists’ latest single, ‘Buckle’, is a high-point of their set and a clear indication that even after having been around for so long now, they’ve still got it.