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As I ambled down Berwick Street this afternoon, I caught sight of a young guy in skinny jeans and silly haircut. It was Keith Murray, lead singer and founding quarter of We are Scientists, casually chatting to his fans outside one of my favourite record shops in-anywhere, a rare sight for someone who graces so many of today’s ‘cutting edge’ magazines. After picking up my ‘ticket’ and queueing for minutes, the assembled 50-something strong audience strolled into the back of the premises, where a series of amps and acoustic equipment had been set up among AC/DC and Slayer t-shirts.
The band proceeded to deliver deconstructed versions of their now 4-and-a-bit album back catalogue, with almost unrecognisable – but still enthralling – performances of songs such as Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt, After Hours, and Great Escape. Performances peppered with comic banter too, which made for a live set so entertaining I felt guilty for having got in for free. Everyone knew why this show had been set up – to promote their latest single, Chick Lit – a subject which the band handled modestly and in a self-deprecating manner. It was almost a thinly veiled excuse to play an intimate gig; this is how sincerely communicated their set was.
Post-show, I nabbed a copy of the single’s 9″ vinyl, only to feel guilt once more. You see, this isn’t just a song flung onto plastic as a hastily cobbled together piece of marketing (or indeed it could be, in which case I hope someone is up for an award); it’s so damn satirical, with Murray and Cain recreating scenes from Brokeback Mountain. My copy was passed along for the band to sign, and I trotted out of Soho with a happy buzz I hadn’t had from a show in some time.
To top it all off the show finished at 6.30pm and I got home with a whole evening to spare.