ARTIST: We Are Scientists

VENUE: Sheffield Octagon

REVIEW BY: Tom Bailey

THE last time We Are Scientists played the Octagon back in 2006 they were still enjoying the success of superb debut With Love and Squalor.

Now back with Brain Thrust Mastery – and minus original drummer Michael Tapper – it’s nice to see that despite the long gap between albums they haven’t lost any of their popularity among the student crowd, once again selling out the Octagon.

On support duty were , Ladyhawke who produced an entertaining outing. With nods to their 80s influences and a retro synth sound working well, most notably on single Back of the Van, there’s no question they will have snatched themselves a few more fans tonight.

When reflecting back on the Scientists’ previous outing in the steel city, the one thing I remember above all was the comedy rather than the music, culminating with a hilarious cover of Boys II Men’s End of the Road.

This time around, despite numerous Yorkshire pudding related banter, sadly the humour seems to have been knocked down a notch, or perhaps it’s just me getting older.

Regardless, more than compensating for this was the performance. Granted, WAS have never been a bad live band, but the addition of a touring drummer and keyboard player, as well as an extra guitarist – lightening the load of frontman Murray – can only be seen as a positive thing, with the band sounding tighter than ever before.

Hits Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and It’s A Hit get an obvious and rowdy airing, but perhaps what impresses most is material from their latest offering, with tracks such as Impatience and Let’s See It, fitting in perfectly.

Equally as pleasing is that, although their latest effort has been dubbed more mature, there’s still that sense of fun and enjoyment radiating strongly from the band, a factor that has always made them so much more appealing than their more generic contemporaries.

As The Great Escape brings the night to a close, I argue it was a great comeback.