I must say I rarely get the chance to visit the Lemon Grove on a night that doesn’t consist of numerous VKs and the latest chart music blaring out from the soundsystem. This particular night, however, was different. We Are Scientists were in town. Upon arrival the usual queue outside was not present, due to the fact that this night’s gig was a special intimate one staged in Room 2 (the small room to the left as you enter). There was no barrier and the stage was a mere step up from the standing area – this had all the makings for a sweaty, rowdy indie gig much akin to those when We Are Scientists first started out on the New York club scene in the early 2000s.
With no support act for the night; Frank Sinatra’s My Way began to play over the PA, the lights dimmed and out walked the trio. Dressed head to toe in black with his trademark white Chuck Taylors, Keith Murray (vocals/guitar) tapped his delay pedal and launched into the riff of The Scene is Dead. The indie kids, myself included, began to bop up and down but unfortunately the vast majority of the audience, who seemed to be of an older generation, weren’t too interested in joining in. This became more apparent as the band launched into 2008 hit Chick Lit, with the band then attempting to address the slow moving crowd by sarcastically asking if anybody in the crowd needed “their documents notarised?”. Much to the crowds amusement, Keith and Chris then discussed their problems with the Home Office due to illegally notarising a large quantity of illegal documents.
One thing the lackluster crowd most definitely did not stop was Keith’s extremely energetic performance. Mid-way through Textbook he launched himself into the crowd and proceeded to sing lying on his back atop of the sound-desk, before exiting the Lemmy via the fire exit and singing through the adjoining window. The crowd were somewhat mesmerised and began to finally bounce a long. Chris then asked the crowd if anyone had “any lemons, fresh from the grove?” before launching into perhaps their biggest hit, After Hours. As a self proclaimed “greatest hits band” when it comes to setlists, there was no surprise that only three songs off the new record were played, the set finishing with newbie Too Late. They put down their guitars and headed straight to the bar, continuing the night mingling with the fans after an emphatic set.
It can be seen as quite a shame that Exeter did not make the most of what was an incredible night of music. Despite the lack of support acts, this was a proper indie night – a small sweaty venue with a powerful guitar band, lacking only the bouncy, sweaty, youthful individuals. Although, this was probably down to two simple factors: firstly, the gig was not announced until the week before, and secondly, the vast-majority of the student population were at St James Park watching the varsity match. None of this had anything to do with the quality of the band, so Exeter, you missed out – We Are Scientists were simply amazing.