We Are Scientists + Superfood + The Heartbreaks, The Institute, Birmingham 15/03/14


We Are Scientists
First on were Morecambe 5-piece The Heartbreaks. Due to the early doors these guys played to a sparse but appreciative crowd who were wowed by lead singer Matthew’s big vocals and the band’s melodic pop songs.

The Heartbreaks
‘Delay Delay’ and new single ‘Hey Hey Lover’ showed how the band has moved on in recent years. Their final track ‘Absolved’ was massive sounding and would have not have felt out of place in a musical.

Superfood
Main support for the show came from local heroes Superfood whose strong following had arrived early to catch them and subsequently surged forward singing the sounds of a band who would not have been out of place in the Britpop mid 90s.

Superfood
A short and sweet set was confidently delivered and you can understand why they are being tipped to follow in the footsteps of other recent Birmingham successes. ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Superfood’ were the stand out songs from a nostalgic sounding set.
REO Speedwagon’s hit ‘Keep on Lovin’ You’ blasts out from The Institute’s PA and out stride We Are Scientists with Keith having a sing along with the raucous crowd and a swig of beer. What follows is a night of sing along hits and comedy banter.
‘Return The Favour’ started off the proceedings, one of surprisingly few tracks from new album TV En Francais. Aforementioned new songs, however, were all well received and it was clear that those in attendance were all familiar with them despite the album only recently being released.

We Are Scientists
This shows just how loyal a following We Are Scientists have who are happy to sing, dance and generally have a great time along with a band who make you feel like you are one of them. There is no pretense with Keith and Chris, they genuinely look like they are having as much fun as the crowd.
‘Nobody Move Nobody Gets Hurt’ arrived early on and set the tempo for the rest of night with lots of jumping, fist pumping and arms waving from there on in. A mainly single-heavy set followed, with songs such as ‘Rules Don’t Stop’ and ‘Chick Lit’ going down especially well.
As is tradition for a We Are Scientists show, songs were interspersed with witty banter and the crowd heckling in return. It’s this that sets them apart from their indie counterparts, many from the mid/late 2000s who have now disappeared into pop obscurity.
Some of the highlights were Chris mimicking an English tourist board brochure for Birmingham, asking the crowd if they had “smashed a Brummie Curry” (read our interview with Chris here) whilst visiting Birmingham and deciding that 30% of us had flown in from Italy especially for the show.
A three song encore of ‘Can’t Lose’ and ‘Slow Down’ culminated in the only song that can end a WAS show, ‘The Great Escape’, which whipped the already rowdy crowd into a sea of jumping, arm waving, crowd surfing and en-mass singing.
We Are Scientists might not be the most famous of indie bands but they do put on the most entertaining of shows.
Photographs by Paul Reynolds