We Are Scientists

I Are Scientists.
Grammar aside this is true and the reason why this post is scheduled is because I’m giving a scientific talk at a conference the other side of the world and can’t edit this blog in real time.

Live music photography does not pay the bills, you know. (if you don’t and are thinking of a career, consider this statement)

Nevertheless, with the approaching of the 250th post on bands, reviewed and photographed on here, with more than 3 thousands (yes thousands) photos for you to browse, in about 7 years, I haven’t left this place abandoned, have I?

“I Are Scientists” has been the best T-Shirt We Are Scientists have been selling since I saw them. They still do.

The first time was a long (very long) time ago. We Are Scientists supported The Editors first tour in the winter of 2005 (never scanned those photos I will one day,but I have these for you) and indie-pop was jangling all around.
The second time they played the Corn Exchange in a NME tour with Arctic Monkeys headlining, it was Febryary 2006. In that tour they become close friend with the emerging Sheffield rockstars.
Third time was their own headline show, still at the Junction Cambridge. April 2006. 8 years ago they played 3 shows in Cambridge in less than 6 months, a record.

I shoot all of those 3 gigs on 35mm b&w film so what’s better than keeping this domain’s name alive and sit back at the computer to scan old negatives?

Songkick tells me there was another stop in Cambridge, in 2010, but for some reason I missed it.

Today, 8 years later, they’re back. My fault, their fault too. I lost track with the band.

I also lost my addiction to photographs concerts exclusively on film. The conditions are not ideal to cover a gig on film, with manual focus fast prime lenses too. It is more expensive, is slower but the main reason no one cares of having a film photo. All they want is a JPG file, possibly in colour.

In these years We Are Scientists have lost Michael Tapper their drummer (and beard of the year 2005 and 2006). They replaced him with Andy Burrows who was drumming for Razorlights (yes I know. This is the first time I cite Razorlight on the blog’s honourable career, I promise is the last).

At this point I should mention also Keith Murray and Chris Cain, because to everyone’s knowledge they are We Are Scientists.

Keith is the quintessential indie-rock guy. Skinny himself, skinny the jeans, slim the fit, converse the shoes. Scrappy Fender Telecaster and nice haircut getting sexier with some grey spots.
Chris is the quintessential indie-rock nerd. Funny, thick glasses, moustaches, tall enough to match his bass good at jokes.

The first We Are Scientists album, With Love and Squalor (I can still remember the title by heart) was one of the nicest, more uplifting records of that era. I remember it being compared to the Killers debut. It has less Vegas and more NYC. More guitars and less synths. It is plenty of hooks to sing-along.

Listen to it if you haven’t. Also watch my photos of The Killers  because since those NME tour years (Killers NME tour was Feb 2005, the year before) they never allowed a freelance photographer in their pit anymore. Ah, fame.

In this 8 years that we walked apart We Are Scientists have continued recording music and playing gigs. I continued to take photos and be a scientist too.

(Wiki) says that 3 more records have been released since that debut. I spotifyed them all before this gig, to keep up to date with what has been going on, but I must admit I haven’t missed anything major.
Brain Thrust Mastery was out in 2008. Barbara was released in 2010… (now I remember this title) and TV en Francais which is the one they are touring is just out now, early 2014.

We Are Scientists never stopped playing. Their style hasn’t moved much from the beginning, what is missing is the hooks that made the hits.

What is left is the humour. They have plenty. It will never leave them.
Here is the big pros of We Are Scientists and also their main problem. They are a hell of a fun.

Actually, when I read about this Junction “comeback” gig I went. For the fun.

If you used to browse the website at their beginning they pretended to be doctors answering fans medical question with hilarious humour. It was a laugh out loud before LOL even existed.
On stage the show is a mix of jokes between them and songs, chat and interaction with their fans.

One of We Are Scientists concerts is one part comedy and 2 part music.

They are almost the alter ego of Flight of the Conchords where the New Zealander comedian duo, Bret and Jemain, are 2 part comedy and one part music.

We Are Scientists gig is a place to dance, to have a laugh, to interact with the girl next to you.
All things that the indie-rock fan is emotionally incapable. Here is the problem.

Pop fan is there to have fun, frills, no hard thoughts. Indie-rock is about being shy, having issues approaching people, chatting only through twitter and FB. Not finding easy to mate in person. Physical contact is taboo. Rage moshpit is the only way.

We Are Scientists are indie-rock music with a rare indie-rock attitude.
They are here for the fun, for the beer, for the girls. They’re not shy to show off, they don’t take themselves too seriously.
They’re not fashion obsessed as the Strokes, not literate as The National, not melancholic as DCFC

To mention Zappa, they’re not in here for the money, they’re in here for the fun.

I doubt they made enough money in the years to have a guitar-shaped swimming pool in Florida, but I bet they had a lot of fun.

If you (you indie depressed fan) cannot put aside your fashion obsession to look cool, the pathological shyness that blocks from dancing, try a gig of We Are Scientists. If they don’t uplift your mood, if you don’t feel the urge to shake your ass, science is not enough, but good therapist can do good for you.

On the contrary, if you find yourself in a moshpit jumping up and down, sweating and dreaming of having a one night stand with Keith I would consider knocking at the dress room for the after show party.

The tour is on now, catch with We Are Scientists online to see where they play. [website][facebook][twitter][Spotify]
I’ll be back very soon with more concert photography and some bad written music blogging.

Photo tip

Long time keeping of files.
Don’t know how many of you are bothered. I am worried, to be honest. No, I’m not talking about copies of raw on HD, portable Hard Disk, cloud server. Neither I am talking about raid, mirror disks and all this hi-tech IT that saves our photos from a fatal error of the computer.

Whatever you do, is important that you have copies at least of your raw files somewhere in case of serious disruption. Not as serious as earthquakes, fire, house collapse or the end of the world, in that case no one would care of your concert photos.
Not talking about this, It is plenty of good tutorial online explaining how to back up photos and best keep your files.

What I am bothered is really long long times.

It came to my mind a couple of weeks ago when I found old negatives with photos of my young mum. they were shot more than 50 years old and are perfectly readable, usable, printable.

Now that I am scanning 10 years old negatives of a We Are Scientists gig, same thought. These negatives have been stored in a folder, with an index, in 2 minutes they are in the scanner, previewed, processed, photos. They are perfect (dusty, scratchy without snapseed texture filters) as the day I took them, and they can produce endless copies of good files and or prints.

What when I will have to do the same with my perfectly backed-up digital files in, say, 10 or 20 years time?
Will the Mac OS chimpanzee 25.1 new OS read them?
Will the USB 8.0 hard disk socket plug the cable 5.0 and the computer?
Will those raw files be readable by Lightroom 16.3?

If you’re saying yes to all of this I envy your optimism.
To make an example I have already some problems with pics stored in some recorded CDs and DVDs 6 or 7 years ago. It was state-of-the-art at that time.

New machines don’t even contemplate a CD reader, the one on my iMac stopped working. If I had to import them it wouldn’t be that easy.
It would be worse if I want to recover my thesis which is in floppy disks? It isn’t even 20 ys, it was normal to store in floppy those days. People said you’ll always read them. I would never see that word document anymore (not that I want, but)… would even word eventually open it? Or was it written with Lotus suite?

Yes all of this it doesn’t make me feel sure I will ever be able to show my digital photos to my niece. Surely I will have the film ones with me.
Live on, 35mm.

~ by Valerio on April 22, 2014.

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