Some people say that how deaf you are after a gig is a decent indicator of how good it was. Most might say those people are also idiots, but if the former is to be believed, the ringing in my ears twelve hours after We Are Scientists’ gig at Caernarfon Market Hall means that it was an absolute doozy.
One of the most culturally significant moments in the small town’s history, seeing an internationally beloved band like We Are Scientists play just down the road from my house still feels surreal. Even though the venue wasn’t exactly Wembley, which isn’t to say that the Market Hall isn’t the perfect spot for live music (because it is), they still put on one hell of a show.
Local band CRY kicked things off, or should that be blew the absolute roof off. The crowd was only a fraction of what it would be later in the night for the headliners, but those that turned up fashionably late seriously missed out. If The Twilight Sad and The Arctic Monkeys decided to spend the night together, CRY would be the beautiful baby that arrived nine months later. Certainly a band I will be keeping an eye on.
Speaking after the show, CRY told me of the experience:
“Amazing atmosphere and an absolute pleasure to be a part of. Having the opportunity to support We Are Scientists along with I Fight Lions in North Wales is a huge step up for the music scene and we’d like to thank Jack Peyton for making it happen.”
Keeping the momentum going, I Fight Lions showed that they could hang with the best of them, delivering song after song that raised one question time and time again: “why aren’t they headlining their own show?”. They displayed a command of the crowd that much bigger bands simply fail to master, interspersing patter and banter between their high-energy songs. The North Wales music scene isn’t one I have admittedly been keeping abreast of – I Fight Lions might just help me change that.
I Fight Lions were just as pleased to be a part of the night:
“Incredible experience playing alongside a band who have been such an influence to us – and to such an exceptional crowd. Huge thank you to Jack Peyton of Syrcas for the opportunity.”
When a band calls its audience “cunts” and it doesn’t elicit a heckle, you know they might be the real deal. We Are Scientists showed that the past ten years haven’t just been a fluke, enamouring themselves even more to their fans and earning a few new ones in the form of the curious attendees who wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Starting their set off with material from their critically-acclaimed debut With Love and Squalor, the three Americans played with the kind of passion that has earned them such a large fanbase. Probably their most well known song, Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt did the opposite of its title – any pretense of coolness in the crowd went out the window as everyone thoroughly lost their shit, singing along with almost as much passion when the same venue was packed out to watch Wales’ run at Euro 2016.
We Are Scientists changed things up with some material from their new album Helter Seltzer, which must also be one of the year’s best examples of guitar music being alive and well. Buckle is a personal favourite of mine with its thumping bassline and moody tone, which translated perfectly to the stage on the night. Too Late, with its hints of James Murphy, went down a treat, too.
Lead singer Keith Murray proved that just because you’re playing in a small venue, it doesn’t mean you should act like it. He enraptured the crowd with his frequent forays into the midst of them, at one stage climbing atop a table to sing down to their delight.
When the band left the stage for the first time, an encore seemed inevitable, and so it was. Coming back to loud cheers, We Are Scientists showcased their broad discography with some underrated gems and one special request from the man behind the miracle, Jack Peyton.
All credit has to go to Mr. Peyton for making a dream become a miracle. Knowing that the town really needed a shot in the arm for live music, he invested his own money to bring the indie superstars to a small Welsh town, and the gamble paid off.
Here’s hoping it’s the start of something special for Caernarfon and the North Wales music scene as a whole. Spread the word, it’s where you will need to be soon.