The Scientists

Now in its third year the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival floods Melbourne with an array of amazing gigs, that celebrates everything Melbourne and its musicality. The Corner Hotel hosted the I’m Flipped Out Over Youmini festival that was to be headlined by legendary Perth swamp rockers The Scientists in their original line up along with a whole slew of local talent new and old.

First up on the smaller side stage were The Electric Guitars. As soon as they kicked into their first track 'Fate' I could feel the mud between my ears, it had that classic swamp rock feel and that The Scientists perfected. As the set progressed it got louder and more chaotic, this reviewer was a virgin listener to this band but now I am a solid convert.

On the main stage Girl Crazy were about to pump the crowd up with their classic brand of art pop. They got the crowd moving with the appropriately named 'Good Feeling', as soon the crowd leeched onto their vibe they didn’t let go.

One of the best songs of the set was typically Melbourne and called 'Zone Two'.

After seeing this band this reviewer was buzzing, I was two for two on discovering new bands.

Back on the smaller stage HITS were about to incinerate the crowd, this reviewer had seen them the previous night at The Tote and was still deaf and numb. I had been blasting their album Hikikomori from last year for the last couple of weeks, So I was keen to see how it translated to a live setting, their double guitar assault of Tamara Bell and Stacey Coleman the crowd got belted around the head from the left and the right, along with ‘Evil’ Dick Richards loose stage presence added that extra sense of danger to the set. When they kicked into first gear with 'Jesus F Christ' it was impossible to stop this sonic 'Bullet Train'.

In this reviewers opinion HITS are one of the best bands this country has produced in the last five years.

I love walking into a gig with blind knowledge and leaving a devoted fan, seeing The Pink Tiles gave me this exact feeling. There is nothing better than a strong riff and harmonies to drag a crowd in and The Pink Tiles had these in spades, with heavy influences from the girl groups from the 60s and Tav Falco's Panther Burns. Which I swore I saw the lead singer sporting a Tav Falco back patch on her jacket.

They were personally picked by Kim Salmon to play, that definitely says something about the bands credibility.

Legends don’t come much bigger than Spencer P Jones. Spencer has built a solid career over the past 30 years in such groups as Beasts of Bourbon, The Johnnys, tonight he as playing with his own band The Escape Committee. The thing about Spencer is he is always dependable, he is a master of his craft and tonight’s gig proved that.

Tonight’s crowd were mostly on the older side, so they knew Spencer’s songs off by heart. Spencer delivered what the crowd wanted. A solid set of bluesy rock'n'roll.

It was getting close to the end of the night and 80’s favourites The Dubrovniks were getting geared up. This was another band I heard of a lot growing up but never got the chance to see. This was the third band I had seen James Baker drum in the space of two days, I had seen him the night before at The Tote play with The Television Addicts, tonight with the Dubrovnik’s and he was to play with The Scientists later on. It’s easy to say the guy is a rock machine. Solid through out the band cranked it up and smashed out a great set.

Rocket Science had only reformed last year after a five year absence they burst back onto the scene at a benefit gig to support The Lime Spiders rock legend Mick Blood and they subsequently played at the ninth Boogie Festival earlier this year in Tallarook.

Lead singer Roman Tucker is easily one of the most energised and charismatic singers our country has ever produced. He lurches about the stage like a caged tiger and you never know from one second to the next when he is going to dive into the audience and being over six foot he can be quite intimidating but in a dangerous rock and roll way. I wasn’t really paying that much attention to what the band was playing, as I was transfixed with Roman's foreboding stage presence. He just has the incredible sense of danger and unpredictability that you rarely see in bands these days. They finished off their set with fan favourite 'Burn In Hell'. By this time, the crowds jaws were dropped on the floor and were still trying to comprehend what they had just witnessed.

The place was bursting by this time of the night and understandably so. The Scientists are very well loved band and they bring out fans from the dead every time they play. I had seen various line ups of The Scientists over the years, but never the original one, so the level of anticipation was high. Their energetic set brutalised the crowd and drag them down into the swamp.

They played everything from 'Pissed On Another Planet' to 'Drop Out' to hard blues rock 'Teenage Dreamer' and they finished off with a killer cover of The Heartbreakers' 'Chinese Rocks'. They could have played for another hour and it still would have not been enough for this mob.
It was a stellar effort by the organisers of The Leaps and Bounds Music Festival and it just goes to show how passionate they are about our music scene and preserving out music culture. This reviewer will be nursing a hangover for at least a week, always a good sign of a great gig.

Barry Takes Photos complete photo gallery available here:

Here are some HD VIDEOS from The Scientists reformation concert at The Howler from last year:

The Scientists - Girl @ The Howler, Brunswick (29th Mar 2014) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.

The legendary Perth post-punk rockers The Scientists are reforming for a nation-wide tour in March of this year to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their forming. The good news is that this one off lineup will be their original line-up of singer-guitarist Kim Salmon, guitarist-singer Roddy Radalj, bassist Boris Sujdovic and legendary drummer, James Baker.

Way back in 1978, they changed band names from The Invaders to The Scientists and went on to release a string of classic albums through Bruce Milne’s Au Go Go label. They playing loud, brash music that took from the punk and swamp rock genres. In a decade-long career spanning seven albums and influencing countless rockers, including Nirvana front-man, Kurt Cobain, The Scientists’ style evolved from pop and punk influenced tunes, to a more psychedelic, swampy sound as their line-up shifted around.

Kim Salmon: “Even with the melodic material (most of it) we wanted it to be a bit out of tune but not in an obvious way that it would seem deliberate… these were the things that made for 'style' we believed.”

A show in Perth’s Shenton Park Hotel saw the end of The Scientists’ golden era, but the band has come together a few times since, in 1995 for a reunion show and in 2006 and 2010 to play All Tomorrow’s Parties curated performances.

For more information about The Scientists:
Scientists EP
Scientist first self titled album
For more information about Kim Salmon:

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