Ash vs. We Are Scientists – John Dee, Oslo 20.11/15

You all know how much I love Ash. Yes, love is a strong word and so on, but I really do love Ash’ music. When they finally released a new album, and came back to Norway I just had to see them. The tickets went on sale in August and I’ve been looking forward to this evening since then.

We Are Scientists (WAS) joined the European tour. Calling it: Ash vs. We Are Scientists – Masters of the Euroverse. I’ve heard of WAS but I have never listened to their music. I have to admit that it bugged me. Why WAS when Ash can play a longer set. But I’m going with an open mind. They’re playing with Ash so they have to be good.

We Are Scientists
saleWAS is the first band out. I move to the back of the venue, so the WAS-fans can enjoy the show. WAS are actually quite good live, and I like their sound.
They ask us if we have heard of a Norwegian band called A-ha. Of course we have, it’s Norway’s pride when it comes to music. They continue with saying that the last time they played in Oslo A-ha were playing their last show. The WAS-guys are funny, I like them.
The audience is calm, not crazy, so calm that Keith Murray, the vocalist, jump right in the crowd and sang in the middle of the audience-area. I love it when something unexpected happen, and I didn’t expect that. They also played new song that will be released on their upcoming album. They said that if we knew any words we could help them out with the song – again with the humor.
I think WAS made a new fan tonight – me.

The crew are setting up the instruments, and then I notice Rick McMurray on stage. Am I the only one that notices that this is Ash’ drummer? Come on people, open your eyes! I know I haven’t seen them since 2007 but I know how they look like.
It was not that long of a wait til Ash came on stage. They opened their set with “Cocoon” and I am filled with joy. Not a huge fan of the song, but just to see the guys again makes me happy. The highlight of Ash’ set for me was “Shining Light”. You know when you get that feeling when you hear the melody of your favorite song starting – I wish I could hold on to that feeling the rest of the evening.
The audience are a bit more wild and crazy during Ash. I think we know who won the battle between Ash and WAS here in Oslo. We love Ash. And you could tell by looking at the crowd and listening to us sing along to “Oh Yeah”, “Kung Fu” and “Goldfinger”.
“Free” made me disappear into another world, that song is so beautiful. And “Machinery” made me dance, I can’t help but dance when I hear that song. If there was one song from the newest album I want to hear live – is “Dispatch”. They did not play that one..
Ash, you better come back and play all the other songs. I’ve seen the setlists with about 20 songs on them. Come back!
Ash ended their set with “Girl From Mars” which we all sang along to. It is the song that put Ash on the map, the song we all know and love. Not bad ending the set with such a great high.

If you take the initials of We Are Scientists and combine them with Ash, you get WASH. And there you have them – two bands, six men wearing the same military green t-shirt with the initials W*A*S*H on them. In M*A*S*H-style of course. A new supergroup they said. Who plays super songs. The first cover out was “The Boys Are Back In Town” originally by Thin Lizzy, but not bad by WASH either. Made me smile. They also played a couple of Ash songs and WAS songs together. It was truly amazing to experience something like this. And also entertaining to see Rick Mc Murray and Keith Carne switch places after each song – they got quite a work-out during the WASH-set. When WASH said they had one last song to play, we all got disappointed. We yelled “moooore”. They said we should open our hearts to this last song. And then joking about open heart surgery. I think the guy next to me went through a open heart surgery cause his friends kept on pointing at him. The last song is a cover of Weezer’s “Undone – The Sweater Song”. I honestly think that Tim Wheeler sounds like Rivers Cuomo in this last song.

To sum up – I’m gonna start listening to WAS. Ash should most definitely come back and play a longer set. If not, Tim Wheeler should come back and play Lost Domain songs. Ash, I love you, please don’t go away again. It’s been so great having you back. And WAS, you’re not to bad actually..

All photos © Else Solheim