I just drove home feeling excited after yet another performance left me entangled in thoughts. Bottom line for me tonight was that The Naked Scientists are so far ahead of the game that they still have time to reinvent it!
I found myself asking the questions –
Are these guys really this good? YES THEY ARE BLOODY BRILLIANT.
Why are they so good? Not only because they are doing it for the love of playing (without the intrusion of false pretence) but also there is the factor I almost overlooked. They are naive! Is that a compliment? At this age YES. It sometimes pays to be naive when on a creative journey. Those that spend time trying to demystify the songwriting process or make rulebooks on what being in a band should/shouldn’t be about are trying too hard… Don’t waste time trying to over-think things. Just try EVERYTHING and see what works!
Afterwards I wanted to know more about them. Who they were, where they are from, what sort of upbringings they had. All this contributes massively in generating the sort of connection that stirs us up inside when we hear what a band has to say.
Other than the essential furnishings of writing imaginative songs, technically all a band needs to sound polished is IMPECCABLE TIMING AND EXCELLENT PITCHING. Building this is an ongoing process. You can never be too good when it comes to staying in sync and pitch! The Naked Scientists’ drummer could play in time and the frontman pitched his notes. All this whilst the guitars and bass were delicately picked. Check.
One reason why these guys impressed me tonight is because they are so fresh faced and humble in the way they go about their business. Harriet Beech (TNS manager) is the most enthusiastic person I have come across who cares deeply about the welfare of the band – and because of her they are a team and operate as professionals! The honesty was apparent in the performance of their own songs because they haven’t had time to be coated in the influence of other bands. Naturally, they have their idols – as an interesting and diverse range of covers suggested. The band’s set created a surging current amongst the people in the room that was wholly engaging. The walls dropped and they let everybody in. Not just any band can achieve this in front of an audience.
Sure like any young aspiring band there is a long steep climb ahead for them and they need some basic pointers to help them along their way. Being willing to listen which is a huge skill to have – after all isn’t that what the real concept of music is? REAL MUSICIANS MUST KNOW HOW TO USE THEIR EARS. It may seem heartless to criticize or point out what they don’t have yet as a band when what they lack will only come with more gigging experience. However when the odds are weighted so heavily in their favour it would be a shame to see this kind of potential go to waste letting them leave without any sort of feedback to help them along. What I learned here though was that bands of this unique ilk need encouragement in order to develop – not necessarily critique. Young artists need time to grow their thick layers of skin. Throw in too much criticism too soon and you could wound them leaving them no confidence in themselves. I guess self-belief is what passions are centred around. Without belief you are never going to convince anyone if you aren’t even convincing yourself.
But here’s the extraordinary thing.
The five members of The Naked Scientists are all 15 years old! I myself hadn’t even picked up a guitar at their age let alone headlined some of Manchester’s most vibrant music venues….
Keep it up guys and good things will come your way!