The Scientists – Live at Studio 22 – Paris – May 3, 2001 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Scientists in concert tonight – recorded at Studio 22 in Paris on May 3, 2001. The Scientists is an influential post-punk band from Perth, Western Australia, led by Kim Salmon, initially known as the Exterminators and then the Invaders. The band had two primary incarnations: the Perth-based punk band of the late 1970s and the Sydney/London-based swamp rock band of the 1980s.
Kim Salmon had formed a proto-punk band, the Cheap Nasties, in August 1976. He left in December 1977 and the remainder, with Robbie Porritt joining as lead vocalist, continued as the Manikins. Salmon replaced Mark Demetrius in the Exterminators, who then became known as the Invaders. The lineup included Roddy Radalj (guitar, vocals), Boris Sujdovic (bass) and John Rowlings (drums).
The band released a 12″ EP, Demolition Derby, in Belgium in February 1985, and their first full overseas album Produced by The Fall and Birthday Party producer, Richard Mazda , You Get What You Deserve, in the UK in July 1985 on their manager’s Karbon label, followed by the “You Only Live Twice”/”If It’s The Last Thing I Do” 7″ in September. Owing to contractual disputes with Au Go Go, different mixes of some tracks appeared in Australia as the mini-album Atom Bomb Baby, with the “Atom Bomb Baby/Backwards Man” 7″ and a compilation LP Heading For a Trauma (comprising Demolition Derby with rare, radio and live tracks) being released with it in July 1985.
Rixon left the band in February 1985 to be replaced by Phillip Hertz, who was replaced in December 1985 by Leanne Chock. The band signed a new deal with Big Time Records, who asked them to prepare a best-of compilation to introduce them to the market. The band rerecorded 11 of their songs with producer Richard Mazda as Weird Love, released in April 1986.
Sujdovic had to leave the UK after the recording due to visa problems, and was replaced by Joe Presedo of Silver Chapter. Presedo and Chock left in December 1986, Salmon shifted to bass and Nick Combe joined on drums. The Salmon/Thewlis/Combe lineup recorded the album Human Jukebox in December 1986.
This lineup returned to Australia in April 1987 for the Human Jukebox tour. The band toured Australia in November 1987, with a lineup of Salmon, Thewlis, Combe on drums and Rixon rejoining on bass. Their last show was at the Shenton Park Hotel in Perth on 27 November 1987.
The first version of the Scientists, as the Salmon/Baker/Sharples/Juniper lineup, reformed for a one-off show in Perth on 10 February 1995.
There have been other reformation shows by both versions of the band. In May 2006, the Scientists (with a line-up of Thewlis, Salmon, Sujdovic and Chock) were invited by Mudhoney to play at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in the UK. They also supported Mudhoney at a performance at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London on 11 May 2006. In 2007, a live recording of that performance, Sedition, was released on the ATP Recordings label. The same lineup played in London in April 2007 and at the ATP festival the same month. In February 2008, they supported Sonic Youth for their Australian Daydream Nation shows, performing the mini album Blood Red River in its entirety as part of the ATP-curated Don’t Look Back series.
For a reminder of what they were up to in 2001 – here is that Studio 22 gig, as it was broadcast on May 3, 2001.