the chemist
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the chemist

Band Pop Rock


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A queue at opening time on a Sunday night at Amps is very rare indeed, and a testament to the dedication of Birds of Tokyo fans, some of whom had already seen the band twice that weekend. It meant that local support act, The Chemist had a packed room to play to, and they made good use of it.

The Chemist is an odd band. That is, their sound seems to focus on the odd decades, the 50s, the 70s and the 90s but fuse them into something mesmerising. Although it was clear that the majority of the audience had never heard of the band, they stood politely, oddly drawn to the sound of something old-fashioned and comforting -and yet new… and just a bit disturbing. It took two songs before we were transfixed; not just by the music, but in love with bassist Hamish Rahn's rock-pig facial contortions and James Ireland's inconceivably tuneful keyboard mashing.

Random conversations ended and a slack-jawed hush stole over the spectators, fighting ambivalence, as they were simultaneously drawn to, and repelled by, Benjamin Witt spitting withering vocals or laying them mournfully to rest. As if his haunting voice was not enough, he also fingered effects knobs, and played his guitar with his chest, or with his tongue.

Ben, it's ok to love your guitar, but don't luuurrve your guitar.

The Chemist's music is a little bit early rock n roll, and a little bit psychedelic-porn, with a touch of jazz-wanker thrown in, offset by a punk disregard for propriety. Combined with lyrics that make you want to buy the album so you can study them in detail, and a sense that melody can be drawn equally from a feeding-back guitar, or a keyboard played with two fists, and you have an entirely new genre.
Let's call it 'Harold'.

Their song StaRs is the only one available on their Myspace page, and they don't have any recordings available to purchase as yet, but after Sunday night's performance, it won't be surprising if we see big things happening for these boys in the next few months. If you want to revisit your Sunday night, or experience 'Harold' for yourself, they will be playing at The Reserves album launch next weekend, and have a spot supporting Kav Temperley in his solo shows at the end of the month.

By Ashryn @

ByTheWay - Benjamin did not play his guitar with his tounge, he sang through his pick-ups.... woo!!! - FasterLouder


No releases as of yet...



We're a band from Perth, we play rock/pop music.

Influences: Radiohead, Tom Waits, The Beatles, Prince, Billie Holiday......