SCIENTISTS : Blood Red River

Blood Red River
I can still remember my first encounter with the Scientists pretty vividly. I'd gone to see The Gun Club - touring The Last Vegas Story & fresh off of a 2-song slot on The Tube (which somebody had conveniently uploaded to Youtube last time I looked) - at Nottingham's notorious Rock City &, sloshed on cider & attempting to not piss on my careworn winklepickers, I heard the first growls of the unbeknownst support band from my porcelain vantage point. I'd noticed a short article about them a couple of weeks earlier in the NME but hadn't paid it too much attention & was expecting yet more pale & uninteresting Sisters Of Mercy clones - another miserable Flesh For Lulu or Skeletal Family. Their stuttering, shuddering pre-song tune-up had me zipping up my PVC trews with reckless haste & barging my way stagefront in no time (it wasn't much of a barge tbh - I remember the venue still being half full tops). They looked startling: a wholly alien hybrid of scruffy Detroit hairdos, psyched-out vintage shirts, scuffed 'pickers &, man-oh-man, tatty Levis hipsters the like of which we had never laid our gothic eyes on before (they did the alterations themselves apparently!). I don't remember too much in the way of specific details, 'cept that the first song was "Nitro" & that vocalist / guitarist Kim Salmon quite rightly reprimanded some chattering goth harpy for sniggering at the title of "Murderess In A Purple Dress". Oh, & that they were jawdroppingly awesome. Love at first sight basically. I made a beeline into town & bought their Blood Red River & This Heart Doesn't Run On Blood, This Heart Doesn't Run On Love MLPs the following morning & I still own them both, along with everything they subsequently released & a few earlier bits 'n' pieces also (I'm particularly proud of the Rubber Never Sleeps cassette). They remain one of the few (possibly only) bands I've ever sent a genuine fan letter to. It took almost a year to arrive but when it finally did - Kim Salmon's spidery scrawl in green ink on Scientists' headed notepaper - I was secretly rather flattered. Which is why I've never thrown it away.

To save time &, frankly, effort I'm linking to the thoroughly excellent Rogkentroll blogspot who've uploaded the expanded CD reissue of Blood Red River - no idea where it came from, I've only ever seen it online - complete with 50% of This Heart... (unfortunately shorn of the terrific "Crazy Love") plus the Happy Hour & We Had Love 7"s. Consider my kinky titfer doffed, Roggers.



  1. In Melbourne last year was the staggering night of The Scientists doing 'Blood Red River' supporting ' Sonic Youth performing 'Daydream Nation'!!! Was not a bad night at all!

  2. Yeah, I read about that, sounds amazing (even though Daydream Nation isn't my fav S.Y. album by some distance). I saw Scientists a handful of times & thought they were absolutely fantastic, totally different to anything else that was going on at the time but without any dickhead "attitude" to speak of, they just seemed like decent guys who were really into their music. Best time was on a bill between Sisters Of Mercy (in their gothic pomp) & Flesh For Lulu (remember them? I hope you DON'T...!) when they managed to upset the entire audience just by the cut of their trousers! I really miss bands of their stature these days... x