Isle of Wight’s finest give good reason for their rapid rise to the top
Not many bands can be said to have achieved a meteoric rise like Wet Leg, who in the space of 18 months have gone from not having any released music, to being Mercury Award and Grammy nominees. Despite the nominations and skyrocketed success of their self-titled debut album, their recent performance at the O2 Academy Bristol did not feel like a victory lap. Instead, the concert had the feeling of a band still on the rise and rightfully enjoying every minute of it.
Beginning with their album opener, ‘Being in Love’, Wet Leg dove headfirst into the energetic indie sound that made their debut record so enjoyable. The sold-out Bristol crowd, already full of spirit following the flawlessly funky support act Lava La Rue, quickly embraced the electricity of the song, joining in with lyrics of “I feel like someone has punched me in the guts, but I kinda like it cause it feels like being in love”.
The band then sped straight into contagiously catchy ‘Wet Dream’, a song which is arguably the act’s most popular- and for good reason. Lead singer, Rhian Teasdale and lead guitarist Hester Chambers interchange vocals throughout the chorus and the groovy bassline gave the crowd even more of a reason to get their dancing shoes on.
A clear reason for the widespread success of Wet Leg can be put down to the pulsating chemistry between the band, with this visible more than ever at Bristol- Chambers and her bandmates share frequent smiles as they then tear into hits such as ‘Supermarket’ and ‘Oh no’.
Having previously stated that it was her sister’s birthday, Teasdale pointed her out in the crowd, before leading the band in singing a melodic version of ‘Happy birthday’- an intimate moment, where the entire venue joined in to sing the song in unity.
After leaving the stage for five minutes due to a medical incident within the crowd, the band returned with undoubtedly one of the highlights of the night: a cover of ‘Never fight a man with a perm’ by Bristolians, Idles. Perhaps a shock to some, who may not have expected the indie rockers to attempt the punk anthem, however, if anything, the cover showcased the versatility of Wet Leg and their appreciation for other modern musicians.
Finally, the Isle of Wight act closed out their set, allowing carnage to erupt to their breakout single, ‘Chaise Longue’. The song perfectly epitomises Wet Leg, with the members joyfully playing the tune which has become a staple in every indie club in the UK, while the audience hangs off Teasdale’s every word.
Leaving the gig, I was able to recollect my first time seeing Wet Leg, where I’d stood at the back of a jam-packed tent at Latitude Festival 2021. At the time, this felt like a very important moment for the band, performing a small set to a packed crowd of adoring fans. However, having witnessed the recent show in Bristol, it is clear for all to see that bigger is still to come. And one thing is for sure, Wet Leg will relish every moment of it.
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