Sunday 20 November 2022

Wet Leg - Manchester Ritz - 19th November 2022

Wet Leg's triumphant year continued on Saturday night with a sold-out-in-seconds show at Manchester's Ritz as part of a triumphant year-end celebration of one of the year's biggest success stories.

It's been a momentous year for Wet Leg. Just over twelve months ago they were support to Inhaler and playing their own shows at the likes of the Night And Day Cafe. Their debut album shot to number one on release and this show, like most of the accompanying tour, sold out in minutes just six months later as Chaise Longue, Wet Dream and Angelica made them 6 Music staples and drew calls of industry plant from those bamboozled by their sudden ascent after years of being in other bands and having very little success.

Those three singles encapsulate why Wet Leg are now in such demand. They're simple, catchy songs that stick in your brain leech-like and the response from fifteen hundred or so people the minute they strike into them is powerful. You can hardly hear Rhian singing above the massed voices for these three songs as they come to life. The response isn't as vocal for the rest of the tracks from their debut album, although that's to be fair not really helped by terrible sound that leaves the guitars and Hester's vocals inaudible in parts of the set. It demonstrates the power that radio still has in the industry as well as the universal appeal of a song with an irresistible hook and lyrics that stick with you.

The set is short, just over forty-five minutes, as you'd sort of expect for a band with just one album to their name and nothing preceding it. There's two unreleased songs in there though. I Wanna Be Abducted By A Ufo sees Rhian dispense with her guitar and dash around the stage before being smitten with some of the front row wearing alien masks and holding a sign saying "we come in peace." It's a beautiful moment as it brings into focus just how their success seems to have taken Wet Leg more by surprise than anyone else. She says many times how nice everything is. While a moshpit develops towards the end it's a relatively gentle one.  

The second unreleased song Obvious has been around in the set for a while and is a departure from the rest of the set for the most part. Stripped back and down it shows the impressive range in Rhian's voice (as evidenced also in Youtube videos of her previous band) before exploding in a barrage of noise.

Wet Leg will face the challenge soon of following up the phenomenal success of their debut, fleshing out their set past the hour and trying to avoid Chaise Longue and Wet Dream becoming an albatross around their neck, but for now, sound issues aside, their momentum feels unstoppable.

Wet Leg are on Facebook and Twitter.


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