The casual observer might have thought that Kalush OrchestraThe Eurovision victory had unleashed a complete invasion of Ukrainian rock. For Isle of Wight Alternative rock sensation Wet Leg’s biggest London show to date, singer Rhian Teasdale took to the stage beaming in traditional Eastern European dress. However, that he was soon singing songs about alcoholism (Being In Love), masturbation (Wet Dream) and being too tall to shop properly (Supermarket) suggested that he had already fully acclimated to the local Kentish culture Town.
Here was an excellent, and somewhat thin, example of the clash of health and salaciousness that has made Wet Leg the breakout indie rock band of the decade so far. Teasdale, alongside his demure blonde partner Hester Chambers, has concocted a seductive cocktail of Gen Z Tinder’s carefree, muted angst, the frank sexuality of the early PJ Harvey. south londonthe angular attitude of The Cardigans and buttery melodies that don’t melt.
It’s a formula that, with an added touch of wit in the form of Mean Girls cupcake gags and unprecedented invitations for front-row beauties to once again have a beer backstage, took her effervescent debut single Chaise Longue viral and his magnificent self-titled debut. album at number one, swept the field at Glastonbury and earned them four Grammy nominations. And for fifty fabulous, flab-free minutes they sprayed it over the forum like a post-punk foam party.
Crossing guitar necks and blasting riffs reminiscent of Beetlebum-era Blur on tracks like Oh No and Ur Mum, for which the whole crowd joined Teasdale’s “longer, louder screams” section, which will become his version of My Bloody Valentine’s white noise. Wet Leg spent much of the set reconnecting to the nineties as hardcore Beabadoobee.
But its scope and potential turned out to be much wider. Convincing and I Don’t Wanna Go Out were indie pop songs turned oceanic. Obviously built from a mirror ball torch song in an operatic aria tied with Mercury Rev’s bow saw atmosphere. Angélica thunder was firmly in step with the modern grunge of Wolf Alice. And Too Late Now, laced with crystal clear guitar lines, saw Teasdale transform from Cocteau Twins singer to monotone speed rapper desperate for critical dating apps and the pressures of intimate grooming.
The pair’s charismatic charm: “Top bunk people, hello,” Teasdale said, gesturing toward the balcony, and the high excitement in the room suggested that, in more tribal times, he would have quickly rallied a whole scene of imitators. around Cama Mullada. For now, however, they are an autonomous phenomenon.
Come the inevitable end of Chaise Longue, pandemonium erupted on stage and off; an invasion of milkmaids and yetis flooded the band as the crowd danced as if they had finally found the seminal party band of their generation. As the song says, what are you doing sitting?
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