Watching Wet Leg perform is to uncover more of who they are: half serious performers, half joyful, free-spirited best pals. It’s a dichotomy that makes their live show so thrilling and unpredictable: both their self-awareness, and deliberate lack of it. On stage at a packed Electric Ballroom in Camden, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers spin their stomping indie-rock into polished shapes, but there’s also a sense that they’re letting go, losing themselves in reverie when the music demands it.
This evening’s sold-out show is a startling reminder of how quickly the Isle Of Wight duo’s status has risen, and how high. When their current UK headline tour was announced last October, shortly after the release of funky single ‘Wet Dream’ – played tonight with wonderful vigour – this gig was due to take place at north London’s Scala, one-third smaller than tonight’s 1,500-capacity venue. But Wet Leg’s self-titled album, which NME billed as “indie’s newest instant classic” catapulted them to dizzying heights, taking them to the top of the UK album charts earlier this month and landing them a support slot for Harry Styles’ stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand next year.
They call attention to the light absurdity of their recent ascent while also inhabiting it confidently, whether they’re dancing carelessly like they’re stumbling home from a big night out during the swivelling salvoes of ‘Angelica’, or trading mischievous call-and-response vocals throughout ‘Oh No’. ‘Too Late Now’ is later greeted with a bellow of enthusiasm; punters admirably attempt to keep up with the track’s rousing surge from understated verses to an almost breathless bridge.
The pair seem justifiably taken aback by how deafening the response is. Teasdale and Chambers offer little stage chatter, but shy, disbelieving grins continue to creep across their faces. So it’s all the more thrilling when, during ‘Ur Mum’’s brilliantly turbulent breakdown, Teasdale leans over the barrier and screams at some startled, delighted fans.
Wet Leg wrap up with the punk-y blowout of ‘Chaise Longue’, where the room’s shared anticipation of Teasdale’s delirious, zigzagging guitar riffs incites echoing cheers before a single note is even played. The band don’t offer an encore, and leave the stage without saying a word, yet they needn’t offer an explanation: the genius is instead in how they neither pander nor ever pretend to be anyone other than their quietly confident and idiosyncratic selves.
Wet Leg played:
‘Being In Love’
‘Piece Of Shit’
‘Too Late Now’
‘I Don’t Wanna Go Out’
‘It’s A Shame’
‘Abducted By A UFO’