Wet Leg caused a sensation during his first American show (photos, setlist, review)
Wet leg have had a good year. Make that six months. The Isle of Wight duo released their debut single, “Chaise Longue”, and their equally memorable and impactful video in June. After releasing a second single in September, “Wet Dream,” they sold three shows in New York, not to mention shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco. All on the basis of two songs. It wasn’t until a week ago that they announced their debut album and shared a few other equally catchy songs, just in time for their US debut.
There is a real sense of fun in the songs of Wet Leg, not to mention the emphasis on big hooks and thoughtful style, which dates back to the mid-2000s when there was what seemed like a new band of British buzz that hit NYC every week, typically makes their debut at the Mercury Lounge. So it seemed fitting that the band, led by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, was also having their first gig, and my mind came back looking for another band from Domino Records that hadn’t released an album yet, Arctic Monkeys, played their first show there 16 years ago. Likewise, I wasn’t sure what to expect, although I liked the only four songs anyone heard, but I was won over pretty quickly, as were most people in the area. ‘industry.
While at least one person in the crowd seemed to echo the group’s meadow-dress style in their videos, Teasdale and Chambers looked very modern and pointy in a black suit and cocktail dress, respectively. They did however give a nod to their pastoral home on the Isle of Wight as they walked through Howard Shore’s “Bag End” theme. The Lord of the Rings. A fun start to a very enjoyable show.
The band were clearly a bit zoned with jet lag – they only arrived last night – and Teasdale did “Don’t Want to Go Out” again after just playing it, and burst out laughing when she forgot. the intro rarely played “Piece of Shit”, but they were also clearly excited by the excitement of those early American shows and had smiles on their faces the entire time. The whole group, including guitarist / keyboardist Josh Mobaraki, drummer Henry Holmes and bassist Ellis Durand, seemed to be having a blast. Perhaps overtaken by the New York Groove, Wet Leg also released a spirited cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”.
I’m happy to report that there is a lot more to where “Chaise Longue”, “Wet Dream” and “Too Late Now” come from. There were at least four other songs they played during their 14 song, 50 minute set that were as catchy as the singles they’ve released so far, and I liked the set, who found common ground between Pavement and Tegan and Sara. “Supermarket” and “Loving You” with their big guitar riff and chorus “doo wee ooh” seem to be contenders for future singles. There was also the jazzy and swoony “Obvious”, the skronky and loud “Oh No” and “Being in Love”, and another potential single, “Angelica”, which they played just before ending with a happy ” Chaise Longue “.” Wet legs are good.
The opening of the show was JW Francois who made the most of their captive audience with a gregarious, awkward stage presence and sound that wasn’t millions of miles from Mac DeMarco. He also made it clear his position, saying “we’re going to keep it short and sweet like the Wet Leg we’re here to see,” while being as memorable as possible. He introduced his band members twice and made sure everyone knew he was playing a second show later that night on TV Eye.
Check out Amanda Hatfield’s photos of Mercury Lounge, plus some fan videos and the setlist below.
Wet Leg plays Union Pool Wednesday and Baby’s All Right Thursday, and both shows are sold out. They will be back this spring for a full North American tour around SXSW, including a much larger New York show at Brooklyn Steel on March 10 which has been moved from the Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets). Their self-titled debut album will be released on April 8 via Domino.
SETLIST: Wet Leg @ Mercury Lounge 12/7/2022
Too late now
It’s not funny
I do not want to go outside
I love you
Piece of shit
To be in love