Gig Reviews

Wet Leg Review – A Night Sydney Fans Won’t Take For Granted

It says a lot about Wet Leg that they were able to recruit artists entirely capable of filling out the Oxford Art Factory in their own right as support acts. The Buoys warmed up the crowd on the second night of Wet Leg’s stint in Sydney, and the band’s songwriting chops and on-stage chemistry were on proud display throughout the half-hour performance.

The Buoys’ Hottest 100-charting ‘Lie To Me Again’ prompted the first of many sing-alongs for the evening, while the urgent new single ‘Red Flags’ and the thrashing kiss-off, ‘Bad Habit’, were equally impactful. The foursome’s on-stage chemistry was apparent in all the little things – the way front person Zoe Catterall locked horns with bassist Courtney Cunningham as the instrumentals rode out, and how everyone gave a wide berth to lead guitarist Hilary Geddes to spotlight one of her unmistakable, shit-hot guitar solos. A kind of magic.

Wet Leg reignite Oxford Art Factory

After years of seated shows and reduced capacity, this felt like a return to the days of old for Oxford Art Factory. You couldn’t have fit another body in the room with a crowbar, and it was all to catch a glimpse of one of the biggest prospects in indie rock right now.

This was Wet Leg’s final night on an Australian tour that began with a now-legendary front-bar show at the Lansdowne, which saw hundreds – if not thousands – of folks lining up all afternoon to get amongst it. The band were fresh from the aborted day one of Splendour in the Grass, which saw them take to the stage at the nearby Brunswick Picture House for a last-minute show instead, as well as an appearance on triple j’s Like A Version.

The UK band’s co-leaders, singer Rhian Teasdale and lead guitarist Hester Chambers, are both timid and softly-spoken, but performing the songs from their eponymous debut sparked something within them. Bolstered by their three-piece backing band, the duo fed off the sold-out crowd’s energy – be that via some extra hip movement when singing of “touching yourself” during ‘Wet Dream’, or grinning madly at the makeshift “yeah yeah yeah” choir assembled during the chorus of ‘Supermarket’.

It could have all ended with a rambunctious run-through of the band’s signature song ‘Chaise Lounge’. The crowd bellowed “WHAT?” back at Teasdale when she asked “Excuse me?”, and the hand claps along with Henry Holmes’ kick drum felt like a football stadium had come to life.

For one thing, they’d run out of material – including two previously-unreleased tracks, ‘I Wanna Be Abducted By A UFO’ and ‘Obvious’, we literally heard the entire discography. So, imagine the surprise when the band returned for one last song: their take on The Chats’ ‘Smoko’. With her own set of speed-dealers on, Teasdale’s deadpan delivery of Eamon Sandwith’s ode to the mandated work break was simultaneously hilarious and triumphant.

As George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’ blasted over the PA and the room slowly emptied, there was a collective understanding of just how special the night had been. We’ll never see the Isle Of Wight twosome in a venue this small again – their next visit is already booked, supporting Harry Styles next year on his stadium tour. But regardless of what happens next in Wet Leg’s career, this felt like a major “I was there” moment. Were you?

Wet Leg – ‘Smoko’ (Like A Version)

Further Reading

Harry Styles Covers Wet Leg’s ‘Wet Dream’ In BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge

For Fans Of: Wet Leg | Get to Know LA Trio Automatic

The Chats Share New Single ‘I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane’

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