Wet Leg at Bermondsey Social Club
Despite the lack of gigs, it’s been a pretty great couple of years for punky female-fronted indie pop – music fans seen both Pillow Queens and, earlier this year, Dry Cleaning release more interesting debut albums than their more heavily lauded male counterparts. Although they have released just one single (the mesmerisingly quirky Chaise Longue), Wet Leg, aka Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who performed at the Bermondsey Social Club on Friday night, are shaping up to be the best of the lot.
Opening up with the relatively unheard TFOZ, It’s Not Fun, and Ur Mum, Teasdale and Chambers showcase eclectic musical sensibilities that extend beyond the obvious indie pop practitioners (they cite influences ranging from The Ronettes to Bjork), as well as a playful wit that knocks the bottom out of the idea that Generation Z lack the humour of their forebears. Ur Mum is perhaps the early standout, mixing their post-punk sensibilities with a spaciness in its second half that’s vaguely reminiscent of 60s musical pioneer Joe Meek. In another group’s hands, It’s Not Fun could be easy-listening surfer rock, but the duo’s harmonies turn it into an intriguing hymn to the joys of staying in.
It’s on the stomping Wet Dream, though, that matters really get going, and those in the audience become very glad they didn’t take It’s Not Fun’s advice and stay on the sofa. With its marching guitar lines, call-and-response vocals and howled refrain of “touching yourself” it sounds a little like It’s Blitz!-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Meanwhile, Supermarket describes with typical wit the weirdness of resuming life and love after the pandemic.
Ultimately, though, the conclusion of the gig (and likely future hit) Angelica, a thumping yet somehow dreamy track, is what leaves listeners in no doubt Wet Leg can rock with the best of them.
It’s Chaise Longue – the only track Wet Leg newbies will have likely heard, as the only one that’s on streaming services to date – that everyone has come for, and it doesn’t disappoint. The track is deadpan and irreverent, containing lyrics like, “Is your mother worried? Would you like us to assign someone to worry your mother?”. It’s also just a great song, whose titular chorus will no doubt be belted out at university house parties and in indie clubs by the band’s generational contemporaries.
In conclusion then, Wet Leg may be the most exciting new act since the pandemic put a hold on live music – and that’s high praise given they’re just the latest to emerge in a scene that looks set to thrive.
For further information and future events visit Wet Leg’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Chaise Longue here: