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29th November 2022

Live review: Wet Leg at O2 Ritz, Manchester

Wet Leg return to Manchester on a victory lap in support of their Grammy-nominated debut
Live review: Wet Leg at O2 Ritz, Manchester
Photo: Raph_PH @ Wikimedia Commons

If you haven’t heard of Wet Leg by now, where the hell have you been? Since dropping their signature ‘Chaise Longue’ last summer, the Isle of Wight indie duo have catapulted to stardom. With three sold out UK tours, a Mercury-nominated and number one debut album, and a string of Grammy nods now under their belt, the world is truly Wet Leg’s oyster.

Tonight, they play to a packed O2 Ritz, a venue that they sold out in record timing, and one that they’re unlikely to play again given their surge in popularity since the show was announced. Wet Leg perform a swashbuckling set of instant classics to the lucky 1,500 concertgoers. The Ritz, with its bouncy floor, is the perfect setting for Wet Leg, a band whose selling point is its witty one-liners and jaunty pop-rock bangers.

Wet Leg open with the first track on their album, the fizzy ‘Being In Love’, a track that lyrically and sonically encapsulates that feeling. Lead singer Rhian Teasdale is dressed in a black leather mini skirt and cat-ear bonnet, striking the balance between cool and quirky – a balance that the band pride themselves on (note the lobster-featuring video for ‘Wet Dream’ or the fact they quite literally marched onstage to an obscure song from the Lord of the Rings’ score). Their ability to deliver amusing lyrics and memorable hooks over irresistible instrumentals is, of course, part of their appeal.

A triumphant rendition of ‘Wet Dream’ follows, one of the year’s most popular hits, having also been covered by Harry Styles for BBCR1’s Live Lounge. For a band whose schedule has been gruelling at the best of times, Wet Leg look like they’re having the time of their lives, beaming with smiles before cutting to another insatiable earworm in the shape of ‘Supermarket’.

Two new unreleased tracks are played, and it is during one of these tunes ‘I Wanna Be Abducted (By A UFO)’, that the crowd is at its giddiest. A few fans near the front have even brought signs and alien masks, catching the band’s attention, and warranting a “thank you!” The dark, brooding ‘Obvious’ follows, teasing a left turn for Wet Leg in terms of style and tone.

They take a moment to introduce each member of their touring band, encouraging ample applause from the audience. Despite this, audience interaction is few and far between – the occasional “how are we doing Manchester?” between songs suffices. On ‘Convincing’, Hester Chambers takes the lead, her whispered vocals offering a sense of calm and clarity.

‘Ur Mum’ is a marked highlight, with Teasdale egging on the crowd to unleash their “longest, loudest screams”, just as she does in the studio version. She crouches on the edge of the stage, wide-eyed, as everyone engages in the silliness. ‘Too Late Now’ closes the main set, with its playful observations on modern dating echoed by an enthusiastic audience. Predictably, Wet Leg save their best until last, returning to the stage for a rip-roaring rendition of ‘Chaise Longue’. The crowd breathe new life into the call-and-response parts of the tune (“Excuse me! What?”) and mosh-pits form in its final chorus.

Wet Leg’s performance amounts to a succinct 45 minutes. Two songs from the band’s album are omitted – ‘Loving You’ and ‘Piece of Shit’. Perhaps including these and adding a cover could have fleshed out their set a little more. That being said, in a live setting, Teasdale and Chambers’ ability to riff off each other lyrically and musically translates. With a second album under their belt, they’ll be unstoppable!


Keep up with Wet Leg on their official website here.

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Head Music Editor @ The Mancunion. Freelance Music and Culture Writer @ DIY, The Line of Best Fit, Gigwise, etc. Alt-rock connoisseur and Britpop aficionado. Twitter: @tayl0rsarah LinkedIn:

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