LIVE REVIEW: Wet Leg at The Royal Albert Hall in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust

IN FOCUS// Wet Leg at The Limelight, Belfast
© Bernie McAllister

Following the sold-out first night of music by headliners Underworld in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, Wet Leg, with two support bands CMAT and Honeyglaze, graced the Royal Albert Hall with a second night of music. Whilst each act was unique, they all had one thing in common, each act had released their debut LP in 2022.

The first support act Honeyglaze proved to be an unassuming trio whose guitarist and vocalist Anouska Sokolow captivated with her traditional folk vocals with a Bjork twinge. Goat Girl influences were instantly detectable. Their ability to surprise an audience when changing keys and moving from quiescent guitars to booming and pounding riffs pleased the crowd.

Accompanied by four band members Irish musician CMAT, graced the stage. Though she wore hot pants like Australia’s Kylie Minogue, the glittery emerald green along with her accent revealed Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson’s Irish roots. Her mid-tempo melodies elatedly illuminated the Royal Albert Hall. CMAT’s dancing proved to be as impressive as her musicology with passionate ballroom dancing with her keyboard player to playing out and getting the audience to do the two-step to one of her catchiest songs “I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!”.

Despite only having formed four years ago, Wet Leg have already accomplished so much from having a number-one debut album to winning two Grammys. Now they were headline ambassadors to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. From the instant the band entered the stage, the uncontrolled ecstatic applause never ended. The set, just like their name proved to have more up its sleeve than simply being a small gold necklace with one part saying “Wet” and the other half “Leg”.

Wet Leg’s studio recordings are known for their heavy EDM layering. At the Royal Albert hall, the synths and decks were left behind. This night was all about the guitars, bass and drums and everything a ready and raw indie outfit could offer. Fans were not disappointed by this, they were embraced and enriched by it. The best part was that the band generated this energy themselves rather than relying on visuals and impressive lighting. All that lit up behind them was a plain Teenage Cancer trust screen which occasionally shuffled behind a Spartan “Wet Leg” logo.

“Wet Dream” oozed with grunge energy and the subsequent song performed “Supermarket” had infectious riffs. “Convincing” then went on a happy off-beat tangent which had a pop-twist echo of Radiohead’s “Subterranean Homesick Alien”.

Wet Leg’s genius was proved not by shedding the EDM lavishing and offering raw graft, but it was their ability to make each of the songs from their set sound antithetical to each other live. At one point “Ur Mum” sounded like The Spencer Davis Group before unexpectedly exploding into The Runaways-inspired punk. The glorious playout “Chaise Longue” brought elements from artists ranging from Slowthai, The Smile and Bloc party into the Royal Albert Hall.

There has always been a need for each generation to carve out its own music identities and tastes. This has been harder to do on a mass scale as the music industry continues to face challenging times. At the Royal Albert Hall, a new generation and Teenage Cancer sufferers and survivors were given hope with Wet Leg’s spectacular performance that proved that whilst there is grassroots music and the ability for musicians to raise funds for charity, nobody will be forgotten.

To donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust please visit here.


Xsnoize Author
Michael Barron 296 Articles
Michael first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications. Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.

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