Wet Leg/Inhaler review: Fresh and exciting in a genre crying out for reinvention

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"I can't believe this, I'm finally seeing them" shouts one girl to her friend as Wet Leg take to the stage at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night (October 7).

You'd be forgiven for thinking she was talking about a headliner rather than a support band, not least one that has only released two songs.

But such is the hype surrounding the Isle of Man band, following their infectiously catchy should-be hits 'Chaise Longue' and 'Wet Dream', that the venue is heaving long before headliners Inhaler are due on.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Their seven song set sees singer Rhian Teasdale lead the crowd through the Wet Leg's world of angular post-punk meets surf garage, with a heavy dose of Carry On-style innuendo and teen movie sass.

They begin with a slower track than fans have become used to with their first two singles.

But when the group drop 'Wet Dream', Teasdale has the audience in the palm of her hand as she gives a camp swoon while singing "you're on the bonnet and you're licking the windscreen, I've never seen anything so obscene", a line which will be stuck in the heads of listeners for days after.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Before leaving audience muffins well and truly buttered with their Mean Girls referencing internet sensation 'Chaise Longue', which is sung back to them like a classic of decades rather than a track released just months ago.

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With big smiles in the crowd and on stage, Wet Leg feel like something fresh and exciting in a genre crying out for reinvention, bringing fun and humour into a field filled with angry, po-faced punks.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Wet Leg perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

They return to Norwich at the Arts Centre on April 26, 2021 and you'd be very silly to miss it, they might just be the best new band in the country.

Next on stage to ear-piercing screams is Dublin four-piece, Inhaler, who shake the room while thundering through opener 'It Won't Always Be Like This', with the crowd hanging on every word.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

The group pick up the mantle from Fontaines DC and The Murder Capital in further cementing Dublin's status as indie rock's happening city, flying through a set of glistening, hook-filled songs which give them a more radio-friendly sound than their compatriots.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Singer Elijah Hewson has the rockstar attitude down to tee, slashing his guitar around the stage and pouting at every opportunity, before plunging into the audience three songs in for a singalong on the aptly named 'Falling In'.

Hewson is the son of U2 frontman Bono, and while you want to try to distance the pair, it can sometimes be difficult not to make comparisons.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

'Ice Cream Sundae', a set highlight, shows Hewson has clearly inherited some of his father's familiar wail and bares a resemblance to some of U2's biggest hits.

But while there are comparisons to be made, Inhaler are certainly their own band, with hard driving rhythm guitars punctuated by shimmering lead on tracks such as 'Slide Out The Window' to ensure their set never loses pace from beginning to end.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night.

Inhaler perform at The Waterfront in Norwich on Thursday night. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

At the end of the night gig-goers can feel pretty smug that they were able to see two of the most exciting new acts on the same night, something which will surely not happen again at a venue of the Waterfront's size.



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