Wet Leg Takes Over New York

Wet Leg Takes Over New York

Wet Leg Takes Over New York

An intimate look behind the scenes of Wet Leg's concert in New York City. Expect funny anecdotes, drum fills, and a whole lot of screaming.

An intimate look behind the scenes of Wet Leg's concert in New York City. Expect funny anecdotes, drum fills, and a whole lot of screaming.

Text: Kala Herh

Wet Leg has had quite the year. Between making new music, opening for Florence + the Machine, and having a song of theirs covered by Harry Styles, they’ve been tirelessly touring their debut album. And in that time, the band (fronted by school friends Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers) went from being cult-ishly adored to proper bona fide pop stars. Recently, they’ve just completed an extensive, four-night jaunt through New York City–an experience in which they gave V a front-row seat. Below is an intimate look behind the scenes of said nights, which includes immaculate vibes and plenty of headbanging. 

“It was so cool,” Rhian shares with V. “I feel so lucky that people come to our shows and sing with us. So thank you to everyone that has listened to the album or come see a show because it’s a dream to get to play music with your friends every night.”

Nobody could have predicted that two girls from the Isle Of Wight who sang of furniture and buttered muffins could have caught on in this way, but if you’re on the Internet, you know their reach shows no signs of letting up. As an introduction–for those who are not as familiar–the band first rose to prominence in 2021 with their tongue-in-cheek single “Chaise Longue.” Within a few weeks, the track quickly went viral, garnering millions of streams. And since then, the band has been on a roll, quickly coming into their own with a signature style–most frequently characterized as cheeky lyrics with a deadpan delivery and post-punk sensitivities. 

The duo told NME in 2021 that they created Wet Leg because they “wanted to have more fun than every other single band.” And seeing them perform at Webster Hall, electric guitars in tow, it’s clear they’ve made good on their promise. In between their guitar solos and chats with the audience, the pair exchange glances, and covert smiles–exuding an exuberance only the best of the best can conjure. It’s a presence they’ve developed since their very first performance in their hometown: “Playing shows, in general, makes me nervous anyway because you’re always wondering, ‘Will people buy tickets? Are they going to have fun?’ But when you’re in your hometown, it’s extra stressful because you’re like, ‘I know these people,’” Hester laughs. “So it was definitely nerve-racking, but you got to start somewhere.”

Photo by Shervin Lainez.

Last Tuesday night began with “Being in Love,” a thumping, heart-pounding song that got the crowd going and showcased Wet Leg doing what they do best: filling the venue with shimmery guitar riffs. As they continued through their repertoire of fan favorites: “Wet Dream” and “I Don’t Wanna Go Out,”–liberation became the theme throughout the show. But, arguably, the piece-de-resistance of the whole set was the synth-filled, bass-booming “Ur Mum” track, where the band treated the audience to a cathartic screaming session. 

And if the audience’s reaction last week was an indication of Wet Leg’s influence, we can only expect an even bigger 2023. As we close out the year and await a new one, the band takes time to reflect back and look forward. In the new year, Wet Leg is set to open for Harry Styles as he bounces around Europe–a feat that the band still reacts to in disbelief. I don’t think anything could ever really prepare us.Rhian laughs. 

After their electric performance in New York City, we sat down with Rhian and Hester to collect their thoughts while the adrenaline was still flowing. For more on the iconic night, read below. 

V MAGAZINE: Hi, guys! How are you doing? 

RHIAN TEASDALE: Super good! How are you? 

V: I’m doing well. Super excited to chat with you guys while you’re in New York. What have you been up to so far? Any memorable spots? 

HESTER CHAMBERS: Yes, definitely. We went to Champs Diner, which was amazing because we’re vegan. We really seek out [vegan restaurants] because you don’t really get a lot of that in the UK. It was delicious. And we went to Joe’s Pizza…

V: A classic. 

HC: Yeah, we have to go every time we’re in town. 

V: I love that. And how was last night at Webster Hall? 

RT: It was so cool. It was seriously–I just feel so lucky that people come to our shows and sing with us. So thank you to everyone that has listened to the album or come see a show because it’s a dream to get to play music with your friends every night. 

V: That’s amazing to hear. It was a great crowd, and I feel like everyone was so excited to be there. I also wanted to ask if you guys have any specific pre-show rituals that you do before each show?  

RT: Before every set, we listen to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA–at least three times before we go on. 

V: No way, that’s incredible. Why “Dancing Queen” specifically? 

RT: It’s just so joyful and fun. When you get a bit nervous, it just sets the energy. It’s great pregame energy. 

Photo by Shervin Lainez.

V: I love that. And as you guys have performed all over the world and are very seasoned veterans at this point, can you bring us to your first performance? 

RT: When was it? 

HC: Well, the first time we played it was at a local venue on the island. Playing shows, in general, makes me nervous anyway because you’re always wondering, ‘Will people buy tickets? Are they going to have fun?’ But when you’re in your hometown, it’s extra stressful because you’re like, ‘I know these people.' So it was definitely nerve-racking, but you got to start somewhere. I think we’ve definitely gotten tighter as a band since then. 

V: Yeah, you guys have come so far–it’s so exciting to see. Do you guys have a favorite song to perform? Does it change with every city or venue? 

HC: “Angelica” is probably my favorite. I have such a soft spot for it, and I find it really fun to play. 

Photo by Shervin Lainez.

V: I love that track. And I also want to talk about your tour outfits. I’ve seen a few of them on Instagram, and I think they’re so cool. How do you guys go about choosing a tour outfit? 

HC: Get to the venue. Open the suitcase and find that everything is dirty or stinky.

RT: Yeah, we pull whatever is clean out of the suitcase. We’ve been on tour for way too long. 

HC: Truly dressing by the seat of our pants. The last time I was home, I was like, ‘I’m going to make something new for the tour.” So I stayed up to like three in the morning making it, and I haven’t even worn it. It’s just been in the bottom of my suitcase for 11 weeks. 

RT: You’ve been crocheting a lot of things. 

HC: I knitted a top, but it took a long time. 

V: What’s the coolest thing you’ve knitted on tour so far? 

HC: I knitted a hat my first time, and that felt pretty good. I’m new to it, but it’s satisfying when you put something together. 

V: That’s incredible. Knitting has always been on my list of things to learn. You’ll have to give me a few pointers. 

HC: Oh, definitely. 

V: Thank you. [laughs] And before I let you guys go, I have to ask about next year, which you’re set to open for Harry Styles. How are you preparing for that experience? 

RT: How does one even prepare for that? [laughs] I don’t think anything could ever really prepare us. I don’t know–we’re going to have a rehearsal. I don’t know [laughs]. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But, overall really excited. 

Photo by Shervin Lainez.

V: We are the most excited. I can’t wait to follow this saga through next year. Last question for you guys–Is there anything else you want to do before the year wraps? 

RT: I want to go to a donkey sanctuary. 

HC: Awww. 

RT: Yeah, I haven't done that yet. I just spoke to my sister, and she said she could bring them around to her garden. You can have donkeys come round for tea. And I was like, ‘That does sound really nice,’ but maybe it's easier and less stressful for the donkeys if I go. 

V: That sounds amazing. 

HC: I’m just trying to refill the tank with beans because it’s been an amazing year. I’m definitely ready to spend a few days in bed, all cozy and get some energy for an exciting next year.

Listen to Wet Leg on all streaming services.

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