The Victoria, Dalston – June 17th
Wet take to the stage amid a blinding blue light, apparently trained to hit every audience member directly in the eye regardless of height. It takes a few minutes for pupils to contract and Kelly Zutrau to drift into focus, so we hear her before we see her. What do I want? she sings, accompanied by not much more than a quiet thundercrack drum.
The band trade in a woozy kind of pop music, all clipped beats and gauzey guitars accompanying Zutrau’s strong, soulful vocals. Her voice is really strong – it’s a small, dark venue and the crowd is hot and restless, but every time she starts singing it cuts through the crowd and shuts even the chatty Dalston types at the back up. Which is just as well because a lot of these songs have a delicacy to them that would be ruined by some jag next you bleating on about how he’s going to see Miguel tomorrow can you even imagine the lolz.
With just a couple of EPs out (currently), the band are trying out a few new songs tonight and they’re nervous. It’s actually a bit unsettling how nervous they seem until the first new track goes well; when they play another later in the set, slower and more contemplative, they seem much more self-assured as they play but still palpably relieved to have got through it. Except perhaps drummer Joe Valle who is throwing himself into it like he’s about to go full Whiplash on us.
The thing is, Wet are really good. It’s a fairly short set but they sound amazing and, bathed in alternately blue, red and purple light, it feels like we’re all embraced in a really nice hug. Singles like the sultry ‘Deadwater’ and ‘Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl’ go down so well with the crowd that there are even some rave hands being thrown up at the front. So I don’t know why they’re so skittery tonight, emanating nerves instead of energy; maybe signing to a major has got them on edge. Famously, the band’s Twitter handle used to be @kanyewet – Yeezy’s got confidence to spare, maybe they could borrow a bit off him.
Listen: Wet – Wet