Wet Wet Wet at The O2, Dublin – Review
See also: Wet Wet Wet at the O2 – Photos
There’s a few thousand women here tonight, plastic wine glasses in hand, waiting to relive their teenage years. There’s talk of Smash Hits and Nick Camen and how hard it is to get a babysitter these days. Hence the hormones of this slightly vintage crowd discussing Blue’s apparently brilliant performance before the arrival of Wet Wet Wet.
It’s the first night of their comeback tour for the UK and Ireland. They land onstage to rapturous applause. Cheeky chappie Marti Pellow iridescent in his black sequin jacket grabs the neon lit microphone with gusto and launches into their new material. Giving the crowd their first taste of nostalgia with “Wishing I Was Lucky”, the venue sprang into action as a video wall ran lots of old Wet Wet Wet photos from the 80’s, framed in oversized 80’s television set. “Step By Step”, their new single was well received , inoffensive melody and simple lyrics. “Julia Said“ follows, the nodding smiling females admiring the sparkly jacket gliding around the stage.
A shot of pure magic emerged when “Angel Eyes“ started, fireworks in the background and falling stars on the backdrop. Hard to resist this one, even for a cynical comeback merchant like me. More old photos, reminiscent of a Top of the Pops bedroom wall. “Sweet Little Mystery“, possibly their most popular song pops up next. And yes Marti still does the little neck shimmy. He’s still got it, according to the women around me.
“East Of The River“ brings the momentum down slightly as it’s not that well known, with a sniff of Status Quo riffs and over simplified lyrics. Another new song “All I Want“ sounds very like “There She Goes“ by The La’s in the opening chords. Decent enough. Followed by “Don’t Want To Forgive Me Now“ another song about relationships, a subject these songwriters seem to be well versed on by the look of things.
“Sweet Surrender“ takes the ladies back to the 80’s, Mr. Pellow grinning from one corner of the O2 to the other. The atmosphere dips a bit after this with a selection of new and less well known material played. “Gypsy Girl“ from the album “Picture This” is played with two acoustic guitars, a reasonable rendition , not a crowd grabber. Engaging with the girls, Marti expresses his gratitude for a warm welcome and a second chance at success. They do adore him, these 30ish ladies, stamping their feet for an encore. Which is duly delivered with a surprisingly good 70’s cop show theme tune type song, lots of funky guitars, jangly percussion and impressive brass. Best shot at the night so far! The last lookback of the night is “Love Is All Around“, the massive hit from the movie “Four Wedding and a Funeral“ from 1994, originally performed by The Troggs in 1967.
Verdict: the old stuff was adored, the new stuff ignored. Full whack performance from the band, some good guitar riff offs and well polished brass. Shame about the over simplified lyrics on love. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
Review by Ciara Sheahan