Wet at Oslo, Hackney - 28.11.17

Wet have been extremely busy in the past year. They recently put out their first album as a twosome, ‘Still Run’, and followed Florence and the Machine on their world tour. On November 28th, after having performed to sold-out crowds at the O2, they returned to a more intimate setting to play a show at Oslo, Hackney, a show where people were exclusively there for them. Before the show, I had the opportunity to interview both Kelly Zutrau, the lead singer, and Joe Valle, who focuses on the production.

They seemed incredibly excited about being able to play smaller venues. When asked about their experience playing with Florence and the Machine, both Kelly and Joe were still appreciative. “The big shows were really cool, I think the way it sounds too is really fun,” Joe said. “Because it was so new, it took a while to get comfortable but by the end, I think it felt pretty normal in a way.” “There’s a lot of separation from the audience, it’s more of an abstraction rather than individual people,” Kelly added. “With this, there’s more at stake because the audience is there to see you. There’s less of a disconnect.”

The band’s enthusiasm was clear the second they stepped on the stage to perform their first song, “It’s All In Vain.” The show lasted for a little less than an hour, as the band played through a selective mix of older and new songs. The bond shared between Kelly and Joe was present on stage as they looked at each other for reassurance and shared jokes. Kelly Zutrau was dressed in a baggy white suit and dark red lipstick, but despite her powerful ensemble there was something incredibly vulnerable about her performance.

This was clear when hearing Kelly’s soft and emotional voice as she sang the lyrics to ‘11 Hours’, ‘You took my power, you leave me no choice,” from the band’s most recent album. These lyrics evidently meant a lot to her and to the band. When first hearing the songs from “Still Run”, the band’s album released earlier this year, they seemed quite dulled down as if something was missing. However, watching Kelly’s performance and hearing the heightened production live brought the songs off of the album to their highest potential. Mid-show, Kelly announced that they would be playing something very special for the audience: a stripped-down version of their latest single “You’re Not Wrong.” Joe exited the stage, leaving Kelly to play a softer alternative to the formerly extremely upbeat song alongside their guitarist. The performance added a sense of melancholy that one might not have noticed at first listen.

After fifty minutes, Kelly bittersweetly announced the last song of the evening, “Lately,” which ended with her off-stage as the instrumentals echoed in the background, making the music feel all the more powerful. However, the cheers in the crowd brought Kelly and Joe back to the stage to play one last song, stripped-down. When talking with the two of them, both artists seemed interested in the idea of making durable music. After watching their performance, I believe they’ve succeeded in doing just that.

Your album’s been out for over half a year, how’s the reception been?

Kelly: It’s always hard to judge how it’s going. We’ve been on shows and people seem to be listening. We’re working on new music. I think it’s something we talk about a lot is that bands are successful in different ways now that music works in the way it does.