Tuesday 12 December 2017

Review: Scots’ pop can still Wet the appetite

Pop: Wet Wet Wet, 3Arena, Dublin

Wet Wet Wet frontman Marti Pellow.
Wet Wet Wet frontman Marti Pellow.
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Back in the mists of 1994, when this soft-rock quasi-boy band were enjoying their chart conquering heyday, John Bruton became Taoiseach and Ireland beat Italy in the World Cup. Wet Wet Wet had a monster hit with their omnipresent cover of Love is All Around by the Troggs, which was number one for what seemed like an eternity after sound-tracking Four Weddings and A Funeral.

Initially one of the so-called 'sophisti-pop' class of the eighties, which also numbered Level 42 and Deacon Blue in its membership and clearly christened by a very pretentious music journalist, Wet Wet Wet hit the jackpot with their cover of With A Little Help from My Friends reaching number one in 1988.

Their appeal and box office clout remains surprisingly resilient in 2016 with a remarkable attendance for an event some would have argued would've been ambitious for the Olympia.

Despite it being a school night, the atmosphere is one of a boisterous weekend party. One extremely loud and very enthusiastic punter is demanding a rave.

He's obviously been lurking around the 3Arena since the Prodigy and is still stuck in a moment he can't get out of.

Wet Wet Wet don't deliver a rave, but plenty of hits such as the slightly cheesy but still very sweet Wishing I Was Lucky - complete with a casino and fruit machine visuals on the big screen.

When he is not singing, Marti Pellow looks absolutely delighted with himself, flashing a megawatt smile, especially whenever he takes in all the adoring fans singing back the hits.

They very bravely play a brand new song entitled Love Wars, which doesn't prompt a stampede towards the bars or smoking areas, so must qualify as a success.

Pellow and company are old pros at this game, so they keep the showcasing to this one song minimum.

A short acoustic set sags slightly, but on the home run they elicit the biggest sing-along of the night with that song.

All of a sudden, it's like 1994 all over again. Well, we do have an election tomorrow, plus Ireland are in the Euros, so why not luxuriate in a nostalgic bath and dream on?

Irish Independent

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