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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Patrick Daly

Who are Wet Leg? How British rock duo met – and what their name means

Wet Leg sounds like something a child has after having an unfortunate accident.

But the alt-rock female band are among the bookies’ frontrunners for potentially heading home with the 2022 Mercury Prize.

At 4/1 on betting aggregator website, OddsChecker, the duo are only behind favourites Self-Esteem and Little Simz to win UK album of the year.

Making that even more impressive is that they have far shorter odds than households names such as mega popstar Harry Styles and North East singer-songwriter Sam Fender who are also on the shortlist.

They will be one of a host of acts performing at Thursday September 8’s Mercury Prize award ceremony at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.

Who are Wet Leg?

Hester Chambers and Rhian Teasdale of Wet Leg perform at The Forum in London, England ((Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns))

Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg, made up of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, had a huge hit single in 2021 with Chaise Longue before their album, released in April, shot to number one on the UK charts.

Their quick-fire success led to a memorable early set at Glastonbury this summer, with fans making an early pilgrimage to see the much-talked about act.

The buzz about the band was mirrored by the Mercury Prize judges, who put their self-titled debut on the shortlist for best British album of the year.

The guitar band have already racked up more than 40 million global streams and another 11 million YouTube views, while Dave Grohl, Jack White and Lorde all count themselves among their fans.

Why did they call their band Wet Leg?

Wet Leg hail from the Isle of Wight ((Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images))

The band’s moniker came from messing around while searching for what to call themselves.

Speaking to Isle of Wight website On The Wight in December, lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Rhian said: “We basically chose it after hitting [water icon] and [leg icon] on the emoji keyboard.

"We were playing a sort of game where we’d make band names out of different emoji combinations. Then we got to 'Wet Leg' and it just kind of stuck.”

Rhian and Hester met at the Isle Of Wight College and became friends long before they started a musical partnership.

In fact, it would be 10 years before they decided to align their musical ambitions.

They are signed to Domino Recording Company, the same label as other Brit favourites Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.

What is the Mercury Prize?

Michael Kiwanuka has won the Mercury Prize in the past (BBC)

The prestigious award recognises the best British album of the year.

Past winners during the Mercury Prize's 30-year history include Manchester band Elbow, Brit-pop stars Pulp, synth-hero James Blake and rapper Dave.

Any album released by a British or Irish artist, or by a band where more than 50% of the members are British or Irish, may be submitted for consideration by their record label.

An independent panel of judges selects the shortlist from a batch of around 220 entries.

The winner is based on who the judges feel produced the best music in the 12-month time period, and not on album sales or profile.

This year, former Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac, former Mercury winner Michael Kiwanuka and jazz artist and broadcaster Jamie Cullum are on the judges panel.

The overall winner receives a first place trophy and a cash prize of £25,000.

Thursday’s award ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Four from 9pm to 10.15pm, with longer coverage on BBC Radio 6 Music from 7pm until 12am.

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