A brilliant but curious mix

Wet Wet Wet; Wembley Arena
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The Independent Online
Surprise surprise, at a 15,000-capacity show by Wet Wet Wet - the ruling kings of soft-bellied soul pop - there's one man for every 20 pink and modestly pretty females present. These devotees simply adore Marti Pellow, the vocalist. "I feel a little temptation," the gold- suited God-blokegrowls, to howls. A call-and-response session follows, which drags things out for seven minutes.

And Wet Wet Wet are brilliant. For a start, they have successfully negotiated that oh-so-deadly route from teen-beat phenomenon to platinum- bracket adult-audience stalwarts. (Judging by Take That's last No 1, the lads are taking notes.) They never give their fans reason to desert them - tonight, all of their hits get the bubbly epic treatment.

They deliver what many an average white girl wants: pop that is a curious mix of synth-drenched,tunes and sunny-side-up lyrics buoyed by cheap suburban charm.

What else do they deserve cheers for? Well, just for being hilarious. The other four Wets are forgettable, brickie types. And as Pellow skips around the stage, stopping only to sway his hips, you can see the self- mockery. He knows his "soul" voice is of the white bread, low-fibre variety. He is ultra-confident, but fully aware that, up against a Stateside R&B performer, he has as much sex appeal as a box of Cornflakes.

So here's to WWW. May the women continue to wail, and may Marti Pellow endlessly warble sweet, cunningly formulaic pop.

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