There have been problems with magazine spreads when they’ve been concerned with Marti being seen as the main man so it looks like Marti Fellow and The Wets.’
if they’d done a Stones and lived in LA and Lausanne then they wouldn’t be the unique act they are.’
Brian Beacom concurs with the four musketeers motif but hints at a growing disquiet with their conﬂicting roles as a group and individually. ‘I think there’s always been a question mark.’ he says. ‘In recent times there have been several heated debates about different people vying for pole position. There have been problems with magazine spreads when they’ve been concerned with Marti being seen as the main man so it looks like Marti Fellow and The Wets.’
On the back of this. the other Wets have sought gently to break out from their corporate roles. One bizarre example was a barfly cameo by drummer Tommy Cunningham in Scottish Television’s High Road. Yet when the going gets tougher you can rely on the quartet to pull together. So much so that separate interviews and photo shoots are now strictly taboo. Admirable togetherness or nobody likes us, we don‘t care attitude? ‘l don’t think it’s insecurity.‘ counters Peachey. ‘lt’s a matter of, in the way Blondie were a band, Wet Wet Wet are a band. They aren’t just Marti. He’s very wary of that and so are the rest. They’re very keen to be seen as a unit.’
And as that unit they continue to strive with purpose towards true recognition as Serious Artists rather than the sugary bubblegum pop outﬁt the music press love to label them. And, as with three-day-old Wrigley’s spearmint under the school desk, that label is difﬁcult to shift.
Fora band whose collective inﬂuences include The Clash. Elvis Costello, Status Quo and The
‘They have the god-given sense to realise that they are never going to be Simple Minds. What they would now hope to be is something like Simply Red with a strong broad-base appeal to allow them the security to go off and do other things.
Eagles, their brand of mainstream soulboy pop appears to owe most to Pellow’s voice and record collection.
The feeling persists that, really, they are quite content with their lot. occupying, as they do, a safe haven in the hearts and on the walls of gushing fans who scream at them either because they never knew the Bay City Rollers or they knew them only too well.
Brian Beacom concludes that the die might have been well and truly cast. ‘1 think they’ve settled into a middle-of-the-road comfortability they wouldn’t have been happy with ten years ago,’ he states. ‘They have the god-given sense to realise that they are never going to be Simple Minds. What they would now hope to be is something like Simply Red with a strong
broad-base appeal to allow them the security to go off and do other things.’
The undoubted musicianship of the band and the writing qualities of Graeme Clark suggest there could always be a life outwith the boundaries of the band whether in permanent or sabbatical form. For Mal Peachey, Wet Wet Wet have their sights set much higher. ‘I think they’ve only scratched the surface — i can see them changing their style whenever they want to.’ he concludes. ‘1 can see them doing a Celtic roots album, a heavier rock album. some jazz stuff. Really, i think they could do whatever they want.’
Whatever Dame Future holds for them, The
s if cutting short The Beatles’ ‘Daytripper’ was not bad enough, Wet Wet Wet take to Glasgow‘s SECC stage backed by what sounds like the pummelling percussion intro to Queen's ‘Radio Ga Ga’. Darkness switches to searing light as the band arrive, an ocean of sweaty palms raised in ecstatic greeting. Nuremberg-esque, to say the least.
From then, the Wets have the audience, predominantly female, prominently yelping, in a state of underwear-soiling frenzy. Someone has clearly forgotten to tell the big screen operators that the band insist on promoting a collective spirit -— the sequined Marti Pellow dominates the video foetage. The lad just can’t let his desire for attention drop for a minute, upstaging a hom-player or guitarist in mid-solo like an unwanted stranger sneaking into the party photos. Running a distant second for screen time is
Wets already have several tales of glory with which to entertain dewy-eyed generations’ offspring. Three UK number ones, the NEC’s record for fainting fans at one show, the ﬁrst pop group to have their name emblazoned on football shirts — Clydebank FC — and, surely the ultimate accolade, a Marti Pellow lookalike running away with the Stars In Your Eyes trophy.
Wet Wet Wet play the SECC, Glasgow on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December: Wet Wet Wet Pictured by Mal Peachey and Simon Fowler is published by Virgin at £14.99. Wet Wet Wet by Brian Beacom is published by Mainstream, also at £14.99.
Wet Wet Wet are being given the usual ecstaticwelcome";fill}. by capacity audiences on their current tour, as . , »‘ 1’ Brian Donaldson at Glasgow’s SECC can testify; '- .j; i
bassiSt Graeme.Clark.-his grizzled Phil Kay mesed with Den Henleyici'rcaéétw’z‘a: As for the song‘s, whether hitsféforiialbumjé-p: _ ﬁllers, 811. are greetedwith-"tdﬁsiltssbféhiﬁsfifT acclaim. ‘Wisvhing: l'jWa's and spriter . While theszetSi ' A Little Help From,Myi_Friends', ,i's' by Graeme Dufﬁn’s Chordi,licki'ng; ;_;g;. 2;} Unfortunately. the cheese-"'wirei-isgéﬂiemedif}? to choke the life out of j‘j Never’, while the band’s own Icotnpositiongig; ‘Morning’ opens with a giftefra‘line‘jforan]j unimpressed critic: ‘lt’s the iSatnegaiioldg...;. situation.’ y :‘f‘i- On screen, lOft beads of" sincerityjome. down Pellow’s cheeks. against a. pmjeCted f backdrop of bluey—yellow swimminess. What relevance this has is unclear. Perhaps thevlads are closet Stan Brakhage fans, or maybe-they paid more attention to their biology lessons at Clydebank High than they are rerungggoo.;g;~ Whatever,theresultis stunning ” j}:
The List l-l4 Dec 199511