Manchester four-piece WU LYF are currently both shrouded in mystery and engulfed in a haze of buzz and hyperbole. However, when the mystery erodes, the buzz fades, and the NME attention switches elsewhere what will be left is the songs, and whether they are any good or not. If last night’s gig at Village Underground – a smoky restored Victorian Warehouse in Shoreditch – is anything to go by then the answer is a resounding yes.
Their set begins with the opening song from their recently released album ‘Go Tell Fire To The Mountain’, ‘LYF’, a swirl of church organ chimes, guitar and reverb, musically it has a vague air of My Bloody Valentine,(although lead singer Ellery Roberts’ distinct vocals diminish the similarities somewhat). It’s a statement of intent and a sign of things to come. Continuing to play the album in order ‘Cave Song’, ‘Such a Sad Puppy’ and ‘Summas Bliss’ are in much the same vein, however, it remains engaging and original. WU LYF have been compared to Arcade Fire, and whilst there are similarities with the Canadian’s for me the music contains far more personality.
A diverse mix of old musos, Shoreditch types in loafers and Indie boys, the crowd it seems were won over before the show started. Whilst the album has only been out for a week and the lyrics are in the main unintelligible, a large part of the audience still manage to sing along, especially to set closer ‘Concrete Gold’.
The band disappear briefly before a two song encore in which they play an extended version of stand out track ‘Heavy Pop’ and are then joined on stage by French support band Family (whose singer bears a striking resemblance to ex-Argentina, Lazio and Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo) and approximately half of the crowd for the finale of ‘We Bros’.
Like WU LYF some of the best bands throughout the relatively brief history of popular music have shrouded themselves in myth and mystery, and it seems like their predecessors WU LYF also have the songs to back it up.
By Callum West