It seems disingenuous to mention the former band of someone who has re-emerged anew but WU LYF were an act of such influence they simply cannot be ignored. Ellery Roberts, now part of the duo LUH (Lost Under Heaven) formed with his partner Ebony Hoorn, was once the frontman of this band who were initially masters of creating hype with little material; their satanic emblem and a picture of them on a roof disguised by scarfs covering their faces created mystery and intrigue in turn sending the music press wild.

This hype did not prove itself to be underserved though, as their debut album Go Tell Fire to the Mountain was a ten track record for the disaffected. Each song was ignited with passion, with the gravel-like voice of Ellery providing the perfect juxtaposition to the crashing cymbals and the haunting organ that soundtracked the turmoil all around us. With the band being from Manchester, it inspired something that felt like a movement and only MONEY since have inspired similar idolisation.  The act was short-lived though with Ellery soon penning a letter stating “WU LYF are dead to me.”

In his letter to his three former bandmates though Ellery stated “this isn’t the end, this is the beginning” and that has proved true as the disbanding of WU LYF spawned a number of new exciting projects from each member, Los Porcos first, Francis Lung second and now LUH. This latest one was formed when Ellery met Ebony in a squat in Manchester and love helped him rediscover his desire to make music as they moved to Amsterdam together to make their debut album ‘Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing.’

Playing a show on the day of your album release creates a curious situation as many, like myself, are yet to hear many of the tracks and, even if they have, listening to something for the first time is just a dip in the ocean, before you submerge yourself in the deep blue of its every minute. Despite this and the fact that the Deaf Institute announced that tickets are available on the door, the venue is heaving by the time the duo arrive on stage supported by a drummer and keyboardist.

Starting with ‘I&I’, the euphoric second single from their album, it is clear tonight is going to be an anthemic, all-embracing evening with Ellery’s voice roaring into action and the hi-hats building and building to create an explosive ending. Next to Ellery’s voice, as anyone’s would, Ebony’s is outshone, although she does come out fighting on the next one, punching the microphone in sync with the drums.

LUH - I & I

LUH – I & I

Ebony takes centre stage on the ballad ‘Future Blues’, where she sings over just a skeletal guitar riff. It’s a simple song but one you could imagine wafting towards you in a smoky bar and winning out over all the noise. Throughout her tender voice acts as the perfect counterpoint to Ellery’s gruff shout and their chemistry is unmissable, flirtatiously bumping their hips together whenever the opportunity arises.

‘$oro’ is perhaps the most bizarre yet intriguing moment of the night, starting off with the two singing with some heavy auto tune, not unlike Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak album, before an unexpected eruption of techno causes bemused glances to be shared among the audience. It’s a hugely entertaining song and clearly shows the effect that producer Haxan Cloak had on the record.

There are missteps along the way, ‘Lost Under Heaven’ is a grungy number that definitely expresses their anti-capitalist anger aptly but detracts from the romantic, human side present in most of their songs. A reworked version of Ellery’s solo song ‘Kerou’s Lament’ now just ‘Lament’ causes the fans to jump for the first time this evening, before things are wrapped up with the haunting ‘First Eye to the New Sky.’ Tonight they hold no punches and with revolutionary music like this, their arms are at the ready and we can’t wait to watch the chaos ensue. We may even join them.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.