Live Review: Wu Lyf @ Thekla, Bristol – 25 October

The mystery is paling slightly but Wu Lyf’s charming volatility is still affecting. The controversy over their indie-credibility probably makes up the majority of their column inches; I mean, the charm of the lo-res band photography and lifetime membership to the Lutheran Youth Foundation in exchange for a £15 single wears thin when you know the guy with the money behind them is also an agent for Adidas.

However, to argue in this vein against Q magazine’s title of one of ten “Most Exciting Acts on Earth” would be a disservice to these Mancunians. Their self-released debut album, Go Tell Fire to the Mountain, has made ‘heavy-pop’ history, blending the desperate howls of lead singer Ellery Roberts with sugary guitar riffs.

The service began on time with a church organ calling all stragglers at the bar forward, into the throng.  Opening with the track LYF signalled that, as a band, they still don’t feel too comfortable straying from the formula of their album. But the tribal drum beats, piercing howls from their bassist, McClung, and a gruff yet emotional rendition of  Wicked Game kept things lively.

A few words with Ellery after the show confirmed that at least his raspy, sometimes indiscernible voice is authentic. In fact, from a band of such cocky young things he seemed genuinely humbled by the accolades they’ve received, saying that at the Q awards “no one really knew who we were”. I doubt that feeling will last much longer.

Here’s the unofficial video for their track Spitting Blood:

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