Considering most bands are swathed in promotion from their inception, it is more than a bit of a rarity to turn up to a gig and have no real idea what the band look like. Such is the case with Wu Lyf, who have kept up a mask of mystery for the past few months, shunning interviews and photos, as media hype encircled them.
Tonight Shepherds Bush Empire is packed and a buzz passes through the crowd as one of the most lauded new bands of the year casually stroll on stage, their crucifix like emblem lit up behind them. Making a request for no videos to be made of the gig, they only add to the enigmatic mystery that surrounds them. As Wu Lyf shyly start, lead singer Ellery Roberts allows himself only a fleeting grin as he surveys the venue which has become a huge mosh pit within the opening few bars of ‘Lyf’. With Roberts beating his fist against his chest, the band continue playing songs off ‘Go Tell Fire To The Mountain’, the debut album released in June and sure to make at least a few best of 2011 lists. Impeccably well-polished , the atmospheric keyboard, glittering guitar, pounding drum beat and of course the guttural voice of Roberts, bring the album to life. From ‘Spitting Blood’ to ‘Concrete Gold’ to ‘Dirt’, no song is neglected by the crowd who treat each one like it was the bands biggest hit.
As the band leave the stage the crowd chant WU LYF WU LYF desperate for ‘We Bros’, the current single, and of course Wu Lyf do not disappoint. Roberts’ vest is gone, leaving only his self-decorated denim jacket which he ditches before stage diving not once but twice to the annoyance of security guards but delight of fans. An incredible performance, demonstrating that Wu Lyf have nothing to hide and a lot to give.
By Jessy Parker