PHOTOS / RECAP: WU LYF @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC 4/21/12
It was Friday–thank God. A show I had been anxiously awaiting was finally around the corner. I had not a single clue what to expect from this young, elusive quad out of Manchester, England. In listening to their self-produced release Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, I wasn’t sure if I should have been getting revved up or be preparing to walk into a mellow room. WU LYF (World United Lucifer Youth Foundation) sings of love, life and well, I am not sure exactly what else. It is hard to make out the words to the majority of their songs. But their favorable beats are welcoming to this evening’s 18+ crowd at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom.
Ellery Roberts, the band’s front man and keyboardist, is a very slender, tall and animated young chap. His voice is raspy and when he sings it is almost as if he is howling as he points his face to the ceiling and sings up to the heavens. Evan Kati, on guitar, was sporting a tee-shirt that read “Sophisticated Bitch.” Very cheeky. Thomas Lung, on bass, wore a flirty smirk on his face throughout much of the performance. Joe Manning, on drums, owned his platform behind his band-mates.
With only the album to go on, I was not lead to believe that I would be witness to “mosh-pitting” on this here Friday evening. But sure enough, there it was….happening right before my very eyes. I have to say, while I personally can’t find myself ever involved, there was a slight rush of energy that was transfered over from simply being pushed about in the outskirts, so to speak.
During one of their early songs, the stage was splashed a scene of lights which made it seem as if Joe was playing on a kit under the sea. Ellery stood under a soft yet bright yellow light and tapped lightly on his keyboard as he howled away into the evening. Evan’s beautifully long guitar riffs reminded me a lot of Jim James of My Morning Jacket. Whatever song it was called, it looked and sounded beautiful.
As the show progressed, Ellery flipped around and danced about stage in whatever direction his limbs felt like taking him. At one point, pressing his hands tightly against his chest and then pushing his hands outward towards the crowd he says, “Thank you!”
Oh, no…thank YOU, WU LYF! One guest was even compelled enough to jump on stage, hug Ellery, turn back to the crowd, cheer for himself and the awesomeness of that moment and then fly into the crowd and surf his way back to his spot on the floor. The band welcomed it. The artists were happy to have played in NY. They were having fun with us and proclaimed that there would be an after party at some place called Spin something. I, personally, was spent and had no energy to follow them there. But I did like their style.
Before they ended the show, they let the crowd know that it will be awhile before they are back to the states, but that they are sure to return. Project Lena hit the nail on the head when they wrote that “for all the weirdness, they are clearly fabulous musicians who have created their own sound.”
And with so many newer bands that are currently on the rise, like Rubblebucket for example, who have created a fan base and name for themselves based largely on the fact that they are unique (and awesome), this band will settle nicely into the live music scene in the states. They concluded the show with a song that was familiar to me, but that I could not place the name. Tom was still shirtless. Joe was sitting on the floor resting against an amp fiddling with the legs of his pants. Evan was playing the guitar from behind the kit. Ellery says, “this one’s for across the river.”
They completed their US tour on Saturday in Boston and are headed back home. I really look forward to seeing this band again. And also to see what is in store for them in the years ahead.
Dana Montanari started contributing to LMB in late 2011 and came out strong with reviews of bands like Foo Fighters, moe., Marco Benevento Trio, Conspirator, and Dave Matthews Band. She's getting into live music photography also and likes to dabble her spirited reviews with photo sets that capture the mood of the evening...
Read her reviews and see her photos here.
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