Experimental gothic pop made its way to the Rotondes on Wednesday in the shape of Dutch & English duo LUH.
Based out of Amsterdam, LUH consists of audio-visual artists Ebony Hoorn & former WU LYF frontman Ellery Roberts. It’s now 6 years since WU LYF were one of the most hyped & exciting bands in Britain. Reluctant to do interviews, their anti-media approach was described as “carefully designed anonymity”. This had the desired effect, building a mystique around the band which made them even more alluring and created more press than they could’ve hoped for. After just one album they were to disband and disappear as quickly as they arrived.
Now Roberts is back with LUH (Lost Under Heaven) and although he might want to
distance himself from the WU LYF name, his unique vocals were the focal point of their sound and there is no changing that with LUH, his reverb laden delivery is an acquired taste but it’s an effective one.
Fortunately, his vocals aren’t quite as abrasive in the live setting as they can be on record. This might have much to do with Hoorn’s vocals which provided the perfect foil as they intertwined between one another with consummate ease, like they did in the opener “I&I” with its anthemic heavy pop.
With much of the set being dominated by the cacophony of crashing symbols and pulsating kick drums, there was a tranquillity in the haunting beauty of the delicate “Future Blues” & “Loyalty” leaving the raw energy to one side, it highlighted the nuances in their sound.
They’re not ones to work within conventional structures as they swayed from orchestral pop with anthemic choruses, to stirring synths with an early 90s tinge and all of this on “$ORO” before some crunching techno came in and took the tempo to overdrive for a few moments. This might have suited the end of the night better or maybe just a livelier evening, but it proves that they’re not willing to be confined by genres, even in the same song.
But it’s the dynamic between Hoorn & Roberts who are a couple away from the stage, which grabs you from the outset and never let up all evening. You feel that they truly believe in the sentiment of their lyrics, after all their debut record is called “Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing” which perfectly sums up their sound.
With just the one record to their name it was a short but powerful set, time will tell if this band will last longer than Roberts’ last, however this looks to be a more collaborative project in which there is plenty of room to experiment.
1.06.16 – Rotondes