The music business never fails to surprise. You can never tell which band it is that’s going to hit a nerve, and the rise in UK popularity of The Hu is a case in point. A group of guys from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia merging their traditions with modern rock into what they call Hunnu Rock have become hot property in the UK as a sold out Garage in Glasgow shows.
THE HU/FIRE FROM THE GODS
Words: Ian Sutherland Pictures: Ya Cheng
Opening proceedings were US outfit Fire From The Gods, who added their aggressive combintion of Metal, hip-hop and rock to the cultural mix of the evening. A bass heavy mix probably suited their sound and their tales of social conscience and a world going wrong were generally well received.
‘Fight The World’ had a nice edgy, relevance and urgent feel but the overall impression was of a band still working up to showing their best. Hard work in action but the full results are yet to be felt.
When it comes to results for tonight’s headliners, they’re already in and they’re winners. Within minutes of coming on to the stage they have the audience eating out of their hand, moving as one in time with their trademark steady grooves and chanting ‘Hu, Hu, Hu’ loudly between songs.
The eight piece band seem to be instinctively together as one, the drums and percussion along with the traditional morin khuur fiddles backed with electric guitar creating a unique soundscape, epic in nature with a controlled, steady urgency to it. Vocally there is a fascinating mix of throat singing and standard vocals and the overall effect is hypnotic and somehow uplifting.
These musical Mongol warriors have a selection of memorable tunes like ‘Yuve Yuve Yu’ and ‘Wolf Totem’ but I think the real magic is in that overall sound. Like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ combining with a thundering herd of wild horses and sweeping across the steppe. It’s irresistible and has the Glasgow crowd swaying, grooving, roaring and urging them on.
‘This Is The Mongol’ closed out a show that was dominated by songs from their debut album ‘The Gereg’, but the band, their sound and the reaction to it shows that there is much more to come. They’ve already conquered more territories than Gengis Khan, soon the whole world be under the spell of The Hu.