Saturday 6th July, 2022
(Review & Photos by John Glennie)
This was a really unique performance by Mongolian band The Hu – it combined hard rock with traditional Mongolian throat singing and Mongolian instrumentation such as the Morin Khuur (horsehead fiddle), Tovshuur (Mongolian guitar) and Tumur Khuur (jaw harp).
I was lucky enough to see them on their first tour to Australia at The Gov – just one week before the borders were closed due to COVID. The energy and the music was excellent and I was quite surprised at seeing such a large following with around 1200 people attending. Obviously the impact of The Hu’s Youtube videos have had a far-reaching effect.
All the songs were in the Mongolian language so couldn’t understand what the songs were about, but that didn’t seem to bother the ecstatic crowd. The rhythms are so catchy that you cannot help but dance along. Between every song the crowd pumped fists into the air while chanting “Hu Hu Hu Hu Hu… (etc)”
The crowd went nuts over more familiar tracks such as Yuve Yuve Yu and The Great Chinggis Khaan (which I presume is their way of saying Genghis Khan). The band frequently fist-pumped the air during songs which only excited the crowd even more. I loved watching the audience head-banging, mosh-pitting and dancing to the amazing rhythms. Other great tracks included the title song from their only album The Gereg and Shoog Shoog. The wildest response came to the highly anticipated Wolf Totem – a great track with an awesome video clip (which I included in the promo for this show). Lyrics on the clips are sub-titled and they definitely aren’t love songs!
The band has grown from 4 members on their 2020 tour, to 8 today. Their English has improved too – 2 years ago it was literally only “thank you very much!” and any other spoken words seemed to be in their native tongue. This time they introduced some of the songs and included another odd phrase here and there. They are pretty menacing looking guys and it is easy to see how the Mongolian warriors under Genghis Khan were such fearsome soldiers. Despite their looks they came across as really friendly and their musicianship could not be faulted.
My companion saw a lot of similarities with some of their songs to AC/DC and the German metal band Rammstein. It was great to see Adelaide audiences embracing a unique style of music from a vastly different culture. We were both quite impressed by the support band, The Blackwater Fever from Brisbane. Had never heard of them before and didn’t recognise any of their songs, so presume they are originals. It was good rock music and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them to come back to Adelaide.
[Please excuse the quality of my photos. They were taken with my phone from the very back of the venue, and there was a pole right in the middle of my field of vision!]
Here’s another video clip of the band with some stunning Mongolian scenery: