The Manchester outfit were surprise stars of 2017, emerging from nowhere to blow away crowds at the Green Man and End of the Road festivals. Last Saturday was their London debut, a feat often deemed (albeit wrongly) a huge landmark in a bands career. Was the hype worth it?
Pop music is a brilliant thing. It’s joyous but fleeting. W.H. Lung are a different animal however. Pop sensibilities loom but, their ethereal grooving like early Verve and the hypnotic synths of Can and Kraftwerk are clearly on a more substantive plain. When they break for applause, it’s disappointing, the yearning for the beatific Nick McCabe guitar work to continue is tangible.
Their sound is so engrossing, they transcend being in a band. It feels more like a social collective merging their vision to the sound of Talking Heads, Kraftwerk, Arcade Fire, The Verve, and Can. Despite the aggregated sound, front man Joseph Evans is an icon in the making. He’s unique and slightly awkward dancing immediately brings Morrissey, Ian Curtis and Jarvis Cocker to mind. He has the innate ability to channel the bands sonic through his dancing, akin to the loose natured dancing of Ian Brown when the Roses emerged.
Although they are in their fledgling stages, there is a fan base wholly immersed in their doctrine. At the heart of this is a clearly a willingness to follow a band who are fully committed to the creative process and the cultural change it can bring about. For the first time in a long time, rebels with a cause are on the march (Cabbage, The Blinders, Sisteray, Matt Edible) and it feels great.