There was so much interest shown in The Hu when they performed on the Dogtooth stage at Download Festival that it resulted in a fully packed tent with crowds ten rows deep outside trying to grab any spot they could. Arriving at Leeds Stylus Uni, where the band is performing on their UK headline tour, the venue is already packed out, showing that the UK’s love for the Mongolian metal band has not waned since that Download introduction.

One reason we have taken The Hu to our hearts is that there is no aspect of the band that you could call “novelty.” The Hu is the real deal. To chants of “Hu! Hu! Hu!” the band stride out onto the stage in full Mongolian costume, the sight is attention-grabbing, and this is even before they’ve hit a note on their instruments. Blending these traditional sounds with modern metal, the mix is hypnotic, and heads are soon nodding along to the likes of “Shoog Shoog” and “Black Thunder.”

By bringing a massive dollop of Mongolian culture to the night, the use of instruments like a tumur khuur (jaw harp) help tracks like “Hohochu Zairan” and “Tatar Warrior” turn their ninety-minute set into more of an experience than just a gig. This approach to their music may be unique, but fans continue to pack out their gigs. Looking around this packed room, you can just feel the connection the band have with their fans, as we all know that we’re in the company of a very special band indeed.


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.