The Hu brought Mongolian folk metal to Glastonbury and it was an absolute blast

Mongolian folk metal heroes The Hu wow Glasto with a propulsive set on Sunday afternoon

The Hu on stage at Glastonbury
(Image: © Youtube (BBC))

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Even at a festival famed for its broad, genre-spanning lineups, you can't imagine many planted at Glastonbury's West Holts stage for the afternoon have ever seen anything quite like this. But then, there aren't many bands causing excitement in the metal world right now that are anything quite like The Hu. Mongolia's unlikely break-out folk metal sensations have been winning over fans left, right and centre, their unique mixture of propulsive, groove-laden riffs, tribalistic percussion and traditional string instrumentation inspired by their homeland striking a chord that transcends borders and language barriers.

Not that everyone here today is a total Hu noob: a good few shirts emblazoned with the band's logo can be seen dotted around the solid-sized crowd that has gathered to see the Ulaanbaatar natives, the quartet bolstered by the presence of four additional touring members that mean there are no fewer than eight musicians spread across the stage. Within seconds of the band lurching into The Gereg, heads across the field are banging, smiles are spreading across faces and it becomes immediately clear that Glasto is set to be the latest territory to fall under the Hu's spell.

Breakthrough singles Yuve Yuve Yu and Wolf Totem - packing over 90 million streams between them - get by far the biggest reactions of the set, even sparking mosh pits and a few rogue crowd surfers. Meanwhile, a few metalheads sprinkled across the crowd grin knowingly as the eight-piece stomp through their cover of Metallica banger Through The Never (though you feel their take on the far more widely known Sad But True may have been a better choice in these circumstances).

Stage banter is understandably limited but enthusiastically dished out, frontman Nyamjantsan "Jaya" Galsanjamts informing Glastonbury that it very much rocks and that the band are happy to be here. Judging by the looks on everyone's faces, the feeling is very much mutual, and while The Hu may have some work to do to if they want to become a true, mainstream-permeating crossover act, today, at least, Glasto is theirs.

The Hu Glastonbury setlist

1. The Gereg
2. Shoog Shoog
3. Upright Destined Mongol
4. Black Thunder
5. Through The Never
6. Yuve Yuve Yuve
7. Wolf Totem
8. This Is Mongol

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.