Live Review: Mumford And Sons

Posted on May 7, 2010

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Venue: Shepherds Bush Empire.

Passionate, Powerful, Personal….. words that repeated in my head after witnessing one of the best gigs I’ve been to in years. There’s been no escaping Mumford and Sons in the past few months and deservedly so. If you know the band you’ll understand why, and if not you’re in for a treat.

Just when you think ‘guitar music’ has outstayed its welcome with skinny indie kids finding the pleasures of glow sticks and synths, an honest, talented group of musicians that really believe in what they do emerges.

The band walk on stage at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire to an atmosphere of unbridled anticipation and appreciation. The crowd is watching every movement made by Country Wilson, Ben Lovett, Ted Dwayne and especially tonight’s host; Marcus Mumford. An impressive front man, Marcus leads the band into the opening ‘White Blank Page’ as if he was conducting an orchestra, with the band producing a sound grandiose enough to go head to head with any philharmonic.

Vocal harmonies abound in their 80-minute set with such fragile future classics as ‘Timshel’ sounding as if there’s actually a choir of monks hidden backstage. Lyrically, British bands come from a choice pedigree of great songwriters with Marcus Mumford differing from the kebab shop antics of his contemporary Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner by employing more thought provoking language.

New song ‘Lover of the Light’ is received whole heartedly, with most of the audience already familiar with it due to the wonders of YouTube and ‘Little Lion Man’ has everyone in the stands on their feet singing every word. It’s impossible to fault the set they played and finding a highlight is no mean feat, but at a push I would have to say ‘Awake My Soul’. The gravity of lyrics “how fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes, I struggle to find any truth in your lies” left me only mouthing along to an intro so fragile that I was scared my breath would break it. The set closes with an encore of ‘Winter Winds’ that left everybody on a high note, on their feet and singing every last word.

Mumford and Sons’ music is anthemic; quite honestly the most impressive, invigorating and interesting band I’ve seen live in a long time. This year sees the band playing a lot of the major festivals including T in the Park, Oxegen, Latitude, Reading/Leeds and Bestival and trust me; Mumford and Sons have plenty of festival anthems in the bag with electric stage presence to boot.

Ash Hiden

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Posted in: Music, Reviews