GIG REVIEW: MUMFORD & SONS
Just in case you’re one of the few people that haven’t heard of Mumford & Sons I’ll give you a bit of background on them: I’ll call them a folk-rock band, but it’s kind of difficult to pin a genre to them. Comprising of Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Country Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane they formed in late 2007 and released their first album, Sigh No More, in 2009. In the US alone the album has now sold over two million copies, achieving more commercial success than I think even the band anticipated. As well as their impressive album sales, they are well known for their live performances. Having only seen them at festivals previously, I was lucky enough to be one of about 1500 people to get tickets to see Mumford & Sons on the 31st of May, in Folkestone.
Before I start gushing about how brilliant The Sons were, I’ll speak a bit about the support acts. Support came from Pete Roe and Slow Club, both acts I had previously seen but not fully appreciated at the time. Whilst I know that others in the crowd were eager for both acts to finish, I really enjoyed them and think that Mumford & Sons chose perfect acts to kick off their gig, with Pete Roe combining acoustic guitar and brilliant songwriting, and Slow Club providing a more rousing, electronic feel that got the crowd going. If you’re a Mumford fan these are definitely acts worth checking out.
Enough of that, on to the show! Mumford & Sons kicked off their set with a new(ish) song called Below My Feet, one of their slightly less “hoe-down”-esque songs, with a chorus that allowed everyone to fully appreciate their four-part harmonies. Next came more of a foot-stomper, their fourth single from Sigh No More, Roll Away Your Stone including great moments for singing and dancing driven along by the banjo, possibly my favourite song of the night. Another great moment was the performance of Ghosts That We Knew, a song set to be on the new album. Also a quieter song, it showcased the brilliant songwriting abilities of the band, with the chorus “So give me hope in the darkness and I will see the light/Cause oh they gave me such a fright/But I will hold as long as you like/Just promise me we’ll be alright” leaving me a bit mesmerised and more than a bit in love with Marcus Mumford.
Another highlight of the set was Dust Bowl Dance, the penultimate song on their album and the last song (well, before the encore anyway) of the night, it was basically an excuse to go a bit crazy, both in the audience and on stage. For this song Ben took to an actual piano (not the keyboard) and Marcus to the drum kit. One of my favourite things about this song, and others too, is the lyrics. As well as beautifully crafted original ideas, the Sons include allusions to famous writers such as Shakespeare and John Steinbeck (and occasionally simply stealing lines from their work) and also biblical references in their lyrics.
For the encore, they played two songs: another beautiful new ‘un, Lover’s Eyes (“I’ll walk slow, take my hand, help me on my way”) and of course The Cave, the band’s best known single. I personally think the song is a bit over-rated, but as much as it pains me to say it, it was probably the song of the night simply because of the crowd’s reaction, with nearly everyone singing along and jumping together the atmosphere was amazing and left me wanting so much more. I wholeheartedly recommend going to see Mumford & Sons if ever you get the chance.