So guys I reviewed Mumford and Sons for This Is Fake DIY. Read what I had to say here.
Mumford And Sons’ current tour brings together the cream of the so called neo-folk scene, roping in the subdued beauty of Matthew And The Atlas, the joyous troubadour folk of Johnny Flynn and, of course, the poppy banjo wielding anthem-fest of Mumford And Sons.
Opening, Matthew And The Atlas play to a good amount of punters early on in the night showcasing their tight and tuneful blend of Americana and romantic folk. Frontman Matthew Hegarty might be an unassuming fella at first glance but once he opens his mouth his exquisite voice makes jaws drop immediately. The songs are perfectly arranged, the lyrics beautifully written and if there is any justice in the world, his band more than deserve to be headlining this very same venue next year.
Johnny Flynn is on next and performs a stunning set with songs mainly from his first album ‘A Larum’. On a slightly crowded stage due to a massive band backing of five musicians, Johnny still holds the attention of the entire audience. His crystal clear voice and masterful guitar skills cut through the auditorium like a campfire on a crisp night. Humble in attitude, but not in sound, Johnny performs single ‘Kentucky Pill’ whilst encouraging a dance-off in the crowd. Even though he gets cheered on like a bona-fide rock-star, he really is the opposite. A shy boy at heart, who comes to life on stage, Johnny Flynn embodies everything that’s good about music: talent, creativity and passion.
Mumford And Sons come onto the stage to euphorically deafening cheers from the ecstatic crowd. Taking their ethic from anti-folk’s outspoken style and fleshing it out for broader commercial appeal, frontman Marcus and his Sons know how to write a hit song. Initially known as backing band for Laura Marling, the band finally stepped out of the shadows with their debut ‘Sigh No More’. And step out they did indeed, as proven by tonight’s deliriously adoring crowd.
Opener ‘Sigh No More’ is a mixture of an angsty ballad and a Pentecostal-style hymn that could well be on Bon Iver’s record. Starting off as a quiet and fragile acoustic paean to love it soon turns into a banjo-beast all romping and stomping with claps, multi-harmonious chanting and compelling strummed chords. Continuing to walk the thin line between shallow melodrama and genuine emotion, Marcus Mumford and his Sons launch into the first highlight of the night. ‘Little Lion Man’ shines brightly on the afore-mentioned debut and it moves numerous punters in the audience to shed a lil’ tear. Basically a well-structured folk-pop ballad, this song seems to combine the commercial appeal of mainstream popsters like Damien Rice with a more demure Laura Marling like edge. The Kings Of Leon of nouveau-folk? Quite possibly.
Chubby-cheeked Marcus Mumford appears to have become some sort of folk-rock God for the new generation of gig goers, and with a presence half-cocky / half-charming and an abundance of entertaining banter about his mum with crowd, he fully lives up to that status. At their best, Mumford And Sons are mightily anthemic and perfectly harmonious, at their worst however, they remind of a has-been barn-dance band that you book for your daughter’s 12th birthday. Muttering about broken hearts repetitively, somehow this whole affair seems more like an act than real art.