Mumford & Sons, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – March 14th 2010
“Sunday’s the best day for a hoedown!” lead singer Marcus Mumford yelped as his band cranked into action and judging on the evidence before us, he was right. Crackling with talent and energy, Mumford & Sons put on some show in West London, overflowing with emotion, fantastic harmonies and a set so ripped it must have been working out for days…
Their hour-and-a-bit on-stage went by in a flash as they sped through their best-selling Sigh No More album, with singles The Cave, Winter Winds and Little Lion Man all highlights – but then, you could apply that to the whole set. When the band were whooping up a storm on stage then so did the audience; but for the slower tracks like Timshel and Thistle & Weeds you could hear a pin drop as the crowd held its breath and Marcus Mumford’s vocals rang out around the Shepherd’s Bush Empire unchallenged, at times creaking not unlike those of Kurt Cobain on Nirvana’s unparalleled Unplugged album. “For us, that was amazing,” he told us when a hushed crowd had applauded Timshel – for us too, Marcus.
The band also treated us to a snapshot of new material which went down a storm, especially Lover Of The Light which saw Marcus take to the drums, causing the woman in front of me to swoon: “He’s so talented, I’m going to marry him!” The love went both ways though, with the group thanking the crowd for their success and admitting success is still a strange beast. “We live round here and walk past here all the time. Honestly, to see our name on the front is still a bit of a headfuck,” confided the humble lead singer.
Watching Mumford & Sons in such an old-fashioned venue suited their style. This lot are rapid entertainers and that was borne out here with a passion, the crowd whipped up into frothy peaks by the end. Haunting, captivating and a rollicking good night out.