Mumford & Sons live at iTunes Festival
- By Jon Bye -
- Sep 26, 2012
Running fine all through the Olympics, it's a quiet Monday night that the Northern Line decides to keel over, leaving this reviewer rather annoyed at catching only half of Willy Mason's support slot. Still, it's not as bad as for the rather massive queue outside who questionably made it in at all given tight security. Based on this set of circumstances shaping the mood of the crowd, Mason's tender country bluegrass struggles to get through in a venue that sounds like a busy council swimming pool. Endearing and tender it is however largely lost on a crowd of 1,500 plus people more intrigued in tagging their location on their phones. Please Willy, don't judge us all based on this.
Of course, once the golden boys of folk take the stage there's utter respect and adulation on offer from the crowd. The gig coincides with the launch of Mumford and Sons second album and the band revel in mixing up the set list throughout the night, starting with a new song 'Lovers' Eyes'. hough warmly received, the rapturous applause and thumping of feet comes when 'Little Lion Man' kicks in - a trend that at times looks set to bring the building down.
Multi-talented musicians dressed like Dexy's Midnight Runners, the crowd attention the boys receive as 'Below My Feet' starts up conjures the feeling that we are in the presence of some heart throb Somerset boy band. If anything so superficial were to be imagined, it's dispelled when the boys abandon their mics to play a totally unplugged version of 'Timshel'. The song proves not only heart warming but as much of a two fingers at the corporate organisers as possible considering the gig is being streamed live through the temporarily redundant microphones.
Barnstorming 'Lover of The Light' brings the tempo back up again, supported by twinkling stage lights, only for 'Dust Bowl Dance' to turn into a crazy rock out with wailing guitars and a collapsed drum set by the end. They may be folk boys but clearly, they know how to kick loose.
All too soon, we're at an encore of 'I Will Wait' and a rapturous performance of 'The Cave', with the band clearly as engaged in enjoying their performance as the audience, raising a question of who is playing for who.
This was always likely to be a highlight of the entire iTunes Festival season and Mumford and Sons more than keep their end of the bargain. With new material sitting so comfortably next to the established material, this band will only grow. Such a relatively intimate gig thus feels like a real gift - even if its being shared online with millions.
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