Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Mumford and Sons 18/02/2009
Streaming and flowing through the low ceilinged room, the guitar notes swirl and spiral, cushioning and blending with the folksy, powerful voice of Marcus. Then the banjo starts to play, and the piano. Then the drum and the tambourine, and then the whole lot begin to rapidly increase in speed and intensity. The guitar gets louder and louder, and the sweat starts to drip. A furrow on the brow, a stomp of the feet and then, like a rocket arriving in space, you are happily transported to a folk rave. You are at the mercy of the notes, floating around, sliding on Saturn’s rings, swinging around the stars. Before once again being taking back down to earth with that voice and those slow notes. All of this is powered by the hands, mouths and hearts of four men, each with their own quirks comfortably exposed on stage. Mumford & Sons take you on a journey, fast paced strumming, mixing with meltingly slow.
Watching the band live makes their sound and talent impact, a whole lot more forceful. The multi instrument playing, the quality of the husky lead voice and the rising climatic combined sound, contentedly delve into the spirits. White Blank Page is a beautiful song. A man lying next to a woman, can he say that his heart is in the same place as his body is? Cue only rage, love, attention and huge anguish. The latter shown through the violin strings, and the acapella. Culminating in the ‘truth’s’ banjos and further acapella. This crescendo building is a bit of a formula for Mumford & Sons, and ensures those listening experience heightened sense of the instruments, the emotions and the folk. A proper ‘ho down’, as Winston said.
I went outside and chatted to one of the band members (the one who chatted on stage the most, Winston). I asked him if he was enjoying tour life, (I could see he clearly was). He said with the exception of his previous night, attempting to chat to girls and then running away like a little rabbit (perhaps), he absolutely loved it, and proceeded to show me his tattoo symbolising his love of ‘The Tour’. He rolled up his sleeve, and there was the word, ‘TOUR’ tattooed on his arm. Love the tour. Winston is an endearing man and I hope that he retains this shy, deeper side, juxtaposed with a distinct cheekiness. One of the band’s qualities is a proper realness, not doing it for the money ambience. Rather they are just spreading their music, hence the lack of album release, as they build their fan base with small gigs like this one. They are right here and right there, your local, the little and the big festival, on the plane, on a bus, enjoying right now, as Mr TOUR said they are, ‘doing what they love doing’ with their mates.
If you can’t watch them in a dark wooded pub, watch them in Summer drinking Cider, with knitwear round your waist and grass on the floor.