Mumford & Sons Play ITunes Festival
Updated: Jul 18
This review originally appeared on Channel 4's website
Folk pop foursome brings down The Roundhouse
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like Mumford & Sons and those with broken ears. Ah, we jest! But last night at London's Roundhouse, ITunes festival-goers exuberantly expressed their appreciation for the West London quintet with lots of wild cheering, an impromptu mosh pit, and unprompted clapping along to the band's recognisable emotional folk.
It was an important night for Mumford & Sons - the eve of their Babel album release. "This is our album launch party," keyboardist Ben Lovett told the audience. The band certainly treated it like a party, and Marcus Mumford himself told the audience how happy he was to be home in London to play to the crowd.
"We've been round and round and now we're home, it feels f****** good," he said after the band played their first song, lover's eyes, from Babel. they followed with Little Lion Man - perhaps a bit early in the set to pull out one of their most recognizable tunes, but there were no complaints from the crowd.
The live set highlighted the formulaic quality of the music, each song starting with a quiet part, escalating into an emotional crescendo, going back down to a quiet bit and finishing off with a burst of an ending. Mumford & Sons make up for their predictability, however, with a unique talent for orchestrating songs that inspire emotional reactions to their well-written lyrics and catchy melodies.
The musical talent of the band was also displayed through each member's versatility - Marcus Mumford went from guitar to drums, and Ben's skills aren't just limited to the piano (he sings amazingly well). The band also brought out a horn section for several songs, which featured a trombone and a trumpet to add to the guitars, cello and keys.
Even if you aren't a Mumford fan, I'd challenge you to go see the band and not stomp your feet and clap your hands at least once, as the excitement of the rest of the audience is infectious. The highlight of the evening was when the band announced they'd be going acoustic and proceeded to sing a beautiful, stripped-down version of Timshel, which showed off each of the band members' ability to harmonise. All in all, if you're looking for a night of good old-fashioned folk-pop entertainment, you could do much worse.