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Mumford and Sons reviewed

A huge crowd gathered at St David’s Hall in Cardiff for a storming set...

Since 2009 Mumford and Sons received an uncommonly swift rise in popularity with their calming folk laments, lyrics with depth and meaning and, of course, banjos. They brought a sound that even your mum would approve of, whilst being listed very highly in almost every end-of-year magazine list for their Top 10 debut album ‘Sigh No More’. After performing at numerous festivals and touring the states, the London band are back and debuting new material, ready for their new album release in September.

Devoted fans of the band waited outside the venue from midday in order to be the first into the venue for when doors opened. Come 7pm a huge crowd of all ages filled both standing and balcony areas of the venue, leaving no room to move and a taste of excitement and anticipation in the air.

Performing at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, this is an unconventional place for a standard gig, as the venue is commonly used for theatre shows and stand up comedians. During support acts, it was bizarre to watch the crowd act differently and talk quieter, as if they were at a theatre show. Announcements on the speakers would alert the audience with how long left until each act takes the stages, maybe more venues should have this.  

As the lights went down in the sold out St David’s Hall a roaring chant from the crowd of the band’s name was almost deafening, as the four piece hit the stage. Kicking off the set with a brand new song ‘Lovers Eyes’, Mumford and Songs continued to perform in the dark, creating a great atmosphere, leaving the audience in suspense until the lights came on for crowd favourites ‘Roll Away Your Stone’ and  ‘Winter Winds’.

The unconventional Mumford and Son band set up with no true drummer but just a kick drum and a standing bass as the rhythm section had plenty of bite and backbone. The songs soar off from humble openings providing for rousing choruses and plenty of echoing crowd response.

It’s clear none of the success has gone to their heads as lead singer Marcus humbly recalls their last Cardiff show in the tiny Clwb Ifor Bach in front of 200 people, and how amazingly intimate that felt. Compare that to tonight, in front of a few thousand people, and Marcus can still register the intimacy. Even with a crowd this size, it still feels like an evening spent around the campfire. Clearly, there’s something quite special about Mumford & Sons.

The band stormed through a strong sixteen song set and performed an albums worth of new material which received a great response from the audience. After leaving the stage after album favourite ‘Dust Bowl Dance’, Mumford and Sons returned after a deafening ovation to play arguably their biggest number to date ‘The Cave’, ending the evening on an unforgettable high.

With a new album set for release in September, 2012 is going to be a dominating year for Mumford and Sons.
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Mike Lewis
30th May 2012
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Mumford and Sons reviewed

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