Gig Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Mumford & Sons

Out with the gentlemanly waistcoats and in with the grungy denim shirt-jean combo, the freshly transformed British quartet have re-categorised themselves within the rock music genre. The convincingly celtic rooted folk band Mumford & Sons have stripped back the banjo and string ensemble and opted for electric rock with their 2015 album Wilder Mind. Their new material has been saturated in the clashing of symbols, hard hitting drums, and twangs of electric guitars.

Mumford & Sons

The gig, a two-hour marathon of fragmented rock tracks from their diverse mix of songs began with an unnerving rendition of Snake Eyes, with unrelenting screams engulfing the venue. Amassing the energetic tempo of the set longstanding track I Will Wait from second album Babel, poised an eclectic collaboration of trombones, steel drums and violins, which pulsated through the crowds.

Mumford & Sons

Contrasting to this, Below My Feet had the audience hooked with an echoic melody of vocalist Marcus Mumford, as well as eerie chorded track After the Storm which soon followed, which had the audience mouthing the lyrics in unison.

Mumford & Sons

Tribute like flags corresponded with their new anthem rock genre, and atmospheric baubles hung from the rafters haloing the thousands that filled the venue of the Genting Arena. Virtually, we were witnessing binary bands, both with distinct style, yet breathing from the same lungs.

Mumford & Sons

Displaying their wide arrangement of talent, Marcus crashed out drum solos; Ben Lovett added electric soul on the keys, whilst Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane took on the strings, and guitars.

Mumford & Sons

Disturbingly dark track, Thistle and Weeds submerged us into a pacific of melodies, to which the audience were vocal throughout. Universally rousing song, Believe, blindingly ignited the multitudes of bodies as it surged lights into the air to accompany the track.

Mumford & Sons

As if that wasn’t enough, the faultless band plunged us into a restless pandemonium of dancing troops with epic song Roll Away Your Stone, as the banjo makes a return, along with violin, brass and cello. Jumping feet hammer down on the quavering floor beneath me, and on the beat claps mimic the hard hitting strums of the acoustic guitar strings that eventually pings from its place, but Marcus is not dissuaded from his passionate playing.

Mumford & Sons

Tracks are reeled off from fame making album Sigh No More, with Little Lion Man roaring through Birmingham’s fans like a record on replay. New primary track Ditmas sent Marcus rushing into the crowds, as the seated crowds sat like eagles watching from above the stampede that unfolded as a screaming mass of fans tried to be within reaching distance of the mesmerising vocalist.

As the set came to an end, Dust Bowl Dance sees no hesitation in the unrelenting singing and bond between band and fans as pyrotechnics invaded the stage whilst Marcus’s rugged vocals paired up with the hard rock instrumental, ending with the singer smashing up the drum kit and a black out enveloping the electrified masses.

Mumford & Sons

A thumping of applauds started off the encore, as the foursome congregated on a centre stage for a mic only version of Timshel, which was immaculately carried out, regardless of some slightly obsessive hecklers, eager for the limelight.

Finally, upon returning to stage they mightily concluded their epic set list with The Wolf. 2015 has seen the band hone a revolutionary rock sound completely separate to that of their initial folk origins and yet this tour has combined styles that made for one unforgettable evening. The in-sync singing of the crowds remained ringing in my ears as I exited the building, and has certainly re-established the lads on my playlist for years to come.

Mumford & Sons

Leave a Reply