Mumford & Sons from Nottingham’s Rock City
I bought Mumford and Sons first album in October last year and I feel like a fraud, it having taken a year to finally get to see them.
Booking a ticket three months before seems to do the trick. The opening acts managed to sooth the crowd, but nothing will compare to the moment Marcus Mumford starts to sing Sigh No More.
Matthew and the Atlas, who I’ve never heard of before, opened the show. I always think of openers as a warm up, leaving the audience in awe of their fresh new sounds. Sadly, I could still feel the air conditioning and hear a low buzz of chatter over the music.
Matt Hegarty is a very talented musician, his vocals lulling the crowd into a comfortable submission, which I guess was the problem. There wasn’t enough of a climax throughout the songs, so I was left desiring a beer and a sofa in a lounge bar, my bed or the next act.
Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Whip did a much better job at keeping the crowd’s attention with their folk rock sound, as well as Mr. Flynn changing between around eight different instruments including a mandolin, a trumpet and at one point, whistling. I’m almost sure there was a different instrument for every song, on top of his top notch vocals. The music even got some of the tuna can crowd moving. I have already ordered their album and sincerely hope I cross paths with this refreshing talent again soon in the near future.
Now, seeing the boys walk out, standing there in a row in lowlight at the forefront of the stage, left me a bit caught in dimmed headlights. I couldn’t believe I was finally getting to see them after all this time. Seven shows in Nottingham prior and I was finally there.
Thinking about the opening, the excitement still gives me pins and needles, which I had throughout their set. A favourite moment was a quote from Marcus Mumford: “I know we’re not really a rock band, but do you think you could act like a rock crowd for a song?” We most certainly can and did, the tightness of the crowd broken by the jumping and bucking and best attempt at dancing in such a tightly packed grouped to Little Lion Man.
It was almost a shame to have to reconvert to passive movements as not to upset the surrounding audience; my friends and myself tend to dance crazy movements to the freeing sounds of Mumford’s music. This was most likely the only downfall to the gig, not being able to really let yourself move the way you might if you had space. It made me envy, even more, the attendants who had the chance to see them at Bestival.
There were a few off album songs played, some I recognised and a new song, which was called New Song, it was so new. I found it strayed slightly from their folk sound a little and became a bit more rocky, but not to my displeasure. On the contrary, I think this created a broader spectrum for future sounds.
The banter between the members was amusing to watch, although some left me confused; something about farm animals. It was fun to see their dynamic and their cheeky relationship with one another. They closed with The Cave and I was already wondering when we might meet again.
All in all, I left the concert giddy and lost in post-amazing-concert euphoria. It was just fun. Some complain that Mumford and Sons has become too mainstream and I always say that it’s because they are a talented group and deserve the recognition.
What they don’t deserve recognition for on the other hand, is their DJ skills. To our great delight Ben Lovett and Marcus Mumford were the DJ to the venue next to Rock City – Rescue Rooms – for an after party. To my dismay their second round on stage wasn’t as fulfilling, but this doesn’t matter. I don’t need them to DJ, just as long as they keep doing what they’re doing.