Mumford & Sons @ Bunker Hill 14th October

I first saw Mumford & Sons in a makeshift hut in the middle of Glastonbury; the beauty of the music left me all warm inside, and I think it says a lot that I remember that so gig well. This time, upstairs at Bunkers Hill, they lived up to expectations and more as their sound filled the low-ceilinged room and spilled out of the open windows (oh, you lucky passers-by!) This is Folk at its most haunting, passing through delicate hymns of love and regret to peppery bluegrass anthems and stomping barnyard beats. The quartet switch effortlessly between a number of instruments including guitar, double bass, violin, and a xylophone in a natty blue case, but it was their use of vocals that particularly caught me. These guys are not afraid to lean on their voices, not afraid to put down the instrument, stand in a row and amaze you with good, honest harmonies. And the voice of lead singer Marcus is something else, confident yet slightly raw, like crackly records, or autumn bonfires. Not to mention lyrics you can believe in. I have only praise for this band, who are to be found doing the rounds with such peers as Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling, other successes which prove that folk is back big-time, and in their hands it’s brilliant – what a breath of fresh country air after three grimy, bleepy weeks in the city. So lean out the window of that house party and take it in. In the words of Ted Mumford, “it’s what we all need.”

Rosy Ross


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