Thursday, September 11

Mumford & Sons

Live Review
George IV Chiswick, London - Sunday September 7

Just because The Beatles blasted off their trade via Liverpool’s renowned Cavern Club, doesn’t mean every chipper untapped band to play there on a Thursday night will lap up the same generation-defining success. But ‘Blue Flowers’, west London’s monthly evening of stripped-down snug acoustic, seems to parade only indie’s ultra finest early on its paths – see under Jamie T, Laura Marling and Noah & The Whale, each one of whom emerged earlier tonight as unannounced additions to what is the final ever ‘Blue Flowers’ at The George IV. And following Paris’ frail but witty Soko (featuring a helping hand from Kid Harpoon) are headliners Mumford & Sons, presently displaying the kind of pulpy bluegrass just right for a laid-back Sunday.
After wandering about the capital’s newfangled anti-folk hoopla for a little while, these already appear prep’d to vie with their close compadres of said-Marling and Johnny Flynn. Set opener ‘Sigh No More’ swells up in the manner of ‘Parachutes’-era Coldplay, by way of fierce harmonies that trance this over-capacity crowd into stunned silence. The introduction of a fresh-out-the-box banjo leads to ‘White Blank Page’, where band leader Marcus Mumford’s Buckley-set croke twinkles atop chilled Beirut strings daytime radio will one-day no doubt rejoice in spinning to death.
This room’s homely aura fits M&S down to a T, as all four execute their spirited rumpus in rugged shirts and waistcoats standing below a towering double bass. Then comes ‘Sister’, a short-sharp shot in which ‘Fix You’’s sugary chimes stumble upon Cold War Kids’ holy baggage, all for the good of one bulging line; “Don’t test the ones you love, it’ll only tear us down. If you wanna feel alive then learn to love your ground”.
Nearing the end and Marcus concedes, “We feel pretty shit-terrified playing after all of them!” vis-à-vis tonight’s special guests. But they shouldn’t. This was perfect.

Mumford & Sons Myspace