Mumford & Sons – The Captains Rest, Glasgow, 08/07/2008


“Mumford and Sons” provided a nice little live prelude to the inevitable carnage of the T in the Park weekend. Playing in the intimate setting of the 100 or so capacity basement venue in The Captains Rest pub in the West end of Glasgow, their performance embodied everything that’s exciting about the new folk movement.

London seems to be a hotbed for surprising alternative folk at the moment with other bands such as “Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit”, “Slow Club” and of course “Laura Marling” all beating the drum for intelligent folk tinged rock. As much as I hate to use the word there’s a definite “scene” developing. I first discovered “Mumford and Sons” when they supported Laura Marling at the Oran Mor on her songbox tour and was instantly hit by the beauty and honesty that ran through lead singer Marcus’ songwriting. Marcus himself is actually the drummer in Laura’s band, but took being the centre of attention in his stride.

Double bass, fiddle, guitars and drums reverberated around the dark low ceilings of the venue with an intensity and purity that fleeted between uplifting and heartbreaking from one moment to the next. The band played a set which showcased a number of songs from their forthcoming EP along with recently penned compositions and older staples such as “Awake My Soul”.

Tracks like “Little Lion Man”, “The Shorter Sister”, “Roll Away Your Stone” and “Dustbowl Dance” showed their new found depth and highlighted the wealth of creative talent that’s running through the band. As Marcus thanked so many people for coming to watch them live he seemed genuinely shocked and appreciative when a shout came from the door to say the gig was sold out. If they continue in this vein with a winning combination of charm and sheer musical ability then I’m sure many more sold out shows in much larger venues are sure to follow. Songs like “little Lion Man” with its shout along chorus of  “But it was not your fault but mine, And it was your heart on the line, I really fucked it up this time, Didn’t I, my dear” are crying out to be sung back at the band by much larger crowds than tonight.

If you like music that means something, music with a conscience and a soul then “Mumford and Sons” will be the perfect soundtrack to your evening.

(4 Years on who’d have thought that I was actually right about something for once in my life)

Ross Cunningham