If you haven’t seen and heard the English Band Mumford and Sons perform you’re in for a treat. If you have, this is among their best performances. Mumford and Sons came into my life with their first Top 40 single, “Little Lion Man” from their debut album, “Sigh No More”. The album became a hot seller on the success of that first single and the band was launched worldwide. They went on to win Grammy nominations, and both the ARIA Music Award for Most Popular International Artists and the Brit Award for Best British Album, 2011. An auspicious beginning.
In 2012 the band released their second album, “Babel”, and it’s sold just as well as their first album. At the 2013 Grammy Awards they won Album of the year. Not bad for a band who only formed in December of 2007. But these guys aren’t your typical musicians, either.
The band members are all vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, playing guitar, drums, keyboard instruments, bass guitar, string bass and folk instruments- banjo, mandolin, accordion, harmonica and resonator guitar. They put their guts into a show, too, stomping their feet and bopping to the rhythm. As working-class as they sound and appear, they aren’t. At all. Ian Brennan, reviewing them in Guitar Player magazine, complained: “A band like Mumford & Sons unplugs and bulldozes all of the subtlety out of a working-class art form. The degree of artificiality that we are steeped in has deepened to such a degree that a group of aristocratic Brits (one of whom is the son of a billionaire who is among the richest men in England) can ride to the top of the charts and win an Americana award with hardly a soul batting an eye.”(Wikipedia) Their lyrics reference classical literature and Shakespeare’s plays, not coal mining and farming. They dress as 19th century store clerks and call themselves “Gentlemen of the Road” (their latest tour name, too). Among all the British Boarding School musicians, this current generation knows packaging and image well enough to pull it off themselves and consistently. From set to wardrobe to music to instruments they have their act together.
Relax, sit yourself in a chair where you can stomp along. Here is Mumford and Sons.