Banjo-tastic

11 Oct

I went somewhere exciting last night…

I saddled up for a journey to the big smoke, with M and S (and L)…

We ate a glamourous dinner in M&S…

(Are you getting the hints?)

And finally, despite trying to convince ourselves we were going to an exhibition of Tuscan Pots, we arrived at the Apollo to see the mighty, mighty Mumford and Sons.

Having booked these tickets in June, I was quite looking forward to this gig by now…

While we were waiting around for it to start, we played a game of Trilbywatch. An above average number of trilbys was certainly on display. Mike decided that Mumford fans were all called Jerome and Nancy and were very unlikely to get larey. Instead, we anticipated a good-humoured foot-stomping hoe-down. This turned out to be pretty accurate, with the possible insertion of ‘sweaty’ in there somewhere.

Our tickets told us that we were also going to see that famous, versatile band, ‘Special Guests.’ Man, those guys get around. They never seem to stop touring. Their line-up had changed quite a bit since I last saw them supporting S Club 7 – they’ve gone into the indie-folk scene and got way better at the cello… In all seriousness, neither of the support acts managed to introduce themselves so they may as well have been called Special Guests. I managed to establish later that Act Two was Johnny Flynn, who I think I must have seen before somewhere (goodness knows where) cos I knew one of their songs. They were brilliant anyway – anyone who can sing and play the trumpet and guitar all at the same time deserves a little respect. Their drummer must have been off sick that night because on the drums was their stand-in, ‘Bob’, AKA Marcus Mumford. Which was nice of him, since he must have been knackered and then had to do his own whole set afterwards!

So then the Sons arrived, and golly yes. They ARE good. My favourite thing about watching Mumford and Sons is their insane keyboard player, Ben. He’s ridiculous. He’s so caught up in the music that you think he’s going to take off – who else can remove both feet from the floor and headbang whilst playing the keys accurately? In the moments when he’s not playing he leaps around the stage like a crazed gazelle. This is a pretty good example:

A possible highlight last night was him doing a massive prance away from his keyboard and falling over, skidding halfway across the stage. It hurt, apparently, but that’s commitment to the cause.

The true highlight though was towards the end, when everyone took to their feet to sing “Awake My Soul”. It really is crazy that these guys have managed to popularise a) folk music, and b) music that’s about faith. To have those thousands of people standing up, raising their hands, stomping their feet and singing “Awake my soul… for you were made to meet your Maker” was really something special and something rather insane. But I think that’s why people like their music so much. The reason they’re so great to listen to is partly because of their musical prowess (any instruments they can’t play?), partly because of their unbridled enthusiasm when they’re playing, but also I think because their music is so powerful – cos it comes from the heart and soul. They’re words from a man who really does think about the meaning of life and experience all the joys and trials of a life with God. And that touches something deep in the spirits of those thousands of foot-stomping, be-trilbied masses – even if they don’t know what, exactly. They just know it’s something to do with their “newly-impassioned soooooooooooooooooouls” :)

I discovered I had a massive grin on my face after we’d left. That is a good endorsement. Thank you for a great night, Mr Mumford and your Sons. Though my foot is now sore from stomping.

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