Mumford And Sons: then and now

Laissez Faire Club checked out Mumford And Sons‘ second sold out date at Hammersmith Apollo last night (Saturday), which marked the end of their final UK tour in promotion of their million-selling debut album Sigh No More. It was also effectively a prelude to yet another sold out USA tour – thier final Stateside jaunt for this LP too – which kicks off in LA in just over a week’s time, and concludes with two dates at New York’s Terminal 5 in mid November.

At the risk of going all hyperbolic, it was a truly wonderful evening, which brought a real smile to the face, and a spring to the step. I’ve been to some great gigs in my almost-10-year gigging career – The Strokes at Brixton Academy ’02, Interpol at The ICA ’04, Arcade Fire at Birmingham Academy ’05, Arctic Monkeys at Reading Festival ’05 – and this ranks up there as one of the best. It was really that good.

Roll Away Your Stone @ Hammersmith Apollo, 9.10.10:

The tracks off the album received a mightily enthusiastic, impassioned airing, with all the band members seemingly having the time of their lives, and appearing to be truly humbled at the heady position they now find themselves in. The four singles – Roll Away Your Stone, Winter Winds, Little Lion Man and The Cave, alongside lesser known tracks like Awake My Soul and Dust Dowl Dance, sounded beefed up and familiar in the best way possible – like songs we’ve been listening to all our lives. Those hair-raising moments where songs are sung back to bands by adoring fans in a word perfect manner were ever present.

Of the four new ones, there are at least two veritable smashes-in-waiting (Lover Of The Light, Whispers In The Dark) – both of these see the band move into anthemic indie territory, whilst not forgetting their harmonious, folky roots, and you get the feeling recorded versions could see them make the step up to the very top come album number two.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the evening, however, was the entirely acoustic version of early recording Sister, which saw the band move away from all ‘technology’ to the front of the stage for three or four totally organic minutes. Save for a couple of rowdy, over-excitable idiots in the crowd – inevitable, when you get to a certain level – it was spellbinding. And that’s not to mention a special guest appearance from Ray Davies (yes, Ray Davies) who was invited on-stage to perform a collaborative version of Days. The quality was relentless.

Roll Away Your Stone @ The Old Blue Last, 24.10.07:

I’ve been lucky enough to have closely charted the rise of this West London quartet, booking them for Laissez Faire Club’s first birthday party (Marcus Mumford and band) in late 2007, and also to have been in attendance at most of their gigs on the way up (Notting Hill Arts Club, The Borderline, Dingwalls, Scala included). Seeing a band who LFC has worked with, even in a tiny capacity, progress at such a rapid rate is pretty special, and I very much doubt it’ll stop here either.

I’ve trawled through the LFC archives, and have managed to dredge up my MySpace correspondence with Marcus Mumford from three years ago, where I floated the idea of him coming to play the first birthday gig, as an acoustic opening act. What you’ll see is a humble response from an aspiring singer-songwriter who’s truly grateful for a chance to play some live songs. You get the feeling not a great deal has changed. All cliches aside, it really couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Laissez Faire Club
Date: 15 Sep 2007, 15:43

Hi there,

My name is Jeremy Lloyd and I run a night in London called Laissez Faire – see page for all info.

Really like your stuff and was wondering if you’d be interested in playing at The Old Blue Last on Wednesday 24 October? It’s the first birthday of the night, so aiming to make it quite an event.

So far confirmed are The Scoundrels and Del Nil. A headliner will be announced soon. You’d be first on opening the night.

Let me know what you think!

Many thanks,


—————– Original Message —————–
From: Marcus Mumford
Date: Sep 17, 2007 5:20 AM

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for the email mate, i’d love to play the 24th! Can i bring the band? Because i don’t have management or anything i’m afraid i have to ask the awkward questions myself, but what is the pay for that evening?

Let me know details and i’ll put it up on the myspace and get to work promoting it and that..

Looking forward to it!


—————– Original Message —————–
From: Laissez Faire Club
Date: 17 Sep 2007, 08:27

Hey Marcus,

Thanks for getting back to me. Great news about the 24th, if you could bring the band that’d be great.

Payment wise, I can offer £40 – hope this is OK.

As for details, it’ll be 3-4 bands on the bill (dependent on whether the potential headliner gets back to me). The other confirmed acts are The Scoundrels and Del Nil, both in my top friends.

Your set will be for up to 30 mins.

Any more questions, just shout.

Looking forward to it…



—————– Original Message —————–
From: Marcus Mumford
Date: 18 Sep 2007, 15:51

That’s awesome, Jeremy

Thanks very much, i’ll get it all going and it’ll be laffs all round

Looking forward to it


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