[Live Review] Mumford and Sons

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Mumford and Sons
Brisbane Riverstage
November 7

The UK  band Mumford and Sons has always had a large following in Australia, thanks to Triple J playing them and the massive hit ‘ Little Lion Man’ shooting them into stardom.

With torrential rain all afternoon the weather clears up just in time to welcome the band to the Brisbane Riverstage and the dedicated crowd are screaming in delight, whipped up to a frenzy early on with ‘ I will wait’ a favourite to get all feet stamping and fists pounding. ” Lover of the Light”  ” Awake my Soul” and ” Ghosts that we Knew” all clear crowd pleasing.

The crowd is sing a long to every song with heads thrown back, the pure joy of thousands of strangers united under the Milky Way is nothing short of infectious. Mobile phone torches replace lighters in a sea of white lights for the more mellow songs, swaying together in unison. It is the kind of music that can unite strangers, the guy next to you dancing and singing like there is no tomorrow.

The first half of the set the band are content to just play music and have the crowd sing along, Marcus Mumford’s distinct voice carrying out into the night. Gathering together around the microphone the entire band sing ” Cold Arms” acoustically a serious moment that is a little sombre and quite brilliantly delivered.

Once the band launch into the song that made them famous ” Little Lion Man” and the crowd really goes wild it is then that lead singer Marcus let’s go and we really get to see the cheeky humour of the English lads, with some witty banter and friendly harassing about sporting rivalries.

After introducing the band towards the end of the evening, Winston Marshall asks “ Is any one here Australian?” The crowd respond with a hearty yell. ” Is anyone here a fan of AC/DC?” he asks, the crowd getting excited. “ Does ANYONE here know the words to ‘Shook me all night long?” the crowd yelling back that they do ” No, does anyone know and actually want to sing with us?” He clarifies. Pointing at a person in the crowd he inquires ” You do, do you actually know them? Go on then, come on – you’d better fuckin know ’em – don’t embarrass your entire country” he jokes as a young man clambers on stage eagerly hugging the other band members and just a little in awe that he happens to be standing on stage with the band.

Enthusiastically the crowd cheers him on as Winston welcomes to the stage Harry. “ You’d better not fuck up” he reminds him as everyone laughs ” What’s the first line?” Harry asks to which Winston replies ” I don’t know what the first line is, Oh no.” laughingly ” Oh no, you shook me all night long.. She was is the first line. Good Luck Harry, we’re gonna play it in G if that is alright with you“. Harry looks at Winston nervously and explains that he has been screaming all night so his voice might be a little hoarse. ” That’s all right mate” encourages Winston before launching into ‘Shook me all night long”. The crowd is blown away by the performance as he expertly sings and moves about the stage, clearly a natural with amazing stage presence. It just so turns out that the young man on stage is Harry Marshall and he’s a solo artist about to release an EP, no doubt he will remember this night for a long time, his moment of fame on the Riverstage.

When Harry finishes the song Winston thanks him remarking on his “awesome stage presence” and Marcus jokes ” Who knows Kylie Minogue?” as a jubilant Harry leaves the stage to a massive round of applause. ” Anyway ladies and gents, thanks so much for having us, we’re very grateful to you; we find it weird that this is our job and we find we can go away for a couple of months or even a couple years, coming back to your faces” signally the end of the evening with ” The Wolf”.  The band have bought a lot of joy to the people under the stars this evening and put on a stellar performance, one that every fan is walking away with a smile and some great memories of the band and the atmosphere that was simply electric.

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