This was never published in UniLife Magazine, as we had enough content from contributors and wanted to showcase different voices.
With half of Adelaide packed into Thebarton Theatre, and the band having just got off the plane from England the day before, it would be understandable if Mumford & Sons couldn’t live up to the high expectations. Luckily this was not the case, and Mumford & Sons proved why they have been one of the bands to watch since coming to the ears of Australians with Little Lion Man last year.
Boy And Bear opened the show, and their sound could be described as ‘Mumfordesqe’, with lots of lovely harmonies and folky finger-plucking. Very nice, and deserving of more time. Alberta Cross were up next, and the band was not worthy of the long sound-check they were given. 45 minutes and only two chords, making the time pass even more slowly.
Mumford & Sons are bigger in Australia than in their homeland, and the four-piece seemed genuinely surprised at the crowd noise that hit them when they took to the stage. Beginning with Sigh No More, the first track from the album of the same name, the crowd was into the show from the start, and the temperature in the theatre raised within minutes of the first hoedown.
The band played all of the songs from Sigh No More, as well as a few new ones which were received well by the young crowd. With all four band-members at the front of stage, the lighting was sparse and was often just four spotlights – making Thebby seem far more intimate than it is. Occasionally a cello would appear, as well as a horn section, which resulted in one of the stranger moments when banjo-playing member of the band, Winston Marshall, got the horn section to perform the theme from The Great Escape.
As expected, Little Lion Man got the biggest response, with the crowd taking joy in belting out the sweary lyrics. The band came back on for the rarely-played-live After The Storm and finished with The Cave. Despite having no songs from the album left to play, the crowd still wanted more, and only ceased the foot-stomping when the lights came on.
It was clear that Mumford & Sons were having a great time in Adelaide, and their comments about ‘never going back to HQ again’ got a round of cheers, proving the quality of the audience. The show poster referred to their Australian Winter Tour, showing that they may be back very soon. After this show, I doubt they would get any complaints.