Mumford & Sons @ New Wimbledon Theatre 9th May 2011

This was to be one special night, and special it was. Now I am a huge Mumford & Sons fan ever since I first saw them support Laura Marling in 2008. Once it was announced they were doing a fundraiser gig for AFC Wimbledon I immediately had to get a ticket. The tickets went on sale 3rd May so 6 days prior to the actual gig date. What made it even more appealing to me was the fact Wimbledon is near enough on my doorstep. So I purchased a ticket in row AA not knowing how tall the stage was. I was hoping everyone would stand for Mumford & Sons. Mumford and sitting is basically unheard of. Thankfully the stage was not that high. I was expecting it to be the same height as the stage at Heaven. The first act on the night were hand picked by Mumford & Sons and the band in question were Matthew & The Atlas. It was the first time I had seen this band live and I was impressed with the new/ old songs they sang,  When they had finished playing it was then onto a turnover then there were a couple of words from Jon Kennedy followed by a short speech from someone who works with AFC Wimbledon.

As soon as Jon Kennedy introduced Mumford & Sons the theatre erupted with applause. “It’s really nice to be playing our first ever gig in Wimbledon” Marcus told the paced audience. Mumford then went onto say. “We’re going to start with a new song” Mumford said to the audience before launching into Below My Feet. This song was the replacement to Sigh No More and I reckon this new song will be the opening number for the next UK tour. This was the perfect set opener and it showed that the second album will be as amazing as the debut. Everyone was sat down for this song. Thankfully this was the only song people sat down for. Can you imagine a Mumford gig where the whole audience sits down? Once over this song got a phenomenal response. “This is very very very exciting, Thankyou so much for coming tonight” Ben said to the audience. After when he said do anything you like stand up, dance around or sit down that is when everyone started rising to their feet. Roll Away Your Stone was the next song on the night. There were plenty of screams they started to play the first few chords on the guitar. The opening has a medieval feel to it and overall there is a furious pace. After a bit of banter it is then onto Winter Winds which features on the debut album Sigh No More. The song went down well with the audience. White Blank Page followed after a lengthy tune up. This song was delivered strongly and effortlessly. “How you doing” Mumford said before glancing up to see people sitting in the upper tiers. He then went onto say “It looks like a wedding cake”. “We’ve been away a lot so it’s really nice to be home” Mumford said to plenty of cheers. Next it was another new song this being Nothing Is Written. “We were planning where in the set we were going to make the Panto gags” Marcus said after a member of the audience shouted out It’s behind you. I look forward to hearing the studio version of this song it does sounded different to material from Sigh No More but I actually quite like the song as Marcus’s husky vocals deliver a fantastic performance of the song. This song actually felt like a hoe down. It was then onto something amazing and spine tingling. This being the mesmerising and beautiful Timshel.

What made this special was the fact there was no PA for this song. Marcus, Ben, Winston and Ted were all standing at the front of the stage singing this song ever so powerfully. Following on was another new song this was Hopeless Wanderer and Marcus joked that this song was dedicated to Jon Kennedy. Before starting the song there was plenty of banter which had the audience laughing along. Hopeless Wanderer is another fantastic song, brilliant lyrics, brilliant melody. The song itself is very strong and it was delivered at a fast pace (especially at the end). It definitely went down well with the crowd. The band launched into Little Lion Man straight away. Now Little Lion Man was like a full on romp. The lyrics are really catchy especially the bit “It was not your fault it was mine, And it was your heart on the line”.  After plenty of cheers Marcus Mumford then took to the drum kit for yet another new song and this being Lover Of The Light. This song was very strong and the lyrics were belted out. Thistle & Weeds was next on the night. While the Folk feel is there it also sounded like the song was brimming with darkness. “I have no idea how much time we have” Mumford goes onto say. People start to shout out song titles then Marcus then goes onto thank Winston and Ted as they agreed to play even though they don’t come from the area. Marcus then went onto say Winston originally wanted to call the album Straight Out Of Mortlake and the origins of where Ted is from has changed every single interview. “This place is awesome” Marcus said to the audience before starting to play quiet song After The Storm. Now this song is really beautiful and the rest of the band harmonise perfectly. Straight after the song is over there was plenty of applause.

“I’ve never seen panto here but I imagine it’s awesome” Mumford said to the audience. Someone immediately shouted out Oh No It’s Not. The lights are then turned up to reveal who shouted that out. “I kinda just want to chat, I don’t really want to play anymore songs” Marcus said. After nearly 5 minutes of chat it was then onto another new song and this being Lover’s Eyes. This song was the last newie on the night and again it gave you an insight to what the second album will sound like. Awake My Soul was next and this strong folk song was a real crowd pleaser. At the beginning there is a steady pace and it got faster towards the end. Dustbowl Dance ended what was a fantastic gig. For this song Marcus is on the drums and it is a very energetic and quiet one. Again it was another song that sounds dark in tone. After the last song has finish the band go off stage only to return moments later for what would be a one song encore. You kind of knew what song was coming as it had been missed out and the song in question being The Cave. “Thankyou Wimbledon, I genuinely feel that every time we do a UK tour from now on Wimbledon should just be be one of those dates. Manchester, Birmingham, London, Wimbledon” Ben then went onto say to the audience. Capping off the night was The Cave which was a strong song and it was delivered powerfully.

SET LIST

Below My Feet
Roll Away Your Stone
Winter Winds
White Blank Page
Nothing Is Written
Timshel
Hopeless Wanderer
Little Lion Man
Lover Of The Light
Thistle & Weeds
After The Storm
Lover’s Eyes
Awake My Soul
Dustbowl Dance

ENCORE

The Cave

OVERALL: This was a really special night which had a mixture of AFC Wimbledon fans and Mumford fans in the audiece. Just seeing them playing in a venue like this was amazing. When the band sung Timshel, now that was incredeble. That is what theatres are built for performances like that without the aid of a PA system. Also it was quite predictable that Mumford & Sons wouldn’t escape the panto jokes. Finally Matthew and the Atlas were a fantastic choice of support and a band to keep a eye on.

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