Belfast Telegraph

In Pictures: Mumford and Sons put a smile on Belfast’s face

By Kerry McKittrick

Thanks to the likes of Laura Marling and Noah And The Whale, American country, bluegrass and folk music has seen a swift revival of late.

No one epitomises this revival more than Mumford And Sons, however they may not fit the criteria normally filled by such musicians.

This particular band looks less like Seasick Steve and more like they just stepped out of the pages of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue.

Hailing not from the Appalachian Mountains but from the finest public schools of west London, this four-piece have taken the radio waves by storm since the release of their debut album, Sigh No More.

Last night at Custom House Square in Belfast the Open House Festival was opened by the band in style.

The hottest ticket in town had the audience swinging from the rafters (or at least they would have, if not for the health and safety police).

Support was provided by the fabulous Lissie, all the way from Illinois. Her particular brand of country had undertones of Patsy Cline and she performed a couple of covers by her fellow countrymen.

Naturally the minute Mumford And Sons stepped on stage they were greeted by thunderous applause. Although playing to thousands, this particular gig had an intimate feel to it — the audience could have been in a local pub instead of a huge marquee.

Because the band have only one current album their repertoire may not be that varied, but what they did play the crowd knew and loved. The crowd were treated to a raft of new songs — more new songs than have ever been played before, according to the band.

The new material was every bit as good as you would expect, featuring the band's trademark vocals and strings. There were of course the usual favourites. Sigh No More, The Cave, Winter Winds and Roll Away Your Stone.

There is something warm and familiar about their music that can't help but put a smile on your face. Tickets for this gig were changing hands on the internet for extortionate prices and the venue could quite possibly have been filled twice over.

Having seen them live, it's easy to see why.

These boys have an easy charm and huge musical talent that nearly lifted the roof off the festival marquee.

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