The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Mumford and Sons (Live in The Academy, Dublin)

Review Snapshot: From an excessive three warm up acts and technical problems to egotistical roadies, my trip to see Mumford and Sons was not the folksy, joyful event the band’s image suggests. I was already indifferent to these fake folksy wannabe’s and the gig moved it from indifference to dislike. 

The Cluas Verdict? 4/10

Mumford and  Sons

Full Review: I arrived at The Academy on Middle Abbey Street at about 7:50. When I reached the top floor where the band would play I heard the sounds of a sleepy American boy whining into his microphone and moaning on guitar. It might sound harsh but really, you’d agree. The following warm up act was so dull I have actually forgotten them. The warm up show didn’t really kick off until Oh Emperor, a folk/rock band hailing from Waterford. Though it was hard to find originality in their Muse/Jeff Buckley influenced work, they were charming and could really handle their instruments.
My issue was this; each warm up act had supplied their own set. This meant that after every group finished, the stage was dismantled and reassembled, all taking 15/20 minutes each. People were antsy, we were warmed up an hour ago, bring on the band.
When they did finally arrive at 9:15, they certainly played with a raucous energy I’ve only seen in children. Boy do they make you get up and shout. They opened with the beautiful “Sigh No More”, Marcus Mumford’s unstrained vocals rising high above the basking crowd. And the audience of folksy wannabe’s joined in the rousing chorus “Love will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free.”
Their boisterous energy isn’t all they have going for and they proved this with the stirring “White Blank Page”. Emotion filled the ring when the chorus began.

“But tell me now, where was my fault
In loving you with my whole heart
Oh tell me now, where was my fault
In loving you with my whole heart”

One more complaint about the whole event was how much they wanted to talk, and how little they wanted to sing. They asked the crowd how their Patrick’s Day had been no less than three times, and told us in many different ways where they had been and what they got up to, and how people waited outside to buy a ticket and told them they had been sold out for months.
I found their egos; they’re accents and their general style too annoying to watch live and only marginally less to watch in video. Though they play with serious energy and really know how to get the crowd going, the overall experience was messy and the three warm up acts led to far too much standing around or heading to the bar. The venue itself, which doubles as a nightclub, felt far too clunky. Maybe buy the album, don’t buy the concert ticket.
Elaine Peppard

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