Apple Music Festival 2015: Mumford & Sons at the Roundhouse
Opening with Snake Eyes, a fan favourite from their latest album, Mumford & Sons take on the Apple Music Festival stage for the penultimate show.
The four rockers stand on a simple set adorned with geometric, coloured neon lights. There’s a serious vibe in the air; what used to be an outstanding up-and-coming band now faces a complicated challenge: their new album, Wilder Minds, failed to live up to the expectations set by its sophomore predecessor, Grammy award-winning record Babel. The Roundhouse crowd isn’t exactly easy to please either – tickets are won through a ballot and the act playing may not exactly be their cup of tea. It’s I Will Wait that wakes up the audience, instantly inducing intense hand claps, dancing and singalongs.
The London quartet are known for being multi-instrumentalists, playing instruments that are less conventional for a rock show; however when frontman Marcus Mumford takes on drumming duties to sing Lover of the Light, his vocals clearly suffer for it – and so does the percussion. This isn’t talent display, it’s gratuitous showing off. It’s surprising that there’s room for a cover (a minimalistic rendition of Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), played in duet with tonight’s opening act Jack Garratt, whom they claimed was the reason they begged to join the festival tonight), and none for singles such as Hopeless Wanderer.
The real problem is that the band doesn’t deliver the same emotion live that they do on record; each sound lacks in quality compared to the albums. It’s only when they bring out those songs that would fit equally well on a tiny pub stage – Little Lion Man, The Wolf, The Cave – that Mumford & Sons prove who they really are. Until their entire show can do that, there will be a long way to go to join the league of global bands like Coldplay, U2, Muse or The Killers.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Laura Denti
For further information about Mumford & Sons and future events visit here.
Apple Music Festival 2015 is on at the Roundhouse until 28th September 2015, for further information visit here.
Watch the live video for The Wolf here: