Worshipping at the Church of Mumford

Mumford and Sons at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Rob Ball
Mumford and Sons at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Rob Ball
Graeme Clark of Wet Wet Wet

Popped in, Souled Out and going strong 30 years on

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Mumford & Sons

Portsmouth Guildhall

Five years ago, I watched an unknown Mumford and Sons open with their debut public performance in London at one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen. Last night, I watched them open their set at The Guildhall as one of the biggest bands in the world.

And by the time it came to go home, it wasn’t hard to understand how they’d come to earn that title.

Mumford and Sons images from last nights show at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Credit Rob Ball

Mumford and Sons images from last nights show at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Credit Rob Ball

With the capacity crowd acting as backing singers from the offset, I couldn’t help feeling a little underwhelmed with the first couple of tracks.

I’m not the biggest fan of the new album, but the everchanging spotlights and playful behaviour onstage from the ‘gentleman of the road’ helped me through I Will Wait and onto the brilliant, Roll Away Your Stone, as the whole auditorium took to their feet in unison. Just as I was thinking that the string of ballads that followed next had gone on a bit too long, support band Dawes and a chihuahua-weilding dragon were invited on to join that band for an amazing rendition of Awake My Soul.

If it wasn’t for the closing song of their encore, this would have been my highlight of the night.

But, with every voice in the house joining the band to sing The Cave, the Guildhall felt almost spiritual.

Mumford and Sons images from last nights show at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Credit Credit Rob Ball

Mumford and Sons images from last nights show at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Credit Credit Rob Ball

The Church Of Mumford had come back to town. Let’s hope the band that in 2009 showed their immense talent at The Cellars in Eastney don’t wait another three years to come back again.

Mumford and Sons images from last nights show at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Credit Credit Rob Ball

Mumford and Sons images from last nights show at the Portsmouth Guildhall. Credit Credit Rob Ball