Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be
All too seldom I hear a band that resonates with my heart and I know I've just listened to something special. The most recent band to do that to me has been Mumford & Sons. Their album Sigh No More is a perfect album from start to finish, I don't say that lightly. I find it seamless and one of the rare albums one can listen to from start to finish and it seems over far too quickly. They have recently been getting a lot of airplay and for some reason it's annoyed me. I'm not sure if it's a human thing or an Irish thing, but I'd rather keep Mumford & Sons to myself and a select few than share them with others. The thoughts of screaming 18 year old girls at their gigs is not a pleasant one but a nightmare that is rapidly becoming a reality. They have cracking music, they're humble, endearing, have accents and are good looking lads. A recipe to delight the ladies.
This gig went on sale 4 months ago and the tickets sold out in a flash. If they were organising a gig today they would have to play a much bigger venue so we definitely felt privileged to catch them in a relatively small venue. There was a buzz outside the venue filled with different emotions. Excitement of those attending, desperation of those looking for tickets and disappointment of those looking for tickets but realising the horrible touts where going to royally rip off the aforementioned desperate people, turning both sets of people into desperately disappointed people. Hopefully some of them got lucky. We managed to perch ourselves in some nice seats on the balcony overlooking the stage.
And I will hold on hope
They started with the sublime 'Sigh No More', a song which also opens their album in a perfect tone. It's a slow burner full of melody and emotion with truly amazing lyrics.
I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be
They followed it up with the breezy 'Winter Winds', Jane's first favourite song on the album. She has since changed her favourite song on the album about 6 times. A compliment to the album, not a slight on her decision making.
It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say 'That's exactly how this grace thing works’
It's not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start
Roll Away Your Stone came next, a song which starts making you wonder how it will continue. A little lick which turns into a great big ho-down. Cracking song which I'm sure made everyone want to put some straw in their mouth, put on some cowboy boots, find a barn and start dancing. It made me want to do that anyway.
can you kneel before the king
And say I’m clean?
Another melodious wonder, White Blank Page followed. One of the strangely endearing things about Mumford is how they sometimes don't quite seem to be in time, and how Mumfords voice occasionally cracks and near constantly seems on the bring of being radically out of tune. It keeps you involved and somehow it adds to the emotion that you know he's conveying as he sings from his gut.
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's hand
They then played a new song which is as yet untitled. It made me realise that they might not have quite the difficult time making their second album as so many bands have. This song perfectly followed their formula and sounded great.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
The beautifully chilling Awake my Soul came before the giant sing along that is Little Lion Man. It was awesome to see everyone sing along at the top of their lungs. Even though it's a 'radio song' you know the guys where delighted to have everyone singing along to something they created.
But hold on to what you believe in the light
When the darkness has robbed you of all your sight
Another new song Lover of the Light had Mr. Mumford play the drums and sing, an art that must be hard to master but he did it easily. It's a powerful song that has a huge punch to it and looks like it's a fun song to play live.
And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again
There was plenty of chat from the guys who seemed genuinely thankful and grateful to those of us in attendance and they also seemed to be really enjoying themselves on stage. Thistle and Weeds and the gorgeous Timshell were a great one two combo before another great singalong The Cave. Did I mention how amazing their lyrics are? I love the rawness and honesty of how he write and like I said, something about it resonates with my heart.
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears
They closed the set with Dust Bowl Dance, probably their most rocking tune. You can tell they enjoy playing this song, a good set closer even if it's probably my least favourite song on their album.
You were made to meet your maker
The encore was an old song and a new song. If I recall correctly they were 'To Darkness' and 'Restless Heart', another cracking new song that makes me look forward to their second album. An album I hope they release very soon.
I left the acadamy truly satisfied knowing I had witnessed something special and was able to appreciate every second of it. As much as I don't want you to listen to them as I want to keep them to myself; it's too late now so I tell you...buy the album. It's called Sigh No More, it's only 12euro and I guarantee you'll love it.
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
Here's the setlist
Sigh No More
Roll Away Your Stone
White Blank Page
Untitled New Song
I Gave You All
Awake My Soul
Little Lion Man
Lover Of The Light
Thistle And Weeds
Dust Bowl Dance