Mumford & Sons new album: Wilder Mind tracks debut at tiny London gig sans banjo - and not everyone is happy about it

The band's shift to electric guitars seems to have sparked a Dylan-style backlash

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The Independent Culture

Mumford & Sons showcased almost their entire new album at an intimate London gig on Monday and will return for another at the same venue tonight.

The 375 people at Hackney's Oslo heard 11 tracks from Wilder Mind, not due for release until 4 May.

The album’s first single, "Believe", was the only song other fans may have heard, after it debuted on Radio 1 earlier in the day.

It hints of things to come with a more electric sound, filled with synthesizers and electric guitars.

Frontman Marcus Mumford told the crowd they were "pretty lovely looking guinea pigs",before someone asked about the lack of the band’s trademark banjos on their new material.

"That's a good question, that's a fair question," Mumford replied, according to NME. "We don't really know, we'll get back to you on that one."

The move would not have come as a surprise to anyone who read member Winston Marshall’s Vulture interview last year.

"I think 'killed' is an understatement," he said. "We murdered (the banjo). We let it, yeah — f*** the banjo. I f***ing hate the banjo."

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Noah and the Whale fans were also treated to the sight of violinist Tom Hobden, who was on stage with Mumford & Sons on Monday.

"Believe" is the only song anyone not at the gig is likely to get their hands on at the moment, with the audience’s phones being confiscated to ensure no one was recording or sharing the new tracks on the internet.

New songs played included "The Wolf", title track "Wilder Mind", "Monster" and "Snake Eyes".

Mumford & Sons were announced earlier this year as headliners for the Reading and Leeds festivals, alongside Metallica.

The British band previously appeared at the festivals in 2010, when they performed on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage.