Mumford and Sons, O2 Arena, review: Intermittently lost in translation

The foursome work diligently through an erratic set list on a night that never quite settles down

A conflicted show makes clear the need for Mumford to get over their identity crisis
A conflicted show makes clear the need for Mumford to get over their identity crisis

Not unlike their latest album, Mumford’s arena show is all a little too considered.

Anything that might trip an association with the halcyon folk days of Sigh No More has been scrubbed away, yet in saying a firm goodbye to beige and tan and a half-hearted hello to leather jackets and bold red backdrops, Mumford have simply left a breadcrumb trail of self-consciousness behind their meandering search for an uninhibited image.

This confliction is apparent in a set that splices albums in a misguided attempt to play down stylistic polarisation. It ends up an uneven and oddly lumpy procession, as spindly electric ‘Broad-Shouldered Beasts’ rubs uncomfortably against euphoric harmonies on ‘Awake My Soul’.

This isn’t to say that any particular song flounders – this band doesn’t do filler and there’s nuance to every number - but the collection of strong threads is woven into a knotty mess of an evening.

Even the choice of Jack Garratt - electronic maestro and Brits Critics’ Choice Winner 2016 - as support act feels like an overthought lunge outside of the box.

This conflicted show makes clear the need for Mumford to get over their identity crisis. Their music is bigger than waistcoats and leather alike.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in