T in the Park review: Mumford & Sons, Main Stage

Mumford and Sons. Picture: Contributed
Mumford and Sons. Picture: Contributed
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A LOT has changed since Mumford and Sons played T in the Park in 2009. Back then, the four-piece folk rock outfit comfortably filled King Tut’s Wah Wah tent with eager little lion men and women alike, all looking to catch a glimpse of the band that was managing to bring the mandolin into the mainstream.

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Four years on, the boys are Friday night’s headline act on the Main Stage, with thousands of fans just waiting to see just what they can do with a fiddle.

After a sweet, simple ‘hello’ to the crowd, they kick off with Lovers Eyes, a track from their latest album Babel.

Unlike a lot of headline acts, they only have two albums worth of material to choose from, somewhat limiting their set list. This does allow them to work their way across their incredibly popular back catalogue with ease however, following on from a relatively low key opener with Little Lion Man, a staple song that sends the crowd wild.

After a brief walk down Holland Road, they bash through album numbers fairly rapidly, before landing on White Blank Page. This is the moment that we see the Mumford we expected.

As Marcus sings of a ‘swelling rage’, it becomes evident that behind the gentle ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ that punctuate those charmingly catchy choruses lies a gritty power that undoubtedly contributes to their popularity. Sure, there is a familiar folk-pop vibe to this outfit, the kind that makes you want to erect bunting and bob for apples, but there is also a ferocious force behind it, and the crowd can feel it.

This drives the rest of the performance forward, and the energy remains high from that moment on. As the sun set over Balado, you couldn’t help but wonder if that sudden breeze was something to do with the weather, or the furious guitar strumming that seemed to consume them mid way through I Will Wait For You.

One quick ode to Scotland on the bagpipes and a hit laden encore later, Marcus Mumford gets philosophical. It turns out, the famous folk-pop feeling they have evoked in the masses is quite simply rooted in fun.

“At the end of the day what we do is fun and we just want to have fun. Thank you so much T in the Park.”