Mumford and Sons, Portsmouth Guildhall

Daily Echo: Mumford and Sons Mumford and Sons

THEY have been labelled the best band in the word but the tag did not seem to wear heavily on the shoulders’ of Mumford and Sons who put quite a shift in at the Portsmouth Guildhall last night.

With a beautifully lit set, a stage chocca block with an array of instruments and artists, including support band Dawes, the stage was set for a memorable night for the 2,000 strong crowd who packed the venue.

Kicking off with their title track from their second album Babel, the pacey start did not let up as it was quickly followed by their recent release I will wait for you, and the classic Winter Winds.

It is only when you see and more importantly hear them live that you can appreciate why it is they have rocketed to stardom on both sides of the pond with a mix of folk and rock but with a beautiful soul that gets you right between the ribcage.

They certainly seemed to be enjoying their time on stage with a set that lasted two hours and showcased much of their new album that was the fastest selling album both here and in the US.

Only their second date of their Tour of Two Halves tour the band said they were pleased to be back home after wooing America and recruiting an ever growing number of global fans.

Helping them out throughout the set was their support band Dawes. The stateside outfit have been hailed as the best band to come out of Los Angeles…full stop.

Their set got a rapturous reception from the crowd who appreciated their melodic tones and heartfelt lyrics, which may explain how well they gelled with the main attraction of the night.

It was just a pity they couldn’t stay on longer as they seemed to thoroughly enjoy their set that at times bore more than a fleeting resemblance to The Eagles.

But back they came to ably assist Mumford and Sons at regular intervals. A random chap dressed as a dragon also wandered on, casually munching on a banana and then carrying a Chihuahua in one of the more bizarre episodes of the night but by then everyone was jumping up and down far too much to question it.

By the end of the night there was not a bum on a chair as the boys finished off with an amazing performance of The Cave.

A thought had to be spared though for the hundreds of fans who had been turned away in the pouring rain after falling victim to a ticket scam.

More than 200 people were turned away after shelling out up to £280 for tickets that turned out to be fakes.

Instead of watching their idols perform queues of people were given letters with advice from Trading Standards about the dangers of buying tickets from non-official ticket sites.

Staff spoke of seeing groups in tears after discovering their tickets were worthless. It won’t come as any consolation to them to hear that the band would have lived up to their expectation as they showed not a hint of weariness from their recent American adventure. Indeed they sounded like they were relishing playing to their home crowds during the rest of their arena and theatre tour. It is a sell out, so beware of the sites still offering tickets.

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