Friday, 6 March 2009

Mumford & Sons + Alessi's Ark + Sons of Noel and Adrian @ The ICA, London 04/03/09

Chomping on a Peking Duck wrap I scurried across Trafalgar Square past The National Gallery (which looked awesome in the dark with bright Picasso paintings projected on to the building walls) and up The Mall stopping just short of Buckingham Palace at The ICA. Yes The ICA shares it's postcode with The Queen, there was no sign of her but I did manage to spot some of London's musical type royalty in the shape of Laura Marling hanging out at the back of the room, a regular fixture at every Mumford & Sons show I've attended in London so far.

It was great to meet up with Anika and Crazybobbles who were both suffering a bit from a combination of gig fatigue and colds. They go to gigs pretty much every night of the week! The three of us have a bit of a history of bad things happening to us during Mumford & Sons concerts and tonight was no exception. In the past Anika has fainted, I've got into an argument with someone in the audience and tonight it was Crazybobbles turn to feel faint. What's going on? Very strange.

Sons of Noel and Adrian were up first and they pretty much filled the stage, I counted ten in the band. Not quite the crazy So Solid Crew Collective numbers but ten is still enough to keep your head moving checking out what everyone is up to. They played sweet foot stomping folksy music which I really enjoyed. My favourite song was called 'This Wreck Is Not A Boat' which involved lots of whistling, fiddles and banjos. Their album is currently streaming on LastFM, I highly recommend checking them out.

(Alessi's Ark: Photo by Anika)

Alessi and her Ark played next. Alessi was wearing a long purple velvet dress and mentioned she felt like a 'dairy milk' which made me burst out with laughter (most of the audience did to). I thought her stage banter was great. I found myself completely captivated throughout her performance. Her voice and presence is really intriguing, she has a style that I can only describe as 'Alessi's style'. I got to meet her after the concert and thought she was charming. Check out her MySpace page to get a feel for her music.

Mumford & Sons began their set by singing 'Sigh No More' in complete darkness. The four of them lined up on stage singing in harmony with no musical accompaniment made for quite a dramatic entry and some members of the crowd squealed with delight. They played 12 songs including a couple of new ones called 'The Cave' and one that didn't have a name yet and had only been performed in Portsmouth so far so they called it 'Pompey'. Both were good but the song I enjoyed the most was the last one of the night called 'Dust Bowl Dance' during which Marcus thrashed the hell out of his drum kit at the front of the stage directly in front of us.

They sang "Steal my heart and break my pride, I've nowhere to stand and now nowhere to hide, Align my heart my body my mind, To face what I've done and do my time" with passion and conviction, completely nailing the song and ending the show on a high.

Mumford & Sons are a class act to see live, they have heart and talent which is a dangerous combination. I can say with certainty these guys are not going to be playing small venues for much longer. Queenie you missed your chance on Wednesday night and it was all happening right on your doorstep *sigh*.

Here's the only video I could find of Mumford & Sons singing 'Dust Bowl Dance' during a Rough Trade instore near the end of Last year. It's the second song in the video and starts at about 4mins 40.

**UPDATE** Someone lovely person called docile33 has added the performance of Dust Bowl Dance from The ICA to YouTube. Watch out for the hectic drumming about 4 and a half minutes in...

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