Doing anything on a weeknight is borderline exhausting nowadays thanks to a combination of a long day at work and sheer laziness. Saying that, seeing Mumford & Sons in as small a venue as Portsmouth Guildhall on Thursday night was more than worth it.
I’ve seen them at their tiniest, supporting The Maccabees at Southampton University Union, and one of their highest heights so far as second headliners of Glastonbury’s Other Stage, I have a lot of love for them and every time I think I’m over them, they draw me back in. I wasn’t even that excited to see them at the beginning of the week, I take that all back though and will pretend I never even mentioned it.
They were as beautiful as always, absolutely perfect without a hair out of place and their support was great – something that’s always good when seeing live music. It’s easy to forget that they only have two albums because they had such a long break between ‘Sigh No More’ and ‘Babel’, but this smaller back-catalogue meant they played basically everything from old favourites to soon to be new favourites. I often feel like listening to new songs after loving an album for such a long time can be like making new friends, after seeing them live properly after so long, I think I’m finally ready to let songs from ‘Babel’ into the fold.
As I mentioned, I thought the support acts were great – well chosen generally but well-suited too. I thought that Dawes were so good in fact, that I went into HMV and bought myself their actual CD today – I feel that I must add that the lead singer, Taylor Goldsmith’s voice is about a million times better in real life than on recordings, I was actually quite moved (#gigwuss).
They were also supported by Piff the Magic Dragon of ‘Penn & Teller Fool Us’ fame, who was not only funny but accompanied by the most adorable assistant, speaking as a non-Chihuahua fan.
My favourite Dawes song of the night was ‘When My Time Comes’, and my favourite Mumford & Sons songs were ‘Winter Winds’ because the lights all came up and it was beautiful and ‘The Cave’ because the crowd were almost as loud as they were. Saying that, ‘Sigh No More’ will always have a place for me because it’s the song that made me remember them when I saw them the first time.
All in all it was just such a fun evening, and it was nice to see them again in such an intimate space. I’m a little saddened as part of me knows there’s such a small chance of something similar happening again especially as we had such a great spot, then again, you never know.