There was a certain few things we were expecting from Mumford & Sons when we heard they were playing at this years CMJ but what we weren't expecting was possibly one of the best gigs we've ever witnessed.
Taking to the stage just after The XX, almost half of the people present left before the band had even begun. With around a hundred people now present and with the band fully on stage, the London folk foursome delivered one of CMJ's absolute highlights, leaving every member of the audience stunned and speechless at what they just experienced as a collective.
Beginning with their debut album's title track Sigh No More, each member was on top form from the off with frontman Marcus Mumford demanding every ounce of attention immediately. Strumming his guitar and singing as if every word was his last, the man was also smashing the life out of a kick-drum with one foot whilst his other controlled a pedal attached to a tambourine. To say he was busy was an understatement.
Thundering through their debut, they managed to fit in an absolutely flawlessly and emotionally wracked version of Awake My Soul (which pulled at every heartstring we own) as well as Little Lion Man, The Cave, Winter Winds, Dust Bowl and a particularly raucous version of White Blank Page. We were also treated to new song Whispers which sounded bigger, bolder and just as fantastically structured as the rest of their material, displaying their lyrical and instrumental proficiency flawlessly. Not a single falter or problem occurred throughout the entire near forty minutes that they played and when it was finally over, we honestly could've done it all over again, twice.
Mumford & Sons may still be 'up and coming' in terms of popularity and fame but in terms of passion, dexterity (Marcus also managed to try out the drum-kit for set-closer Dust Bowl), personality and energy, they could well be the biggest band on the planet.