Mumford and Sons on ‘Big Easy Express’: ‘The cops thought there’d be a riot’

Marcus Mumford talks to NME about the vintage train tour behind the new Emmett Malloy directed movie

Mumford and Sons have spoken to NME about their new film Big Easy Express, which received its world premiere on Saturday (March 17) during the film leg of SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

The film, which also stars Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show, follows the three bands on 2011’s Railroad Revival train tour – pictured above – across the United States.

Frontman Marcus Mumford told NME that when the train rolled into Marfa, Texas for their gig, they were stopped by local police. “We were greeted by cops, who tried to stop us going into town, because they thought there’d be a riot,” said Mumford. “Then we got there and there were like, five people and a dog… Apparently they got the governor of Texas involved to get us through.”

Mumford and Sons were approached by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to take part in the ten day tour which is the subject of the new Emmett Malloy directed film, and they in turn invited Old Crow Medicine Show along for the ride. Marcus Mumford revealed that when they were initially approached for the tour, his first thoughts were that “it was unlikely that it would happen because it was a logistical nightmare. It was almost impossible to pull off and for it to work and for people not to lose all their money.”

He continued: “If you’re out to make cash dollar, renting 12 vintage train cars to tour is probably not the best way to do it. And also inviting all your mates! There were 130 people on the train.”

The carriages of the train were sourced from across North America and were, according to Mumford, “Luxury. Each carriage had its own concierge, they were like butlers. They’d make your bed and steam your shirts. It was Orient Express kind of stuff.”

Mumford recalls seeing dolphins from his compartment window after they played the first show of the tour in Oakland. “We were heading down the coast and I woke up and opened the curtains just north of Santa Barbara and I saw fucking dolphins. It was unbelievable… I thought, ‘this is going to be an amazing tour’. I’ve never seen dolphins before in my life. I was like, ‘shit, shark! Shark!'”

Mumford and Sons play new song at SXSW world premiere of Big Easy Express – video