Mumford & Sons unveil new album ‘Wilder Mind’ at intimate London gig

The band performed their third album for the very first time at Oslo in Hackney last night

Mumford and Sons played their new album ‘Wilder Mind’ almost in its entirety last night (March 9) at a tiny London gig.

The band played at Oslo in Hackney, with details of the gig announced to fans on their mailing list on Sunday evening. The 375-capacity venue show marked the band’s live return after ‘Wilder Mind’ was announced last week. The band’s third LP will come out on May 4.

The 11-song set started at 9.15pm and began with ‘The Wolf’, which was followed by the LP’s first single ‘Believe’, which had debuted on Radio 1 earlier in the day, played by DJ Annie Mac on her new show. “Unless you were listening to radio this evening you won’t know any of these songs, apart from maybe this next one, which is called ‘Believe’,” said frontman Marcus Mumford by way of introduction to the track.

The band were backed by two additional musicians for the course of the show, Noah And The Whale violinist Tom Hobden and session musician Chris Maas on drums. “You might have seen them playing with other bands, but they’re going to be playing with us for a little while,” said keyboard player Ben Lovett later in the evening.

Before ‘Monster’, Marcus Mumford again spoke to the crowd, saying: “So we decided pretty last minute to come play these songs live, so you’re guinea pigs basically, pretty lovely looking guinea pigs, but guinea pigs. If this goes well, we’re gonna do this other places, probably.” A crowd member then shouted out “What’s happening with the banjos?”, in reference to the fact that the group have confirmed that the new LP does not feature their trademark instrument. “That’s a good question. That’s a fair question,” replied Mumford. “We don’t really know. We’ll get back to you on that one.”

The band showcased a heavier sound during the hour long set, which featured guitar solos and headbanging from guitarist Winston Marshall on epic-sounding tracks like ‘Ditmas’ and ‘Snake Eyes’. The influence of The National could also be heard on the emotive ‘Monster’ and ‘Hot Gates’. A number of the new songs were written at Aaron Dessner of The National’s garage studios in Brooklyn, New York.

Concert-goers’ phones were checked at the door to prevent the new material being recorded and shared on social media. “It’s so nice playing a show without everyone on their mobile phones,” said Lovett during the gig. “We just wanted to have an intimate moment where people weren’t checking the latest feed. We just wanted to have a moment where we could see everybody’s faces.” Fans’ phones were returned to them at the end of the evening in small drawstring bags bearing the title of the new album.

‘Wilder Mind’ was recorded at Air Studios, London and produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, HAIM, Florence + The Machine). Ben Lovett recently told NME that the band’s change in sound on their third album is a “natural departure”.

Mumford and Sons played:

‘The Wolf’
‘Believe’
‘Wilder Mind’
‘Monster’
‘Just Smoke’
‘Tompkins Square Park’
‘Snake Eyes’
‘Broad-Shouldered Beasts’
‘Ditmas’
‘Hot Gates’
‘Only Love’

Mumford & Sons have announced the first details and line-ups for their 2015 Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers, including a Stopover in Aviemore, Scotland – the only one in the UK this year. Joining the band in Scotland will be Ben Howard, Primal Scream, The Maccabees and Honeyblood among others.