UEA, Norwich November 18, 2022
by Jan Kelly
Having completed a 10-week tour of America, the Mumford & Sons frontman has arrived back to our lovely November weather for a nine-date tour of the UK.
First, though, we are treated to Chicago-based singer Monica Martin, who gives us half a dozen of her songs accompanied by Jake Sherman on keyboards.
Her voice is beautiful – pure and clear – which is perfect for her melancholy, slow repertoire.
But while she comes across as a fun gal, her songs seem more suited to chilling out with a cocktail in a trendy club than the packed LCR.
Marcus Mumford appears on stage holding what appears to be a cup of tea following an intervention from his family.
Playing to a full house, he opens with crowd-pleaser Awake My Soul from Mumford & Sons’ first album Sigh No More followed by another classic, The Cave.
But this tour celebrates Mumford’s new album, Self-Titled, which he plays in its entirety.
It starts with Cannibal, a song about him being abused as a child, and the crowd doesn’t make a sound as he pours out his emotions with his strong, clear voice: “I can still taste you and I hate it. That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it. You took the first slice of me and you ate it raw.”
The whole album is more emotional than the Mumfords’ usual offerings. Most of it is softer but at times it explodes hard and fast. And some of the songs are performed solo while others accompanied by his band.
Mumford looks fit and well, talks easily with the crowd and comes across as a top bloke you could meet down the pub and have a nice chat with.
Among the things we learn tonight is how pleased he is to be back in England – which has been home since he moved from California as a baby – as the sensitivities in the US prevent him from using his favourite word during his on-stage banter.
We also get jokes about the World Cup and university toilets.
For the encore, we get an unplugged I Will Wait followed by a surprising cover of Taylor Swift’s Cowboy Like Me.
And then Martin is back on stage for the last two songs – When I Get My Hands On You and Kansas City – which completes the circle and rounds off the evening perfectly.
Wonderful review and amazing pictures.