MUMFORD and SONS
Princess Theatre, Torquay
BRITAIN's best-loved rocking folkies started their UK tour with a sell-out gig at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.
And 1,500 of their devoted fans cheered, whooped, stamped and even screamed their love for the four-piece outfit who are giving folk music its latest shot in the arm.
The band were glad to be back in the UK after touring across America and the Antipodes, and treated the hordes to a breathless set packed with hits and crowd-pleasers.
Having played stadia and huge venues holding thousands all around the world, they seemed pleased to be back in an intimate old theatre.
But they seemed a little anxious from the off, and tore through their first few fast-paced songs with hardly a pause.
Then they drew breath, slowed themselves down and began to weave a long and varied set which showcased songs old and new.
Fans sang along with every word, occasionally drowning out the band themselves. They loved the chorus to Little Lion Man of course, and struggled to contain themselves during an acoustic, unamplified number.
But as the tempo increased towards the end of the gig the community singing fitted the mood once again.
The four Mumfords were augmented by a brass section and a fiddle player from time to time, and their sound swelled to fill the theatre.
The set closed with a thrilling encore of The Cave, leaving fans wondering why the lovely old Princess doesn't do this kind of thing more often.
Support acts began with Piff the Magic Dragon, who turned out to be a conjuror, and a very funny one at that.
Piffles the Wonder Dog survived being fired from a cannon and even laminated without a scratch.
Californian guitar outfit Dawes were a very fine support act indeed, with more than a touch of Neil Young's Crazy Horse about them.
It's no surprise they are about to undertake a headline UK tour of their own. They played a tight set of ambitious rock songs. Watch out for them.