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Mumford & Sons, Live At Salthill Park
Judging by the sea of sunburnt, smiling faces, GOTR certainly hit the spot.
Eamonn Seoige, 18 Jun 2012
The news that well-heeled London folkies, Mumford and Sons were bringing their Gentlemen Of The Road festival to Salthill Park was a welcome development. As a blueprint for reasonably-priced, one-day events, it’s is a winner. Modelled on hoedowns such as Colarado’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival, GOTR’s mission is to create a ‘big party’ atmosphere in destinations overlooked by A-List acts.
Thankfully, the west-coast edition is a wellie-free-zone and punters are greeted by fabulous, sun-kissed conditions.
However, an unfortunate clash with the Connacht Football semi-final in nearby Pearse Stadium ensures traffic is challenging to say the least.
Such temporary discomfort is soon forgotten by the 8,000-plus revellers and they don’t have long to wait to catch their first glimpse of the main attraction. The feel-good vibes reach an early fever-pitch when Ben, Marcus and Winston join main-stage opener Nathaniel Rateliff in welcoming the hordes.
The Vaccines certainly seem like the odd-ones-out. Their generic blend of punk pop is reasonably well-received, especially ‘Wetsuit’ and ‘If You Wanna’, but it’s obvious the crowd are here to see Marcus & Co. The mandolin-picking, tweed waistcoat bedecked headliners may not be everyone’s cup-of-tae, but they certainly know how to put on a show.
For old-fashioned stagecraft and committed performance they can’t be faulted, smiling and saluting their way through an energetic set, bounding around the sunlit stage with their mandolins and banjos in tow.
Nevertheless, their music remains folk-lite and very much aimed at a younger audience. Heartthrob main-man Marcus Mumford knows the score and has the throngs of girls, who force their way to the front of the stage, under his spell. Unsurprisingly, hit singles ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘The Cave’ drive the ladies into hysterics and leave them both exhausted and elated come to finish. Judging by the sea of sunburnt, smiling faces, GOTR certainly hit the spot.