LIVE REVIEW: The Lumineers Perform Sell-Out Show At Brixton Academy
It’s been quite a year for The Lumineers. Hailed as America’s answer to Mumford & Sons, the melodic and charming folk rock band have seen their self-titled debut album, released last April, soar to gold on both sides of the pond, have added two extra members and embarked on tours, with many dates sold out, in the US, Europe and Australia which have seen venues upgraded to cope with demand for the jaunty fivesome.
Added to an already packed European tour after selling out shows at Koko, Camden in November and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, in February the group rolled back into London last night for the first of two dates at the Brixton Academy, their biggest UK gig to date.
The Lumineers performing at Brixton Academy (Sakura/WENN)
With both nights sold out, they had nearly 5,000 eager fans to impress with their mix of foot-stomping anthems and haunting melodies weaved together by lead vocalist and founding member Wesley Schultz, they proved up to the challenge.
After a sneak peek where they joined support act Langhorne Slim for their final number, The Lumineers finally appeared on stage and rolled straight into their first number ‘Sumbarines,’ a crowd pleaser that certainly got the slightly-cold-from-the-snow audience going.
Their catchy folk sound has certainly caught on in the UK, where their top ten single ‘Hey Ho’ was met by rapturous applause from their huge crowd, who sang every word of the song back at Schultz.
Unknown tracks, including ‘I Ain’t Nobody’s Problem But My Own’ penned by a friend of the band, Sawmill Joe a blues-playing Colorado native, whose self-deprecating hook was equally as welcome, with the band clearly having a blast. The energy of the band, was more than reflected in the eager crowd who ate up their sing-a-long tunes, such as ‘Stubborn Love’ and ‘Big Parade,’ but were more than willing to see the tempo drop for slower, softer tunes such as ‘Slow It Down.’
For some, Shultz was left on stage alone with just his guitar; with others, percussionist, mandolin player Stelth Ulvang stood on his piano, appearing to try and tap out a tune with his feet as he squeezed into an accordion, as the five musicians stood alongside one another.
While it couldn’t be seen as a polished showcase of the relatively newly-formed band’s talents, the informality of the gig and eagerness to please their fans, created a warmth and intimacy characteristic of bands on the rise.
They might have been nominated for two Grammy Awards but selling out the Brixton Academy – twice – certainly seemed like it mattered to the giddy schoolchildren who danced their way through the gig.
They claimed the Brixton dates were the two they’d been looking forward to the most – but they always say that don’t they?