Posted: 8:00 am Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
By Kyle Taylor
Marcus Mumford and co. are finally deciding to make the trek through Florida this upcoming September. Sure, they dipped their toes into the state back in 2013, during a Gentlemen of the Road stopover in St. Augustine and then again at Okeechobee Festival. But, let’s be real here. St. Augustine is one big tourist attraction close to the border anyway and who knows how long they were actually in the state during their headlining performance at Okeechobee Festival. So, in other words, they have barely scratched the surface of the state.
The boys from the UK will sure be in for a treat when they encounter all of the heat, humidity, and weirdness that Florida has to offer when the step foot first in Miami on September 19th. Because they’ve been afraid of alligators for so long, which is the only logical reason I can attribute to their avoidance of our state, I will bet that about half of the fans at Amalie Arena on September 20th will be seeing Mumford & Sons for the first time. Because of that, I’ve put together a list of things you need (not really) to know about the band before you see them.
1. They read a lot of literature. In fact, the songs “Sigh No More” and “Roll Away Your Stone” are inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth.
2. Marcus Mumford actually cites American writer John Steinbeck as being more influential than Shakespeare. “Timshel” and “Dust Bowl Dance” are derivatives of Steinbeck’s East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath, respectively.
3. Marcus Mumford was actually born in America. His parents were working as missionaries in Orange County, California at the time of his birth. They would soon after move Marcus back to London.
4. Mumford & Sons began their career as the backing band for Laura Marling. Who is Laura Marling? My point exactly.
5. But really, we can thank Laura Marling for Mumford & Sons. Marcus, Winston, and Ted played with her in 2006, beginning to garner a reputation for their inspiring live performances, and would carry that momentum into Mumford & Sons, forming the band in 2007. She dated Marcus until 2010, and we can thank their breakup for inspiring some of his songwriting.
6. They are huge fans of Arcade Fire (who happens to be in Tampa just two days after Mumford & Sons). Their debut album, Sigh No More, was produced by Markus Dravs, who also produced Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible and The Suburbs.
7. Much of their US success can be attributed to their upper middle class upbringings. Every member attended for fee schools in the UK, the equivalent of private schools in the US. Marcus Mumford would go on to study music at Edinburgh University before dropping out. According to Will Hodgkinson, head music critic at The Times newspaper, “They’ve been instilled with the old-fashioned, upper-middle-class British values of politeness, respect for others and hard work. Those values are the bedrock of American culture; but they’re not the bedrock of British culture: they’re an arcane aspect of British culture that has somehow survived in the States.”
8.Marcus Mumford appeared on The New Basement Tapes, an album series based on recently uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan. Produced by T Bone Burnett the album also features Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes), Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jim James.
9. They literally toured the country with fellow indie folk bands Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show in 2011. Known as the ‘Railroad Revival Tour’, the bands embarked on a 6 city tour starting in San Francisco and ending in New Orleans, travelling entirely by a vintage train. Their travels were captured on film and later released as a documentary titled Big Easy Express.
10. Marcus Mumford is married to Carry Mulligan. They were childhood friends, first meeting as pen pals and later at church. Carey would grow up to be a successful actress before reuniting with long lost friend Marcus. They only dated a couple months before getting hitched.
11. Marcus Mumford is besties with Jake Gyllenhall. He toured with them on the Railroad Revival Tour. The two have been seen together most recently at Disneyland and sightseeing in NYC.
12. Winston Marshall is married to actress Dianna Agron. She is best known for her work on Glee.
13. Ben Lovett produced Ellie Goulding’s chart topping album, Lights.
14. Lovett also started his own record label, Communion Records. The label has helped release up and coming artists, most notably Ben Howard and Gotye.
15. Marcus Mumford serenaded fans at One Love Manchester, the benefit concert for those lost in the Manchester attack.