Those who claim that Mumford & Sons aren't yet a big enough deal to be worthy T in the Park headliners next year are, quite simply, wrong.
Sure, they only have two albums (as did Coldplay, The Strokes and The Killers the first time they each headlined at Balado) but they can play a set of over 90 minutes that doesn't dip, maintains a near-constant singalong, and creates a giddying atmosphere from the front to the back of the crowd. Even if judged on no other evidence than this gig alone, the T in the Park bookers definitely know what they're doing and are getting it right.
The title track from second album Babel starts with the band as silhouettes behind a curtain and quickly turns into an incredible spectacle. The lighting is quite stunning and elaborate without distracting from the subtle nature of certain songs, and the nicely filtered live video feeds on monitors above the stage make the show almost look like a really swish, high-budget advert for itself. Strings of lights are hung out over the audience like those in the city's Royal Exchange Square.
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For most of their set, Mumford are in their pure form as a quartet, but when they are joined by musicians on brass and violins it provides a little extra kick in all the right places. The rousing finale of Lover Of The Light is an obvious but certain highlight. Support band Dawes join them for a couple of songs, including a cover of With A Little Help From My Friends, which has the feeling of an unnecessary but not unpleasant little bonus track at the end of their encore.