The Maccabees, Mumford and Sons

Paul Cook 07/05/2009

2009 is shaping up to be a very promising year for South-London's The Maccabees. The band's second long-player Wall of Arms released last Monday to widespread critical appraisal was as much a joy to behold as the selected tracks from Colour It In.

This was however after support act Mumford and Sons almost stole the show. The four piece indie-folk band from London are easily one of the best newcomers of 2009 so far. Comparisons with Noah and the Whale spring to mind but with more grandeur and vocal depth than their similarly styled friends it is likely a debut album will catapult them into the mainstream. Roll Away Your Stone, White Blank Page and Hold on to What you Believe all impressed live with Marcus Mumford's husky, raw vocals standing out as some of the best in the business.

After a stunning set from the support and the crowd well and truly wowed, The Maccabees appeared to deliver an energetic throng of their trademark rapid indie-pop material. New material from Wall of Arms was as impressive as it sounds recorded with its lean toward a more epic undertone. No Kind Words, Dinosaurs and Wall of Arms all shone as The Maccabees showed they haven't lost their infamous ability to create heart-warming, playful tunes with blistering pace and razor sharp rhythm.

Old favourites in the set list included the more mellow Tooshpaste Kisses, the breakneck X-Ray and the endearing songs of love and childhood like First Love, Mary and Lego. What is most impressive about the Maccabees as has always been the case is the band's close-knit, perfected rhythm. This is made even more impressive by the way in which new drummer Sam Doyle has fitted into the place of Robert Thomas for the Wall of Arms tour due to Robert's decision to admit himself to rehab'. (The lyrics of No Kind Words might best explain the situation.)

A thoroughly enjoyable night of old and new with Mumford and Sons proving their 'new kids on the block' status with a storming set of masterfully written indie-folk. The Maccabees are back with a bang too and 2009 looks set to be a promising year for these two talented bands.