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Mumford reigns in welly good show; GiG STOPOVER FESTIVAL Rothiemurchas Estate, Aviemore.

Mumford& Sons have along history with the Highlands, and with Aviemore in particular, as Marcus Mumford himself pointed out during this first UK edition of the international folk-rock phenomenon's Gentlemen of the Road Stopover festival.

It was six years ago, he said, that they were playing the tiny Old Bridge Inn along the road when local promoter Robert Hicks booked them for a tour of the area - and now look at them.

Even the heavy rain that dampened Friday's Ben Howard-headlined bill and left much of the site with a swampy complexion on Saturday didn't dispel the enthusiasm of the 20,000 fans who had travelled from across the UK to Aviemore.

This was the Mumfords' only major UK date of the year and it came with a great supporting line-up of national talents like the Maccabees and Lianne La Havas, and some great Scottish bands too. Excellent Glasgow punk-pop contingent and new major label signees White were too low down on the bill, while veteran rockers Primal Scream were an unusual choice in such polite company.

Singer Bobby Gillespie looked thrilled to be back in Scotland though, and they played a set heavy on hits like Rocks, Movin' On Up, Loaded and Country Girl.

Finally, Mumford & Sons headlined Saturday (aside from a Simian Mobile Disco DJ set to keep the party going), and their two-hour show was an epic.

Featuring hits like I Will Wait, Awake My Soul - dedicated by Mumford to the Highlands themselves - and Lover of the Light, it also contained material from the recent third record Wilder Mind, including racing opener Snake Eyes, the anthemic single Believe and the acoustic Broad-Shouldered Beasts. Caked wellies aside, it had been a successful outing in a scenic location - hopefully it went well enough for them to do it again.

DAVE POLLOCK

CAPTION(S):

THRILL... Bobby Gillespie

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 9, 2015
Words:307
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