British Summer Time in Hyde Park

Mumford and Sons - pic by Colin Hart

Last Friday saw Mumford and Sons graced the Great Oak Stage at BST. They have been on tour and this was their homecoming gig. From the opening bars of Little Lion Man the tone was set. The band kicked off proceedings with vitality, energy and joy. Everyone was dancing or singing along. They have grown in confidence and bravery. They have great songs and talent to match. The tangible appreciation of the crowd when they played The Cave was the highlight. It was truly breathtaking against the backdrop of confetti falling from the gorgeous red night sky.

This BST has been about longevity, established acts such as Carole King and Massive Attack playing great songs that have stood the of time, offset by vibrancy and enthusiasm of young artists enjoying the earlier stages of their careers. It’s also been all about the girls stepping up with style.

Wolf Alice went for it and clearly relished the challenge of playing the main stage. Ellie Rowsell played her heart out – Patti Smith would have been proud of her guitar licks. The crowd fully enjoyed the set as much as the band.

Next the wonderful Alabama Shakes brought true American southern soul to Hyde Park. It was easy to see why they’ve won a Grammy. Songs such as I still ain’t got what I want showcased the powerful yet honeyed voice of Brittany Howard and musical skills of this great band.

Notting Hill based singer/songwriter Rukhsana Merrise played her first BST. She has a real energy and connection with the audience. This shone through when she performed her songs Stay and Two Hearts. The highlight was her cover of The Weekend hit I can’t feel my face. Amazing. The crowd were jumping. Ben from Mumford and Sons watched her set. We too should watch out for the rise and rise of this super talented vocalist and writer.

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