Mumford And Sons will bring their travelling roadshow Gentlemen Of The Road to London’s Victoria Park on Saturday 1 June as part of this year’s All Points East festival. As well as headlining themselves, the band have hand-picked the line-up. “Normally we put on our own festivals so we really enjoyed partnering up with someone,” says Marcus Mumford. “We’re really specific about the people we want to play with, we spend a lot of time listening to new artists and writing down lists of names that we'd love to tour with so it's a dream getting to do it at an existing festival.”
Other acts confirmed for the bill include The Vaccines, Leon Bridges, Sam Fender, Jade Bird and Dizzee Rascal. “They've given us full control of the line-up for the day. It’s reflective of our tastes, we listen to all sorts and getting Dizzee was just a complete dream because we all grew up listening to that man, he's such an important figure in British music,” notes Mumford. “It always seems like breaking news to people that we like other types of music, so we like the idea of reflecting that in our line-ups, whether it's playing with Laura Marling in the old days or having Dave on our Latitude line-up [in 2017], it shouldn't be a surprise to people that we like different types of music.”
In addition to picking other acts, the band have been involved in planning the site’s design and layout, right down to what food and drink will be on sale. “It looks and feels different, a bit like one of our stopovers or our own Gentlemen Of The Road shows. We'll have some comedy and have been thinking about food and beverages and how the site looks,” says Mumford. “At our own festivals it is micro-managerial, it's like planning a wedding. We literally go out in golf buggies and check out how long the queues are. We've had some bizarre conversations in dressing rooms about the numbers of toilets but this time it’s a bit more of a professional outlet. I think those guys know what they're doing, there should be less conversations about chemical toilets.”
Mumford and Sons are currently taking a brief break from touring to record a batch of songs written during the making of last year’s Delta. They will begin the US leg at the not-particularly rock’n’roll sounding Dunkin Donuts Centre in Rhode Island. “There's some weird named arenas on that tour, there’s a KFC one too,” laughs Mumford. “You feel a bit embarrassed to put it on a poster but that's the nature of the beast in America.”
The Delta tour hit an early stumbling block when the quartet had to cancel the first few UK dates because their stage set-up wasn’t ready. “We had to postpone a few shows in June, which we will go back and play, for quite boring technical reasons,” says Mumford. “We hate cancelling, I think there's only two gigs we've ever cancelled and didn't go back to play, so we always end up going back. Last night we played [small South London club night] New Slang and that was ten years in the coming. We cancelled a show with them and we've always felt indebted so we <i>finally got</i> around to it. A Mumford always pays his debts.” If you’ve missed their live extravaganza in the past, now’s the time to cash in. CHRIS CATCHPOLE
All Points East takes place at London’s Victoria Park in May and June. Head here for more details and ticket info.