December 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm #8749
It’s Ben here, writing my first newsletter and just generally checking in with you all. I’m currently sitting on a bed in New York, looking over the East River towards the Manhattan skyline. There’s something about this view that, in all the years I’ve taken it in, will never cease to amaze me. I’m here for a few days then back to Heathrow and onwards to Devon where my family are almost all based now and I’ll be fully immersed in Uncle duties and cooking duties and undoubtedly various other tasks that come with being the youngest in a family.
It’s a good time of year to reflect, whether that be nature or nurture, everyone is looking over their highs and lows of the year gone by and setting goals and creating dreams for the year to come. 2017 marks 10 years since we started this crazy Mumford & Sons journey and with that has come a through-line of sentimentality to our year as we appreciate just how lucky we are to have each other and the support from you all. We were just a few kids, barely done with being teenagers, when this all began and now we look back on what has been a third of our lives and basically our entire adult life, telling stories, writing songs, and travelling round and round this magical planet. Thank you for everything you’ve given us so far, in case our gratitude wasn’t abundantly obvious!
One of the great adventures this year was spending just over a week with U2 as they celebrated their own milestone – 30 years since the release of Joshua Tree. It was a great honour to be included in the celebration of this album as we travelled down the pacific North-West coast line stopping in Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco. In Seattle we joined the band alongside Eddie Vedder to close out the main set of the night with the final track from Joshua Tree – Mothers of the Disappeared. It was a very special moment but like so many over the past decade I wake up the next day pinching myself as it all just feels like a dream.
2017 wasn’t just about Birthdays and Milestones though. In fact, this has primarily been a year of firsts for us. It was our first time collaborating on our Gentlemen of The Road Stopovers with an existing festival. We did this in July with Latitude and Longitude festivals. A huge amount of work from everyone involved and a big shout out to the Everybody’s team for helping pull so much of the collaboration together, we had one of the best weekends of our lives. This year also saw our first ever headline shows in Florida, our first time as a band in Iceland (so cold) and Abu Dhabi (so hot) and just a couple of weeks ago now, our first gig in Senegal.
Senegal came about because of our collaboration and friendship with Baaba Maal. He has become one of the most special people in our lives and ever since we met at the Lewes GOTR stopover in 2013. Since then we have played together all over the World and worked together on the Johannesburg mini-album we put out last year. This year Baaba invited us all to his home in Podor – a magical place on the edge of the Saharan desert where he hosts an annual festival called Blues de Fleuve. We are so grateful for Baaba and his hospitality and his family and team who have all been so incredible and helped make this happen. It was a wild trip and whilst I tried to document it and share it with you via instagram in realtime, none of it did it justice. The good news is that we hope next year there’ll be something that’ll come close to telling the story of that Senegalese adventure and of course we’ll keep you updated on that news.
There’s actually quite a lot of news coming from us next year, 2018 feels important, it feels exciting. We’ll try to keep you as up to date as possible as we go, this mailing list is really our best way of doing that so keep your eyes peeled. And I do hope that next year feels important and exciting to you too. With every day comes the promise of hope and that is multiplied by the turning of the calendar to January 1st – staring at a wide open year ahead. So much will happen, good and bad, and we will learn and grow and laugh and cry and we will live life to the fullest. Remember to always offer a hand to anyone who may lose sight of that.
With love and gratitude
BenJanuary 12, 2018 at 1:42 am #8769
I have always been a fan of mumford & sons, but recently it’s all I listen to – especially after I had done a cover of winter winds with some friends, playing the trumpet part. I love the band, it is so genuine; each member and the music that is written/created; it is a band that really has character and remains themselves.
Happy New Year to Marcus, Ben, Winston and Ted, I really hope this year is fruitful to you all – full of new opportunities and surprises, in hope that you will reach your goals in 2018. Never underestimate yourselves!
The Johannesburg mini-album and Wilder Mind is all I listen to currently – thanks for all the music <3
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