I fear that the reason for the Mumfords' status as "one of the most maligned bands in the world", to borrow Drowned In Sound's phrase, is nothing more complicated than that old cliché: build 'em up, and knock 'em down.
Sit back and look at our Viennese friend Matthias Hombauer's jolly nice photos of the three days he spent with us as we belted across his home country, leaving approximately two thousand people fractionally more deaf and hopefully entertained.
Weather, food, wine, beer and scenery aside, the things that keep us happily heading back to the big hexagon are the loveliness of the audiences and the quality of the French rock clubs. The owners, staff and often volunteers who work on gig evenings at theses places take such immense pride in their venues...
Returning to Britain, I joined another band and hey presto, two of the members were Swedish. Perplexingly we never got round to playing a gig in their home country, but we did manage to all go to a wedding in Stockholm which is the first and only time I've ever seen a wedding cake being thrown across a dancefloor. It ended up, quite literally, in the best man's face.
Plans for Fink's production rehearsals are plunged into a skipful of turds by one of those professional rehearsal spaces turning round at the eleventh hour and calmly announcing that they don't allow use of a smoke machine. Panic! Fink's entire live show is based around a smoke machine. I'm personally lost if I can actually see the rest of my band through lack of fog.
He recoils with a faintly amused expression on his face, shrugs, then glances around for an appropriate piece of hardware with which to impale me. He seizes a nearby spare mic stand, and so begins a Tom and Jerry style chase around the backstage area, me leaping over flight cases and knocking guitars to the floor in my efforts to escape... My tour bus dreams are getting stranger.
There is one situation in which an encore is definitely not such a good idea. Frowned upon, in fact, by just about everyone in the venue apart from the audience cheering for it. And that situation is a festival. For a festival to be a success, it must run on time.
This summer, Fink - as well as releasing a new album, preparing for an American/European tour and generally planning other modest things like global domination - will be spending a sizeable portion of time playing festivals. You know about festivals.
Way back in the rainy summer of 2010 - when Wikileaks was busy leaking, a volcano in Iceland was busy erupting and Gordon Brown was busy packing - my old university chum Damian Samuels contacted me to say he was making a short film.
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