On Mumfordization

Posted by: on Jun 11, 2015 | No Comments

Scott King’s Take on the state of popular culture in America:

Earlier this year you made a print bearing the slogan “Stop! Mumford And Sons”. What’s your opinion of the band?

They are shit. They represent everything that is wrong with this country today. They are a bunch of public schoolboys pretending to be hillbillies aren’t they? I think that’s quite funny, Etonians taking on bluegrass or Woody Guthrie or whatever they imagine they are doing – the sons of investment bankers taking a genre that was explicitly about poverty and making it into a multi-million pound phenomena. This whole country is slowly being Mumfordised. Even places like Margate now have a Mumford Quarter that sells lattes, vintage posters and rustic lunches. Everything presented as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’- real ale, hand cut chips – gastro pubs stuffed with broken furniture on stripped wooden floors – everything ‘hand reared’ and localised – you can no longer buy mussels, cod, pork or crab in these pubs – only Shetland Isle Mussels, Peterhead Cod, Suffolk Pork and Dorset Crab. There is an overwhelming folksy, middle class, twee faux-local attitude that means many urban areas are rebranding themselves as ‘villages’: people in cities lusting after allotments, going to farmer’s markets in their wellies – the Mumfords are the house band for this desire to create the rural idyll in cities. Bring back The Wurzels, I say. The Wurzels were much better than Mumford & Sons.