Mumfords serenade the PM and President

As if President Obama hasn’t enough to worry about with Afghanistan and the Syrian crisis, David Cameron has been subjecting him to the public-school folk music of Mumford and Sons.

No doubt plotting revenge after the Pres took him to a basketball match, Cameron invited the plaid-clad folkies to perform at a state dinner at the White House. Obama had previously booked the infinitely cooler John Legend for the gig, so Cameron presumably wanted something a little more British.

The guest list for the gala dinner featured various British luminaries including Richard Branson, actors Damian Lewis and Hugh Bonneville and golfer Rory McIlroy. Obama asked along George Clooney. Artist Tracy Emin was also invited but had a diary clash. It’s not clear whether her diary clash occurred to her after she had heard that the Mumfords were playing.

Cameron’s musical tastes have been greeted with some hostility in the past. He has admitted to being rather fond of The Jam’s scathing satirical anthem Eton Rifles while actually a member of the Eton Rifles. He has also been forbidden by Johnny Marr and Morrissey to like The Smiths. Morrissey certainly wouldn’t have approved of the menu for the White House dinner, which included roast bison

The polite stylings of the Mumfords may have been chosen as a safer option, although that’s not necessarily true. Several of their lyrics draw on the work of the American writer John Steinbeck, whose championing of the oppressed may strike a chord with President Obama. With Cameron? Not so much.

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