Upon release of what is now widely regarded as their best album, The Seldom Seen Kid, this gig witnessed Elbow’s stock on the rise to limits way beyond anything they could’ve imagined. This was a masterful display of musicality and showmanship.

Date: April 14, 2008

Venue: Rock City

Boring. Depressing. Miserable Manc gits… Elbow have been tagged with all of these disparaging comments and have simply shrugged them off.

There’s no denying that their sonic output is a million miles away from the sugary nonsense of  (currently en vogue at the time of going to press…) The Hoosiers – and gladly so – but Elbow, and in particular bearded lead singer Guy Garvey, have an unrelenting ability to write heart-bursting anthems which marry touching lyrics with sumptuous strings.

Look no further than the jaw-dropping majesty contained within One Day Like This – a potential festival favourite with its huge chant-inspiring ending which Garvey insists the crowd sing back to him.

Elsewhere there are copious amounts of non-boring material from their amazing new album. From the monolithic riffs and dirty blues-rock of Grounds For Divorce to the euphoric sweep of The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver, there’s not a yawn in sight.

Further enjoyment is to be had during the lolloping orchestral beauty of  Grace Under Pressure’ which finishes the set. Augmented by various awestruck fans plucked from the crowd, it’s a fitting farewell.

Throughout the set Garvey acts like your loveable-but-daft uncle at Christmas, imparting amusing tales and self-deprecating gripes whenever he’s not melting hearts with his distinctive gravely tones. Indeed, the gaps between the songs are just as entertaining as the songs themselves as Guy reveals his talent as a stand-up comic with a routine that wouldn’t be out of place on the northern comedy circuit. Boring? Never. Depressing? Try uplifting. Miserable Manc gits? Guy would no doubt concur, but no one leaves here miserable.


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