Today's Music News
Elbow Come Home
Manchester's favourite sons storm MEN arena19 Sept 2009 - ‘Sing for the beautiful city’ was Elbow front man Guy Garvey’s message to a sell out crowd at Manchester Arena.
And sing they did with 2,700 members of the audience given T-shirts and told that they were now part of the Elbow choir.
Injecting more emotion into their music than most, Garvey instructed them on how to do the Elbow emotive hand gestures and ‘if things get really bad’ the head holding. Garvey’s rapport with the audience really carried the night, as he somehow manages to make everyone feel that they’re in his front room raising a glass to his mum.
In fact the crowd did raise a glass to his mum, and their mums, and the tour and friends, family and everyone else who was cueing in the 400 deep guests list.
The night felt very much like a homecoming, after two years of success seeing Seldom Seen Kid win the Mercury, Elbow supporting U2 at Wembley and their tunes on everyone’s iPod and every other TV advert.
The band seemed relieved to be back on their own turf and Manchester was only too thrilled to affectionately welcome back their heroes. As one fan put it, ‘It’s great to see them get the recognition they deserve, for years they’ve been Manchester’s band, but now they’re everyone’s band.”
"It's good to be home." Guy Garvey
Highlights included barnstorming performances of Grounds For Divorce and Forget Myself and The Fix with Richard Hawley and a fabulous end to the night with One Day Like This.
Undoubtedly Elbow’s big songs, with their anthemic melodies and soaring vocals, lend themselves well to being played out to 20,000 people with their arms in the air.
The more intimate moments can feel a little lost and some fans said they preferred to see their band in a closer setting. But Garvey’s charm, self depreciation and comfortable ability as a showman meant that most people felt that they were in a much smaller venue.
Peppering the night with references to Manchester landmarks, cafes, bacon sarnies and weirdly even stroking his belly had everyone won over.
"It’s very good to be home," Guy Garvey said, saluting the Manchester Arena with a trumpet and an encore sung by the crowd to the tune of All You Need is Love.
Elbow’s big night was reassurance enough that as they take a few years out to record their next album there will be a lot of people waiting for them at the other end.