Rob and I went to see Elbow last night at Colston Hall in Bristol and, well, it was just beautiful. One of the loveliest gigs I’ve ever been to in fact. So I’m going to gush a little about it, I’m afraid.
I think the thing I love about Elbow is that their songs are the hardest kind to write. They’re simple but devastatingly beautiful and they lack any kind of cliché or lofty pretence. Just lovely lyrics about love and loss (amongst other things), set over soaring soundtracks that make your heart swell. The songs are gentle but you’d feel safe wrapped up in them.
And Guy Garvey, their lead singer, is funny and humble. It was the first time I’ve ever enjoyed the band-audience banter at a gig. Usually, you can never hear it properly and the band just mumble inconsequentially. Guy was having proper conversations with members of the audience and came off as pretty much the most adorable man I’ve ever seen. It’s a personality that more than comes across in his 6music show on Sunday nights, which I’ve recommended before (as has Omar) and would recommend again.
And, oh *my* he can sing live… Someone at work said they loved his voice so much, they could happily listen to him singing the phone book. I would kill to have him sing the phone book to me.
Anyway, some highlights. “Fugitive Motel” was just lovely but we’d been waiting for it since we bought the tickets so it was never going to anything less than perfect. “Mirrorball” was so beautiful that I’m still sitting back and sighing contentedly when I think of it. “Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver” didn’t really grab me on the album but came across as breathtakingly desolate live. I didn’t even hate the obvious attempt at closing with an “anthem” when they got the audience to sing along with “On a Day Like This” because they do it in such earnest, and are unashamedly honest about it.
I was kind of gutted that they didn’t play “Powder Blue” – which will always be my favourite Elbow song regardless of whatever they release in the future – but the gig was so damn perfect, I can let them off. Amazing.