ELBOW – Brighton Centre 18 September 2021
ELBOW – background.
Elbow are an English rock band formed in Bury, Greater Manchester, in 1997. The band consists of Guy Garvey (lead vocals, guitar), Craig Potter (keyboard, piano, backing vocals), Mark Potter (guitar, backing vocals) and Pete Turner (bass guitar, backing vocals). They have played together since 1990, adopting the name Elbow in 1997. Drummer Alex Reeves replaced Richard Jupp in 2016
The band have released eight studio albums: Asleep in the Back (2001), Cast of Thousands (2003), Leaders of the Free World (2005), The Seldom Seen Kid (2008), Build a Rocket Boys! (2011), The Take Off and Landing of Everything (2014), Little Fictions (2017), and Giants of All Sizes (2019). Their studio albums, as well as their B-sides compilation Dead in the Boot (2012), all reached the top 15 of the British album chart. Seven of their singles placed in the top 40 of the British singles chart. Their most recent album, Giants of All Sizes, was released on 11 October 2019.
In 2008, Elbow won the Mercury Music Prize for their album The Seldom Seen Kid, and in 2009 they won the Brit Award for Best British Group. And in 2012, something I hadn’t realised, they released “First Steps”, the BBC theme for the 2012 London Olympics!
ELBOW: The Set
I have to admit here for the record I had not seen Elbow before tonight. Would I go and see them again? Oh yes, you bet I would! I loved it. This was one of the first big gigs to play Brighton since the Covid 19 restrictions were lifted. Elbow put on a display of a wide range of songs spanning over seven albums. The crowd were awesome and the huge Brighton choir did not let us down as they joined in at the top of their voices especially during the encore later at the end of the night with Lippy Kids and instantly recognisable One Day Like This.
The set got underway with a bit of a rocker as Guy took to the stage with his guitar slung around his neck, the epic Dexter & Sinister got things underway and this was from their recent Giants Of All Sizes LP release.
ELBOW: The Band:
Guy Garvey on lead vocal duty and guitar, Craig Potter on keys and backing vocals, Mark Potter playing main lead guitar, and providing backing vocals, Pete Turner on the bass and backing vocals and Alex Reeves on drums and other things you hit with a drum stick.
The fabulous track Mirrorball was up and this was complimented by two huge half giant mirror balls that had the Brighton Centre glistening as the white light beams danced, along with the crowd, around the venue. This turned out to be a perfect venue for this gig as the sound was superb and the lighting was at times simply breath taking as coloured lasers pierced through the smoke. Stunning visual display.
Frontman Guy is just so good at working and engaging with the sold out crowd. Between songs he related some funny stories and recalls tales of the band.
What Am I Without You, was, as Guy explained, the only track representing the forthcoming album ‘Flying Dream 1’. This album will be released mid November 2021.
There were so many musical highs within this gig. I really enjoyed Sad Captains. Guy Garvey sings with all the emotion required for the song and subject matter. The whole thing was rounded off and complemented beautifully by the violins of Gita Langley and Fiona Brice, adding such a depth to this wonderful song.
There was what used to be lighter waving, although mobile phones are the order of the day these days! Anyone who loves a solid live performance cannot fail to have been moved by the diversity of the music played, the emotion generated by the band/crowd. Especially as Guy gave mention to his sister who had helped them out in the early days. A nice touch as she stood up and received a huge cheer and round of applause from the crowd. Oh, and, yes, the sheer joy of sharing this musical evening.
Grounds for Divorce was the last song of the set, and as the band left the stage through the swirling smoke the crowd are already up for more and are already chanting “more” for their return.
The engagement, very much a two-way thing carried on through the gig. The always charismatic Garvey regularly asking us if we were ok and enjoying ourselves and of course the staple request of asking to ‘see those hands in the air’. Both interactions were magnificently responded to by the crowd.
One of the highlights, and the song many seemed to be longing for, was One Day like This, the song that grabbed Elbow by the hand and kind of turned them into the outfit they are, making them almost a national treasure. The band leave the stage and the sell-out crowd roar with appreciation.
ELBOW: The Set list
Dexter & Sinister / Fly Boy Blue / Lunette / Empires / Mirrorball / Kindling / White Noise White Heat / Station Approach / Weightless / The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver / Magnificent (She Says) / What Am I Without You / My Sad Captains / The Birds / The Bones of You and Grounds for Divorce
Encore: Lippy Kids and One Day Like This
This was a great gig. So good to see a big band on stage at The Brighton Centre. The staff at The Brighton Centre are lovely. Thank you to the lady who let me have a seat after climbing the stairs! I didn’t realise the lifts were working. Elbow were stunning and a recommended band to go and see if you are lucky to have them play near you. Loved it!
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