The first thing noticeable upon entering the theatre at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on March 12th was the lead singer ‘Guy Garvey’ starting the crowd atmosphere. As a sold out show, the general admission area of the hall was packed and suitably sweaty, already early in the evening. The sound of a violin warming up drifted over us from backstage. The atmosphere of both symphony and rock concert smashed together. The nicety of standing in a giant room with a bunch of other like-minded individuals. The light show executed by a technician. All these aspects were performed with a perfection that made it appear planned, which of course it was. The band launched into their performance, with lead vocalist Guy Garvey introducing members throughout the night, and sounded almost Radiohead-esque, but without all the existential angst. There was an emphasis on drums drums drums.
This last point is actually pretty predictable, as Guy Garvey himself has a background playing percussion, and did take to the second drum set himself later on in the night. The music was heavily layered, with no spaces, no silence, only sound. The performance itself was perfect. Live performances are about real-ness. An audience likes to see mistakes, or at least something to make the night memorable and unique from any pre-recorded stuff they can listen to a home. It’s always nice to see some mistakes.
Guy Garvey stood before us like a gladiator (are you not entertained?!), raising his arms and almost telekinetically controlling the crowd; he asked us to wave, we waved, he asked us to sing, and we roared. The night closed with the song One Day Like This, from their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid (audience on back-up vocals), and with his charisma, it was no surprise that the crowd was eating out of the palm of Guy Garvey’s hand.
ELBOW'S UK TOUR CONTINUES:
14 March - The Spa - Bridlington, UK
15 March - Dome - Doncaster, UK
16 March - De Montfort Hall - Leicester, UK
18 March - O2 Apollo - Manchester, UK
19 March - O2 Apollo - Manchester, UK
20 March - O2 Apollo - Manchester, UK
21 March - O2 Apollo - Manchester, UK
15 June - Westonbrit Arboretumnr - Tetbury, UK
17 June - Bedgebury Pinetum - Tunbridge Wells, UK
21 June - Live At The Marquee - Cork, Ireland
24 June - Dalby Forest - Pickering, UK
25 June - Sherwood Pines Forest - Mansfield, UK
29 June - The Ford Forest - Brandon, UK
30 June - Delamere Forest - Northwich, UK
06 July - Mouth Of The Tyne Festival - Tynemouth, UK
07 July - Cannock Chase Forest - Rugeley, UK
08 July - British Summer Time at Hyde Park - London, UK
Photos + Review By: Euan McLaughlin Photography