Elbow, the Mancunian born and bred band and national treasure, released their first EP since rewarding their dedicated fans with their brilliant sixth studio album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything. Guy Garvey, the bands leading man and arguably the cuddliest man in music today, expressed the bands love of the EP as a format. It is no secret that a lot of the inspiration for Elbow songs, comes from the city of Manchester itself: “Manchester’s symbol has been the worker bee for hundreds of years and the lead track is about finding love far away from home.” No matter where they travel or how much acclaim they receive, Elbow never fail to humbly stay loyal and proud of the place they call home.
The title track, ‘Lost Worker Bee’, begins with a gradual crescendo before Richard Jupp enters with the drums and the rest of the band follow shortly behind. The steady introduction to the EP echoes Guy’s claim that the EP is “set in Manchester city centre”, almost as if the city has to slowly wake up before the music can begin. Garvey’s soft and homely voice weaves beautifully over the steady but fast paced drums and keyboard, as he observes the city and reflects on what it means to be a part of its inhabitance: “You’re a worker bee / Can’t you see? … You’ll do what you’re told / Until you grow old.”
The exemplary patriotism that the band display for their city, country and humanity, is what makes Elbow a national treasure. Sure, they’re not young and hip, your dad probably listens to them and they’re also all old enough to be your dad! Yet with six studio albums and a number of EPs under their belt, no one can argue that Elbow have not earned that much touted position. Poets, adventurous musicians and most importantly, the best of friends, Elbow are exactly what a band should be.