Elbow @ London Hammersmith Apollo, 5/3/17

In line with the release of their eighth studio album Little Fictions, the wonderful Elbow performed a standout set of melodic tunes to an adoring fan base packed into London’s antique Hammersmith Apollo.

If you’ve never seen Elbow live before, the one thing you will take home from one of their gigs is a feeling of belonging – like you’re one of their own. Whether through the ever-present pint of lager in Guy Garvey’s hand or the down to earth Mancunian chatter between songs, the boys come across as relatable people, untouched by stardom.

Beat heavy ‘Gentle Storm’ opened proceedings, a song which immediately showcased Garvey’s raw vocal capabilities as he implored his elusive lover to ‘fall in love with me every day’, conveying undertones of utter desperation. Following this, the back curtain dropped to allow room for a supporting string duo to enter, instruments now synonymous with the band’s orchestral-inspired sound.  

Such additions paved way for a plethora of classic numbers to be reeled off, including ‘Lippy Kids’, ‘New York Morning’ and the delicately crafted ‘Mirrorball’. Such a mix of old and new worked exceptionally well and showcased just how prolific Elbow have been over their twenty-plus years together.

Unexpectedly, the song ‘Little Fictions’ impressed me most on the night, as its quiet opening built up to a fabulous crescendo of sound, indulging in a rapid drum and violin section which would impress even the most neutral of onlookers.

‘One Day Like This’ closed the main set and was inevitably greeted by swaying arms from an energetic crowd who were singing along to every verse, before the rocky ‘Grounds for Divorce’ completed the encore.

Elbow took the audience on a musical journey of intricate lyricism, which can attribute its popularity to the way each song personifies the everyday things we see and feel in life around us.

Josh Savage

[image: The Upcoming]

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