hmv.com reviews... Elbow @ Eden Sessions
Elbow stunned the Eden Sessions earlier this week with an incredible show, here's our full review...
The Brit award winning Elbow, a thought-provoking alternative rock band who have released six highly praised albums, their latest The Take-Off And Landing Of Everything (which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page) came out earlier this year...
The stunning Eden Sessions arena at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Any good supports?
Jimi Goodwin (Doves), together with his touring band, performed an eclectic set promoting his acclaimed new solo album, Odludek. The crowd easily warmed to Goodwin's great sense of humour and it wasn't long before he had won them over with his striking new material too. His latest single, 'Live Like a River', sizzled from the sensationally clear sound system. Sometimes Goodwin switched his bass with an acoustic guitar to strum out songs like 'Oh! Whiskey' and 'The Panic Tree' both of which prompted mighty roars from the crowd. The arena was also treated to 'The Sulphur Man' and 'Last Broadcast' as made famous by Doves, his band that are currently taking a break.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The arena was packed with a suitably friendly crowd making the most of the idyllic weather and the awesome sounds.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The soothingly offbeat 'Charge' kicked off a majestic set with long-standing Elbow members Guy Garvey, Mark Potter, Craig Potter, Richard Jupp and Pete Turner, together with their two backing touring members (chiefly violinists), looking and sounding at wondrous ease in the tranquil Eden bowl.
'The Bones of You' kept the quirky opening feel going with plenty shakers being shook together with Jupp's beat before the tight vocal verse harmonies of 'Fly Boy Blue / Lunette' were released with Mark Potter's light, jangly strumming in-between. Elbow's superb control of dynamics really came to the fore and added extra potency to each arrangement.
'Great Expectations' and 'Scattered Black and Whites' cascaded from Craig Potter's fingers as the band revisited their earlier albums. During the evening Turner switched from bass to keys adding extra layers of emotion to the synths whenever needed. The show featured a total of fifteen Elbow originals two thirds of which were from their Mercury Prize winning The Seldom Seen Kid and their latest album The Take Off and Landing of Everything.
'My Sad Captains' is the latest single and it fitted in perfectly towards the close with Garvey adding in “thank you so much everyone” before ending the song with a soft and heartfelt: “You're my perfect waste of time; what a perfect waste of time.” The band returned to the stage for a grand encore of 'Lippy Kids' and the lovely 'One Day Like This'.
Any good between song banter?
Garvey, ever the quintessential showman, effortlessly charmed the entire crowd into clapping, swaying and finger-twinkling; pleasantly scolding any whose performance was less than satisfactory and encouraging mass participation at all times. He managed to persuade the Eden Session officials to group together and start a smooth Mexican wave that swept across the arena and then bounced back again.
Did they put on much of a show?
The band performed each and every note with meaning and only made gentle movements when needs be. Garvey managed to portray much through his voice alone without feeling the need to overact and at times the effect was spellbinding. The smoke and lighting was subtle and combined fluidly with the imaginative use of video. At times the starkness was surreal as in “Real Life (Angel)” when Garvey's blurred figure encompassed in pitch darkness looked infinitely alone and yet dreamily angelic. This dramatic journey continued in the stirring emptiness of 'The Night Will Always Win'. There were several interesting floodlights lined up at the back of the stage that switched on in “New York Morning” like glowing balls sunshine.
What was the highlight of the set?
The audience managed to begin singing the big “Woah-oh-oh...” chant together, and amazingly in the correct key, before hearing a single note of “Grounds for Divorce.” As the stomping song progressed, Garvey was impressed again as the audience wholeheartedly joined in and echoed his calls.
Where can I catch them next?
Elbow will be appearing at the V Festival next month.