hmv.com reviews... Elbow @ Newport Centre
Elbow rolled through Newport on Friday night (March 10th) and we were there to see them in action...
Band of the people Elbow on a more intimate tour for their latest album Little Fictions.
In one of the only venues in the UK with its own swimming pool, Newport Centre.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
This show sold out very quickly this evening with every chair and every space on the floor being taken. What’s refreshing to see at gigs like this is that there is no talking during songs; no people on phones; they are there to enjoy the music given to them. It’s a testament to the quality of the show tonight that their attention is caught throughout.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
It all starts with the band all stood in a line at the front of the stage as they open with 'Gentle Storm'. It sets the precedent from the off that this is going to be an intimate gig and a gig which showcases Guy Garvey’s fantastic vocal range; which is even more bewilderingly brilliant in a live environment.
Throughout their illustrious career, they haven’t made a bad record yet, however, most of the set tonight is compiled of songs from the last ten years. This includes the Mercury Award winning The Seldom Seen Kid with songs like 'The Bones Of You' and 'Mirrorball', complete with its own special lighting which fills the room.
Elbow have always been one of those bands which feel like a warm hug; whether it’s the tone of Garvey’s vocals or the tender musicianship between the group. This is still true to this day with their latest album 'Little Fictions' and songs tonight like 'All Disco' and 'Magnificent' just make you forget about anything bad that’s going on and let you get swept up in the moment.
Their biggest song to date 'One Day Like This' is clearly one that the crowd have been waiting for and neither the band nor the crowd disappoint. Garvey orchestrates the crowd perfectly into choruses which have harmonies, minute singing and humming.
Once they exit the stage there is no lull in noise from the audience; they want them to come back on with the applause not stopping for one moment before they triumphantly return. One of the best moments is left to the end for their most energetic song 'Grounds For Divorce'. At most other gigs it’s heavy enough that it would warrant pits to be formed in the crowd! It’s the sign of a band that clearly loves what they are doing and long may it continue.
Any good between-song banter?
With it being a Welsh crowd on a match night, there is obviously some interaction back and forth in regards to 'the score'. Garvey also jokes before 'All Disco' about growing up and going out in Bury poking fun at his questionable dress sense at the time.
Did they put on much of a show?
For Elbow, this venue is a lot smaller than the arenas and festival stages in which we are used to seeing them at. But no matter what the size of the gig is, it almost feels like a personal concert for yourself. Any time Garvey sees anybody in the crowd singing along he will point them and outlook at them; making it feel like he is singing directly to them.
What was the highlight of the set?
'Lippy Kids' feels like the most intimate moment of the night. The song itself is very minimal musically but it has the biggest impact on them all. When the line 'Build A Rocket Boys' is sung by both Garvey and the crowd, it’s a real hair standing on end moment.
Where can I catch them next?
There are nights in Edinburgh, Doncaster and Leicester before three nights at the Manchester Apollo. This is followed by a US tour later this year and a likelihood of festival dates this summer.