Portsmouth Pyramids - November 2005

Images: ©2005 Stuart Leech - www.music-photos.co.uk

by Stuart Leech

Elbow always manage to surprise me. Coming from the same acoustic era that shot David Gray and Coldplay to fame, Elbow have always made an obviously saturated and sometimes dull genre sound original. With two more albums of material to back up their first outing and expanding their definitive sound, all makes for an impressive set. Elbow’s early tracks such as Red, New Born and Asleep In The Back are slow, bewitching tracks due to Garvey’s unique vocal style.It swings with ease from slower, more atmospheric tracks to the more upbeat ones, like recent release ‘Forget Myself’. This has obviously become a favourite with fans and rightly deserves more recognition than it has received. Obviously, over the years, musical trends and styles change. Elbow, however, have maintained what has made them unique, yet have still managed to evolve as artists without throwing themselves in front of every oncoming gravy train. It’s obviously to their credit and goes a long way to justifying the kind of loyal fans that are here tonight, hanging on Garvey’s every word. His natural rapport with the audience makes for interesting and amusing banter between songs. Elbow put on a brilliant show; even the ambitious lighting was spot on. I doubt anyone went away unsatisfied. They are a band you may have low expectations of, but don’t rule out the probability of Elbow being able to surpass them. “We only care about the music,” said Garvey to his minions. Not the drugs? The girls? The parties? Damn. Looks like this is one music journalist who’s getting an early night.