Elbow live at the O2, 28 March 2011

In an age of hype, fast success and turgid McMusic, its good to see a band such as Elbow finally reach commercial success (having achieved critical and artistic success much earlier) after years of simply doing their own thing.  Starting the show with proggy new album opener The Birds, Elbow’s expansive and emotive music fills the O2 with ease and the band put on a show to match.  Singer Guy Garvey really is a man of the people, with the uncanny ability to diffuse the scale of the venue with his northern amiable charm and achieve the level of intimacy one would associate with much smaller spaces.

With the barriers down, Barry comfortably weaves in introductions to their new album’s tracks.  “Why is it we are afraid of the children around our own neighbourhoods”, Garvey touches on the social issue that is the core sentiment of Lippy Kids and which must resonate widely amongst broad-based audience.  Displaying such well placed tenderness amongst the humorous banter, it’s impossible not to like Elbow.

Tonight we were witness to a band well in its stride and comfortable with both its success, identity and music.  Enough burgers, it’s time for steak.

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