Elbow (formed 1990)
Elbow is a Manchester-based alternative rock band. The lineup of the band consists of Guy Garvey on vocals and guitar, Mark Potter on guitar and backing vocals, Craig Potter on keyboards and backing vocals, Pete Turner on bass and Richard Jupp on drums.
Elbow: Formation & Early Years
Guy Garvey and Mark Potter met whilst they both attended Bury College. Potter was in a band with Richard Jupp and Pete Turner and asked Garvey to join the band as a singer. The band, at the time, was called Mr. Soft and later changed to simply 'Soft'. Mark's brother Craig joined the band shortly afterwards. The name changed once again, to Elbow and in 1997, they signed a record deal with Island Records.
Elbow recorded a debut album with Steve Osborne as producer. Soon after the recording of the album, however, Island Records was bought out by the Universal Group. A number of bands were culled from the roster during the buy-out. Elbow was one of them and the album was not released.
The band was not deterred by the setback and instead released The Noisebox EP on the independent Uglyman label. This was followed up by the release of The Newborn EP and The Any Day Now EP. The latter two releases received a great deal of airplay on BBC Radio 1.
Elbow: Debut Album Onwards
Elbow's debut album was entitled Asleep In the Back. The album was released on V2 in 2001. The band was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize as well as a BRIT Award.
In 2003, Elbow released their second album, Cast of Thousands. The title comes from a moment during their Glastonbury 2002 performance, when they recorded the vast audience singing "We still believe in love, so fuck you." Elbow later used that recording on the song 'Grace Under Pressure'.
2004 saw Elbow touring Cuba, playing a number of clubs in the Havana area. Much of the tour was recorded by the documentary maker Irshad Ashraf. Although the film that he made was never released commercially, it was shown at a number of festivals during the summer of 2004. That same year, their song 'Fallen Angel' was featured on the soundtrack to the film 9 Songs, directed by Michael Winterbottom.
Elbow recorded a cover version of 'Independent Woman' by Destiny's Child that was featured on BBC Radio 1.
Elbow's third album was entitled Leaders of the Free World. The band produced the album themselves, at Salford's Blueprint Studios. A group of artists that worked under the name The Soup Collective produced a multimedia music and video VDV for the band. The album did not perform well commercially, though it received favourable reviews in the press. As a result, Elbow were released from their contract with V2.
Fiction Records soon signed Elbow to a new recording contract. In 2005, their track 'Snowball' was used on the War Child fundraiser album Help - A Day in the Life. They also contributed to another film soundtrack, when 'Beats For Two' was selected for the film Inside I'm Dancing.
The Seldom Seen Kid was Elbow's fourth studio album. Released in 2007, the album marked a new chapter in Elbow's career. The band produced the album themselves again and once more found one of their tracks on a film soundtrack. This time, 'Grounds For Divorce' was featured on the Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading, starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Frances McDormand. The Seldom Seen Kid also won the 2008 Mercury Music Prize. It was the second time that the band had been nominated for the award, but the first time that they had won. Jools Holland presented the award to the band on the night.
In June 2008, Elbow released 'One Day Like This', one of the biggest hits of their career so far. The track was used on the BBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was also utilised in Channel 4's coverage of Big Brother.
Elbow: Other Projects
Guy Garvey works as a radio presenter on the BBC's digital station 6Music, which also features the likes of Steve Lamacq and Adam & Joe.
Garvey has also produced I Am Kloot's debut album Natural History.