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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.

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.

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.

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.

Biography by Contactmusic.com

Upcoming Releases: Our Favourite Five New Albums Due Out In November 2021

Elbow Abba Damon Albarn Courtney Barnett Adele

As the days get progressively colder and shorter, and world leaders try to attempt to agree on a way to arrest the rise in global temperatures, November ushers in celebrations of light, gunpowder and treason. As well as Diwali and Guy Fawkes night, November also sees people observing The Day Of The Dead, All Saints Day, Remembrance Sunday and Thanksgiving. Whilst some may be excited that November is also the month to mark World Television Day, or even Dr Who Day, some of you may be eagerly awaiting Taylor's Version of Red or even Gary Barlow's first festive album - The Dream Of Christmas. Other 'notable' releases this month include Hanson's new album - Against The World, Westlife's Wild Dreams and Sting's The Bridge. As good as they be, they weren't hot enough to make the cut! Let's see who fired up our imagination and lit the blue touch paper. 


Elbow - Flying Dream 1.

Continue reading: Upcoming Releases: Our Favourite Five New Albums Due Out In November 2021

Album Of The Week: The 20th Anniversary Of 'Asleep In The Back' By Elbow


There have been plenty of bands who've had a Mercury Prize nomination for their debut album; Elastica, Leftfield, Oasis, Tricky, Coldplay, The Streets, Editors, Bat For Lashes and Laura Marling etc were all nominated but didn't win. Portishead, Talvin Singh, The Klaxons, The xx, alt-J and Dave however are among the artists nominated for their debut albums, who then went on to win it. Back in 2001, when Asleep In The Back was released, Elbow were also nominated for their 'debut' album, however, the album that they were nominated for was the result of two momentous decisions. Firstly, the band were dropped from their original record label, Island, and secondly, they themselves were not happy with the first set of songs they had recorded that were initially intended as a debut album release. I'm guessing that of the Mercury Prize nominees, Elbow are unique in how they arrived at their first album. It's a strong willed and tough act of quality control to scrap everything and start over, but that's what Elbow did, and that's why we have Asleep In The Back


Elbow didn't win The Mercury Prize in 2001, they had to wait another seven years before that happened when they won for their fourth album, Seldom Seen Kid. Their are numerous reasons why Asleep In The Back did not win that year. The main two would have to be, the competition was very, very strong and also they still hadn't quite found their signature sound. In 2001 Elbow were out of their league, they were playing in the premier league with some seriously stiff competition. Going up against Radiohead, Goldfrapp, Gorillaz and the eventual, deserving, winner that year, PJ Harvey was like a baptism of fire. As good as Asleep In The Back is, and it is undoubtedly very good, it is no match for Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.

Continue reading: Album Of The Week: The 20th Anniversary Of 'Asleep In The Back' By Elbow

Elbow Singer Guy Garvey To Teach Songwriting Course At University

Guy Garvey Elbow

Elbow lead singer Guy Garvey is set to swap the stage and microphone for a lectern, with the announcement that he’s to teach university students the art of songwriting.

The 44 year old singer is to become a visiting professor at Manchester Metropolitan University in the new academic year later in 2018, and will conduct a class for the Manchester Writing School, part of the uni’s English department, in writing lyrics for creative writing students.

In 2012, Garvey was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts by the same university, and the English department hopes that his input will help them develop new units and courses on writing music.

Continue reading: Elbow Singer Guy Garvey To Teach Songwriting Course At University

Elbow's Best Of Isn't The End Of The Band

Elbow Guy Garvey

Elbow's new collection 'The Best Of' doesn't mean the band is coming to an end.

The 'One Day Like This' hitmakers are celebrating their 20-year-career as a band with the new release, but front man Guy Garvey has pointed out that they're simply moving in time with the music industry by bringing out the compilation.

Explaining the decision to The Sun newspaper, he said: ''It's a way of leading people to your music. My first Fleetwood Mac album was a 'Best Of' and my first Leonard Cohen album was a 'Best Of'.

Continue reading: Elbow's Best Of Isn't The End Of The Band

John Lewis Advert Slammed For 'Copying' Monster Book


John Lewis is under fire for their recent Moz The Monster Christmas advert soundtracked by Elbow, as author Chris Riddell claims the brand took their idea from his children's book 'Mr. Underbed'. The retailers are denying claims that they stole the idea, insisting that their tale was based on a 'universal' story.

Chris Riddell at the Costa Book AwardsChris Riddell at the Costa Book Awards

The award-winning children's author took to social media to share some of the similarities between his story, published in 1986, and that of Moz the Monster; indeed, both stories feature a toothy blue benevolent monster who befriends a child.

Continue reading: John Lewis Advert Slammed For 'Copying' Monster Book

Elbow Do The Beatles For John Lewis' 2017 Christmas Ad With Moz The Monster


It is officially Christmas! The eagerly anticipated John Lewis advert has finally arrived with Elbow on the soundtrack and it is unbelievably adorable. Like last year's ad, this commercial isn't a tear-jerker, but it will have all kids wishing there was a monster under their bed as cute as Moz.

Elbow performing live in BournemouthElbow performing live in Bournemouth

Yes, it may still be November but there's a lot to prepare for Yuletide celebrations, the most important thing being buying presents. Soundtracking the 2017 John Lewis advert is Guy Garvey's band Elbow with the 1969 Beatles number 'Golden Slumbers' - a cover that will feature on their upcoming 'Best Of' album released on November 24th 2017. The compilation follows the release of their seventh release 'Little Fictions' which came out in February.

Continue reading: Elbow Do The Beatles For John Lewis' 2017 Christmas Ad With Moz The Monster

Elbow - Forest Live 2017, Bedgebury National Pinetum Review

Surrounded by the twelve thousand tress of the stunningly beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum, and in front of the thousands that had come to hear them play, Elbow took to the stage just outside Royal Tunbridge Wells, in Kent. As part of the Forestry Commission's annual events programme, 'Forest Live' (Now in its fifteenth year), firstly Steve Mason, and then Elbow, captivated all before them in this most picturesque of locations, rather aptly located in 'The Garden Of England'.

Elbow - Forest Live 2017 Review

It wasn't so much as, "Way back up in the woods amongst the evergreens", and the stage was no log cabin but the setting, the venue and the balmy summers evening spent under a near cloudless sky listening to a near faultless performance was absolutely superb. In a corner of the ninety two year old Pinetum, and following in the illustrious footsteps of Blondie, Tom Jones and Paul Weller, to call out but a few, the two acts more than did their somewhat unfamiliar surroundings proud.

Steve Mason, pork-pie hat 'n all, took to the stage ahead of Elbow and rifled through a short sharp set that included songs from last years (Craig Potter, "The most attractive member of Elbow in my opinion" (SM), produced) 'Meet The Humans' album. He did a soaring take on, 'A Lot Of Love', a quite brilliant version of the lyrically deft, 'Alive', and clearly impassioned, dedicated, 'Never Be Alone', to the people of the Grenfell Tower. 'Planet Sizes' sounded awesome in the hazy early evening air before Steve closed out, after a minor misdemeanour from his ZZ Top like bassist...."I don't pay you £25 a gig to get it wrong....your appraisal's after the gig", with the Beta Band song, 'Dry The Rain'.

Continue reading: Elbow - Forest Live 2017, Bedgebury National Pinetum Review

New Albums To Look Forward To In 2017

Lorde Run The Jewels Liam Gallagher Elbow The XX

Every new year brings speculation as to which musical legends might be returning, and which pop heavyweights are due to release a new record. Here are six significant artists who are definitely, or widely expected to be, releasing new music in 2017.

LordeLorde's new album will surely arrive in 2017

It feels like forever since Lorde broke through into the mainstream at the precociously young age of 16. Indeed, the release of her signature song ‘Royals’ is approaching its fourth anniversary. In the meantime, she's provided the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and performed a David Bowie tribute at the Brit Awards.

Continue reading: New Albums To Look Forward To In 2017

Elbow Singer Guy Garvey To Curate 2016 Meltdown Festival

Guy Garvey Elbow

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey has been announced as the curator of next year’s Meltdown festival. Garvey follows on from this year’s curator, Talking Head’s David Byrne, while past hosts have included Patti Smith, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Ray Davies and Morrissey.

Guy GarveyGuy Garvey will curate next year’s Meltdown festival.

The festival, which happens annually at London’s Southbank Center, will be held next year from June 10th to 19th. The singer is no stranger to the event, having performed in 2008 when it was curated by Massive Attack.

Continue reading: Elbow Singer Guy Garvey To Curate 2016 Meltdown Festival

Ryan Adams Added To ITunes Festival Line-up After Concerts Sell Out

Ryan Adams Lenny Kravitz Jessie Ware Guy Garvey Elbow

After selling out a string of UK gigs in September, the returning Ryan Adams has been added to next month's iTunes Festival in London joining the previously announced headliners Maroon 5, Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of SummerAs well as Adams, Jessie Ware and Lenny Kravitz will play the ever-popular festival. 

Ryan AdamsRyan Adams at a Nike event in 2008 [Getty/Donald Bowers]

"I'm really excited about my new album, Strut, and playing the festival this year, as well as working with iTunes," Kravitz said in a statement. "Looking forward to seeing everybody at the show next month!"

Continue reading: Ryan Adams Added To ITunes Festival Line-up After Concerts Sell Out


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