IT DOESN’T seem long ago since Elbow were a just a Bury band playing tiny venues across Manchester. Now, the alt-rock indie band is at the top of its game, sweeping up awards and playing arena-sized venues.
And this month, the band comes to Sheffield as part of a full UK tour.
The tour is in support of its latest album, Build a Rocket, Boys, which follows the double platinum Mercury Prize-winning Seldom Seen Kid (2009). The band was also voted Best British Band at the Brits and mopped up two Ivor Novello Awards and an NME award.
But curriculum vitae aside, frontman Guy Garvey’s approach to songwriting has remained the same since he was a teenager. Since the age of fourteen, Garvey has kept a journal. The band met at sixth form colege - more than twenty years ago - and have been together ever since. Build Me A Rocket, Boys! is - in typical Elbow style - a candid collection of emotional songs. Songs range from the wistful Lippy Kids to the simplistic Jesus is a Rochdale Girl, about a girl from Rochdale who would take Guy Garvey food and money in the early days of Elbow, when he was skint.
But Elbow hasn’t always been Elbow. They were initially called Mr Soft but changed it to Elbow as a ‘latz waltz’ for the band, as Garvey describes it.
That name is now associated with one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most successful bands.
Elbow play at Sheffield Arena on Saturday March 19.