Elbow at Manchester Apollo: Review

The brilliant Elbow are on their fourth night of their homecoming residency at the Apollo. The Five piece (Guy Garvey, Alex Reeves, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Pete Turner) from Bury are touring their Seventh album ‘Little Fictions’ another No.1 album. Over the course of 20 years and seven albums Elbow are selling out arena shows, so an intimate show at the Apollo is set to be a special one.

Opening up with the willowing ‘Gentle Storm’ from the recent romantic album. Only the four remaining founder members are front stage illuminated by vertical light tubes. After their subdued opening, the curtain rises to reveal the full stage and band and they launch straight into a more uplifting classic “The Bones of You”

Frontman Guy Garvey cheerfully greets the crowd “Cheers Manchester. Is everybody ok? Let’s see your hands, keep them up” ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’ follows, 43 year old Guy is about to become a dad, as he sings the lyrics “I’m having a baby” the crowd give him a huge cheer. The crowd is captivated two songs in.

The gorgeous ‘Mirrorball’ is played and complete with a giant Mirrorball that has the Apollo glistening; it is the perfect venue for this gig.

This is the last gig before me and Mark go and have a baby, I’m really sh#tting! I’m not going call my baby Elbow…

Guy is brilliant at working the crowd, In-between songs he ‘Dad Jokes’ his way through and tells stories of the band “First time we played here was when we were supporting The Manics, It was so bad, we were booed…”

Guy’s silky voice soars though the slower tracks like ‘Scattered Black and Whites’ as it echo’s around the room and creates the perfect mood for couples to have a romantic moment.

Highlight and the moment many were waiting all night for ‘One Day like This’ the song that took Elbow into a band that is a national treasure. The band leave the stage and the sell-out crowd are already chanting for their return. The boys return to the stage with a new drink in hand. The crew set up the stage for the next track, they appear on stage dressed in adult sized nappies and dummies, in honour of Elbow babies. “They are actually in nappies?! That is so disturbing”

Tonight was the last of their four sell out shows and there is only one-way to conclude the set, encoring with ‘Lippy Kids’ and ‘Grounds for Divorce’ It’s an arm waving moment as the Apollo is belting out the chorus “Shall we sing together one last time Manchester?” the fans leave the venue tearful, smiling and mesmerised.

Elbow displayed a wide range of songs spanning over seven albums, all new songs from the ‘Little Fictions’ where played sounded great. Hometown shows are always special, especially for a band like Elbow. Before the band head off to the US to win many more fans, they play at Forest Live and a huge summer Hyde Park show in July.

Gentle Storm
The Bones of You
Fly Boy Blue / Lunette
All Disco
New York Morning
Scattered Black and Whites
Little Fictions
My Sad Captains
The Birds
One Day like This

Lippy Kids
Grounds for Divorce



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