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- Waterfront, Norwich »
- Elbow »
Elbow arrived on stage amidst a lot of noise and distortion and went straight in to 'Any Day Now'. An excellent opener and the pounding drum line rattles around the small and intense venue. "So this is Norwich eh?" asks Garvey.
When Elbow are good they produce masterpieces like 'George Lassoes The Moon' and we are treated to a wonderfully epic rendition of what is a criminally mis-placed b-side. A new song was aired, and sounded like the companion to 'Red'.
I have heard comment that Elbow are slightly dull on the live arena, but this was pre 'Asleep In The Back' so I went expecting an emotionally charged affair. Maybe I was expecting too much, as I was slightly under whelmed.
Apart from the expected burden of listening to the song made wholly personal by myself that is 'Powder Blue', tonight Elbow don't scale the heights that 'Asleep In The Back' suggests they might.
As 'Red' fades out, without introduction 'Powder Blue' starts to escape from the sound system... It's the opening chords that always get me, and this time the effect was devastating. They gripped me vice like round the throat and transfix me to the spot. My eyes welled up within seconds and I just began to shake and tremble uncontrollably. My pint became the focus of all my attention, I just could not move, I was paralysed. The naive honesty of the lyrics pierce the smoky atmosphere. Yet they offer comfort. A loved one, a loved one lost, but not forgotten. The tears in my eyes never began to fall, they just waited, just waited till the song came to an end.
However, the gig losses emotional momentum and becomes disjointed due to lengthy gaps in songs. Guy Garvey talked way too much between songs, and because of the low ceiling in The Waterfront, his words were lost on us at the back....
An unfortunate result of this chat lead to Elbow cutting many of the songs, for instance, 'Newborn', was a cross between the radio edit and album version, and no where near as epic as the recorded latter. 'Powder Blue' avoided the issue of the vocal soar towards the end, 'Scattered Black and Whites' was stripped down, with a lessening effect. I couldn't help but feel this could have been avoided had Guy Garvey chose not to interact with the audience so much in between songs.
Elbow are still devastatingly poignant and at their best a truly heartbreaking band. An evening of good and bad, of up's and down's, yet through lovelorn lyrics, strangely comforting really.
Tonight was good, but not nearly as good as it gets.
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