Elbow @ Rock City, Nottingham 14/04/08

Elbow open their new album and tonight’s show with ‘Starlings’ a song that creaks and creeps in until  blistering horns blare out and fill every section of the packed venue. The song is immense and a good indication of what’s to come as the band play songs from their four superb albums, front man Guy jokes that ‘all we have done since we were last here is write twelve songs, that’s it, twelve songs’ before they play more from latest offering ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’. The sound is pin drop perfect and it the best I’ve heard in this venue for years, which makes songs like ‘Newborn’, ‘Forget Myself’ and ‘Leaders of the Free World’ sound better than they do on record. The first highlight for me is when they play ‘Red’ a song I’ve always called my theme tune and despite a cracking rendition and sing along of latest single ‘Grounds for Divorce’ nothing can eclipse the grand finale of ‘Grace under Pressure’ as the crowd all sing the mantra ‘we still believe in love so fuck you’ long after the band has left the stage. Earlier Guy had said that the Nottingham crowd weren’t as good singers as Manchester or Sheffield something that by the end of this brilliant gig he had taken back. On leaving I nicknamed the evening to myself ‘The Seldom seen gig’ because I have seldom seen one this good, the band, the crowd and the sound were simply awe inspiring and I, for one, felt privileged to be a part of the whole experience.

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