Why this gig?
Elbow are a bit of a guilty pleasure. It was several years after the release of The Seldom Seen Kid that I realised that a number of songs that had slowly seeped into my consciousness were all by the same band and from the same album. A couple of years ago I went to see them at the O2 and enjoyed it, but decided that I didn’t really need to see them again (not being a huge fan of arena gigs). But when they announced some smaller shows I thought it was worth getting a ticket.
Support was a singer called Laura Groves. I think she might be interesting in a smaller venue, but from the balcony of the Hammersmith Apollo I didn’t really get her.
I think this show may have killed Elbow for me. I mean, yes, I’ll always think that The Seldom Seen Kid is a great album but, really, nothing they’ve done before or since comes close. There are a couple of interesting things on Build A Rocket Boys, but their latest album is just “Elbow by numbers”.
And, unfortunately, the show has rather a lot of the new album. And also, older albums. There are only three songs from The Seldom Seen Kid. They are done well, but it’s not enough to raise this gig above the distinctly mediocre.