Little Fictions Tour
O2 Academy Birmingham
Elbow continued to tour new album Little Fictions, this time beginning their residency at the O2 Academy in Birmingham….
I have somewhat of a love affair with Elbow, their recent Birmingham date is now the fifth time I’ve seen the band play in just the last few years, you may be thinking how on earth can you justify seeing an act so many times? well if you’ve ever seen Elbow perform live before you’ll know exactly why, it’s a mixture of Guy Garvey’s distinctive and charming stage presence, almighty ballads that stir feelings in your soul and a guaranteed feel good time.
Let’s briefly talk about Guy first, his lovable and happy attitude is what manages to make each gig unique, not once have I seenhim repeat himself when interacting with the crowd (even on the same tour), he’s completely unscripted and when it came to a heckler this evening, brilliantly funny, providing light banter and placing the joke firmly on the interrupter. the rest of the band has had a bit of a redesign with the departure of original member Richard Jupp who left the group early last year, in his place comes Alex Reeves whose previous experience playing with Guy last year means he fits in naturally and does a fantastic job on the night as their new live drummer.
Elbow are of course touring due to the release of new album ‘Little Fictions’ (you can read our verdict here) and fittingly tracks from the album scatter the setlist, the band open with a stirring rendition of ‘Gentle Storm’, the track and it’s African style beats translate perfectly life, it has to be said all the new tracks that get played tonight really shine and in parts are even more effective than their recorded counterparts.
It has to be said however that clocking in at just over 90 minutes the setlist feels slightly sparse, after 7 albums with some quite lengthy epic songs it is no surprise that Elbow would struggle to fit in all of their fan favourites but it definitely highlights weaker songs such as ‘Kindling’ and title track ‘Little Fictions’ when their played alongside classics such as ‘Sad Captains’ and ‘Grounds For Divorce’, out of all the new tracks ‘Magnificent (She Says)’ is the clear standout, I was disappointed by the lack of a large ensemble orchestra like the one’s that were used during recent television performances.
Despite some strange setlist choices you cannot fault Elbow’s performance, each song gets a wild yet appropriate reaction from the crowd, whether it be singing from the top of your lungs or wiping tears from cheeks, by the time ‘One Day Like This’ enters it’s fifth harmony you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Birmingham crowd without a wide smile on their face.
It’s not too late to catch Elbow, they finish their UK tour later this month but will be hitting a series of Forrest dates later in the summer which are guaranteed to be something special, check out the rest of their dates here.
The Bones of You
Fly Boy Blue / Lunette
New York Morning
Magnificent (She Says)
Grounds for Divorce
My Sad Captains
One Day Like This