THEY’VE been together for over twenty years and have six critically-acclaimed albums and a host of accolades under their belts, so a lightning storm isn’t going to stop Elbow winning over yet another Glastonbury Festival audience, explains drummer Richard Jupp.
“[English drum and bass act] Rudimental were on not long before us,” he says. “Then the beautiful British summer weather absolutely let rip. It was torrential and then the lightning started. Unfortunately Rudimental had to be pulled off stage, and they were having an amazing set. I was standing at the side of the stage with my wife and son and they were absolutely killing it, but obviously the lightning was a threat. When it did finally stop, Lily Allen – who was on before us – amazingly pulled a couple of tracks out of her set so we could catch up, time-wise. Once she came off our crew played a blinder; they managed to turn over in about half the time it usually takes a band to get on stage, so we were able to get on a couple of minutes early, which was incredible on our crew’s part. Again, we had this sort of Glastonbury moment where the clouds parted, the sun made an appearance and we had that sunset set that we’ve had the last couple of times we’ve played there. I don’t know what’s going on; somebody’s put a word in somewhere, but obviously we were very grateful and it was a proper moment.”
Australian fans can expect similar moments – albeit without the downpour and sunset – as the band has announced a run of October theatre shows, with appearances in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
“When we come to Australia, we’ll be playing the Tivoli again, and a few places we’ve played before; big old theatres,” Jupp says. “Then obviously we’re playing the Sydney Opera House, so we want to do something special there. We’re talking about maybe doing some obscure b-sides like ‘McGreggor’ or ‘Whisper Grass’; I don’t know. Maybe something that lends itself a bit more to the grandeur of the place. I know it’s all seated, and there are a couple of big tunes that might not suit that, so we’ll need to sit down and have a discussion. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can pull out of the bag for that. There’s always stuff we can get better, but so far it’s been brilliant. We’ve been on the road since March; through the UK, a little bit in Europe, America, then back into Europe with Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Moscow and two nights at the Eden Project in the UK. After Latvia we have a couple of weeks off, then well be looking forward to getting to Australia.”
The band’s latest album, the grand and melancholic The Take Off And Landing Of Everything, has received almost universal critical acclaim, and was written at a time when lyricist and singer Guy Garvey had split from his long-term partner. Luckily for the band, the record filled with loss and remorse has gone down well with fans all over the globe.
“There’s obviously a certain amount of ‘thank fuck for that’ when people liked it,” Jupp says. “We have been around for a bit, and you do get a little bit conscious of how we’re perceived. We don’t want to try to compete with all these young bucks, but we really enjoyed the process of writing this one because we all did more a bit more separate writing, then brought it into the studio. It was a new thing for us really, and it worked out really well. Tracks like ‘Real Life (Angel)’; Craig pretty much brought in the complete track and we Elbow-ified it, then Guy spent some time putting lyrics on. Mark wrote all of ‘Honey Sun’; everything on that track is all his. It was a little bit weird; we’re used to doing the writing together all of the time, but it was really nice getting something in a drop box or a transfer with some weird and wonderful sounds that you could take up to the attic and put some beats or a bass-line on. I was able to get into melody, which is always a dangerous thing for a drummer, but it was a really good way of working.”
THE TAKE OFF AND LANDING OF EVERYTHING BY ELBOW IS OUT NOW.
ELBOW TOUR AUSTRALIA IN OCTOBER.