Live Review: elbow bombay bicycle club hordern pavillion

3 April 2012 | 7:08 am | Beck

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Apparently, you're not allowed to write “love” 350 odd times and have it count as a review, which is a bugger really, because trying to describe the lusciousness of Elbow with the scant vocabulary that the English language affords us is tricky.

Not so difficult with Bombay Bicycle Club. Whilst they appear to be fresh-faced and lovely lads who have proud mums waiting at home for them, they fell a little flat. Yes, it's a big room when it's half-empty on a Monday night and yes, they appeared to be giving it their all but, meh. It was all a bit scattered and disjointed and it did feel as though they were name-checking all the “correct” influences.

In contrast, the wonder that is Elbow took to the stage and were immediately greeted by waves of love and respect from the enthusiastic audience whose ages appeared to range from 16 to 65. And it was mutual. Every member of the band grinned from ear to ear as they took up their instruments and the love-in got into full swing. How truly wonderful to hear a band that can fully realise the exquisite pain and bitterness of loss and longing as faithfully live as they do in the studio. A band who knows how important a properly constructed setlist – with ebb and flow, light and shade, old and new – is to the overall success of the night. A band that have gotten the closest to capturing joy on tape as anyone else ever has. And a frontman in Guy Garvey with charm and wit, who is just humble enough but knows what he has at his back when he introduces the sublime The Bones Of You by saying, “This one's a good one” – and it's only the second song in.

We were treated to Grounds For Divorce and The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver and delighted to hear newbies that are already classics like The Birds and The Night Will Always Win. With an encore that started with Starlings and finished with the audience singing more than decent harmonies to One Day Like This, a more uplifting Monday night is hard to come by. What a joyous noise. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

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