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Live Review: Elbow, Playwrite

28 October 2014 | 4:22 pm | Rebecca Neilsen

A seamless web of aural perfection

Playwrite are from Melbourne. They are enthusiastic, obviously accomplished, energetic and very, very, very on trend with their chanting, drum heavy, anthemic harmonies.

In this case not such a bad thing. They could afford to find some middle ground between the beltingly rhythmic faster tracks and the floaty melancholy of their quieter soundscapes, but that’s nothing time won’t fix. We could all do a lot worse than embrace their debut album next year.

Elbow, however, have already been embraced, tightly, jealously and wholeheartedly by this crowd. There’s no hint of “come and prove you’re worth our money” attitude in this room tonight. It’s love rippling from the audience to the stage and back again. It’s not sycophantic and idealistic, there are no pedestals, we know why we’re here and from note one we are not disappointed.

The art of the setlist is not dead, every song seeming to flow perfectly into the next, making them not only glorious on their own but melting into a seamless web of aural perfection. You read that right – Perfection. Charge, from their latest, The Take Off & Landing Of Everything, lulls us into Bones Of You without screaming “I’m a new song!” There’s an excellence of consistency with Elbow that is extraordinary and tonight’s songs are a perfect example of that. Of course there is the known and expected beauty of Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver and The Birds, but if you didn’t know that Fly Boy Blue/Lunette, “Real Life (Angel) and New York Morning were new songs you could be forgiven.

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Grounds For Divorce, Great Expectations, Lippy Kids. The gang’s all here and all welcomed with open arms and by the encore’s close of One Day Like This, we’re all believing what we’re singing: “one day like this a year would see me right.”