I bloody love Elbow, me.
I always enjoy photographing Elbow. Whilst they're not the most animated of bands, and they've got consistently tougher to shoot over the years (a combination of less lights and more smoke machines) I still love photographing them. In my opinion, there are few frontmen as charismatic and enchanting as Guy Garvey. Every Elbow show I've shot has been to at least 2000 people, but each time Guy manages to make an Arena feel as intimate as a pub gig, purely by raising a pint.
This show was due to be a special one - firstly, it was Guy's birthday, so pretty much every break in song was greeted with a chorus of "Happy Birthday" from the crowd which he seemed to enjoy, but on this tour Elbow were joined by one of the bands heroes, John Grant. The two had worked together on a song for Elbow's latest album Little Fictions, and John was supporting Bury's finest on this tour as well as joining them for a rendition of Kindling in the encore, which was lovely.
Due to John's planned encore appearance, there was a slight change in the photography arrangements. We were given a three song allowance but this was split across the opening two songs of the set and the first song of the encore. This meant we had an hour to kill between the two sessions, so I took my MacBook with me to crack on with my editing. It was pretty surreal, sitting at the end of the photopit, listening to Elbow, whilst editing pictures of Elbow!
Shooting wise, it was a bit of a tough one to shoot. I was conscious that, the last few times i'd shot Elbow, I'd not really got as many pictures of Craig, Mark and Pete as I would have liked. However, with fate being the cruel witch she can sometimes be, tonight wasn't the night I was going to address this. For our allocated songs the light was at best sparing, and with the stage hazed with smoke, any chance of getting a clean shot of the rest of the band was looking unlikely. The lighting picked up a little at the end of the show for John's appearance, so I still managed to get something, but there is definitely a Guy Garvey theme to my Elbow gallery, again.
Still had a bloody good time, though. Bloody love Elbow, me.