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We never discuss it or anything, it’s just the way we do it.” In one of its most musically dark moments, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ even tackles the subject of sex versus Catholicism; a big problem for Garvey as a “hairy palmed teenager” - much to Turner’s surprise this afternoon. “You can imagine reaching for your fella and thinking he upstairs is watching.” “Is that the deal with Catholicism then? “Yeah, cause once you’re in, he’s (God) going, 'You shouldn’t be doing that,'” answers Garvey. ” responds Turner, hypothetically, whilst reaching for his beer.
“Jesus.” When he can stop laughing, he takes a sip.
Clearly then, now is not the time for someone to pull out a Frisbee.
“So all this great news was happening,” Garvey enthuses, picking up the tale on the day of their comeback show at Porchester Hall in London at the beginning of February, “and our violinist, Jyoti, had just come back from Barbados and she literally came from the airport and she had all her luggage with her and she opened the case and she had a fucking Frisbee with her.
Since the release of their third album, ‘Leaders Of The Free World’, in 2005, two members of the band, all now in their thirties, have become fathers again; Garvey has eased into the role of a part-time radio presenter and fallen in love again; and, following yet more label troubles, they’ve signed a more sustainable record deal with Polydor imprint Fiction.
To top that off, their latest album, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, looks set to finally provide Elbow with the commercial success that the consistent critical acclaim has always advocated.
“Whenever anything’s gone wrong we’ve been playing Frisbee - which is absolutely the truth.” It transpires that when Elbow suffered their first real significant dose of bad luck, losing their first record deal with Island in 1998 following the labels acquisition by the Universal Music Group, they were tossing a Frisbee, “all be it, with a paint lid”.
Then, when bad luck came knocking again and they lost their last album due to a woeful marketing spend, they were in guitarist Mark Potter’s garden, you guessed it, playing with a Frisbee. Recently, however, the luck’s been on Elbow’s side.
As they order another round of drinks, which this time sees Garvey convince - admittedly with not much trouble – Turner to join him in having a double tequila and ginger, it’s hard to understand why two-fifths of Elbow can still go unnoticed in a pub.
Critical credit for their first three albums, and now, inevitably the fourth as well, has always been unswerving.
“Mark put it very succinctly in his way, he said, ‘you don’t need a record company to make records.’ We made music for ourselves and for our own pleasure for ten years before we went anywhere near a record label.” Garvey’s Mancunian accent always warms an extra degree when he talks about Mark Potter.