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Elbow Biography


Home > Music > E > Elbow > Biography


Birth Place: Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, England
Years Active: 1997-present
Genres: Britpop, New Prog, Electronica, Post-rock, Dream Pop


Elbow is a British alternative rock band. Members of the band first played together in 1990 at The Corner Pin pub in Stubbins, Rossendale a borough of Greater Manchester. The band currently retain their original line-up of lead vocalist and lyricist Guy Garvey, guitarist Mark Potter, keyboardist Craig Potter, bassist Pete Turner and drummer Richard Jupp. The band is named after a line in the BBC TV drama The Singing Detective. Character Philip Marlowe says that the word "elbow" is the most sensual word in the English language, not for its definition, but for how it feels to say it.

Their debut album, “Asleep in the Back,” released on V2 in 2001, was hailed as a seminal album of the new millennium, gaining them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and a BRIT Award nomination.

Their second album, “Cast of Thousands” sealed their reputation as innovators in UK music. The title is a reference to their performance at Glastonbury in 2002, when they recorded thousands of people singing, "We still believe in love, so fuck you". That recording was featured on the song “Grace Under Pressure.”

Their third album, “Leaders of the Free World,” was entirely self-produced at Blueprint Studios in Salford, a space the band hired for the duration of their recording sessions. They teamed up with video artists The Soup Collective to produce an integrated music and video DVD.

The band contributed the song "Snowball" to the 2005 War Child benefit album “Help - a Day in the Life.” In addition, an unreleased track titled "Beat for Two" was used in the closing titles of the 2004 film “Inside I'm Dancing.”

In 2006 the band moved to Fiction Records and completed their fourth studio album, “The Seldom Seen Kid” in late 2007, which was produced and mixed by keyboard player Craig Potter. The album, released March 2008, has sold over one million copies to date. The song "Grounds for Divorce" from this album is featured on the trailer for the Coen Brothers' film “Burn After Reading.”

In September 2008, Elbow won the Mercury Music Prize for “The Seldom Seen Kid.” The award was presented to them by Jools Holland. In May 2009, the band won two prestigious Ivor Novello awards, the song “One Day Like This” won the main award for Best Song, and 'Grounds for Divorce' was voted Best Contemporary Song.

Their album titled “Build a Rocket Boys!” was released in March 2011. Like its predecessor, the album was self-produced by the band in Blueprint Studios, Manchester.