The Quietus At… Hey Elbow
I’m still perplexed exactly what Hey Elbow’s name is all about. An address to an errant limb joint during a tennis game? A plea to Guy Garvey to stop writing anthems for divorced football fans to bellow along to after seven pints? They are of course much better than either – what struck me about the group on my pre By:Larm listening session was how their mixture of staring-at-a-distant-horizon vocals, brass and guitars reminded my of the great British Sea Power. Live this isn’t far off, though there’s a hint of something more Gothic too, all Cure and Cocteaus. It’d even be rather stately were it not for drummer lad’s rather exotic shirt. Still, we’ll let him off as his off-kilter patterns give the trio’s trumpet and synth (played simultaneously by one band member) and guitars that shimmer just the wrong (ie.right) side of pretty room to move under the clear dawn vocals. Sure to be one of the stand-out acts of By:Larm this year. A hand for Hey Elbow, if you would.