With a gorgeous sunset which swathed the Main Stage in a deep red light, frankly the evening called for a band such as Elbow. Enticed onstage by a string section to the building opening track, 'The Birds', Guy Garvey already had the crowd in the palm of his hands; leading by example and orchestrating the crowd at his will to wave their arms at his command. Slowly the track swelled and, directed by Garvey's soothing vocals, the strings grew to the forefront which gifted the track a strident glory.
Few could refuse Garvey's instantly uplifting persona, especially after such a gloomy day of seemingly endless drizzle and were lifted by his increasingly booming voice during 'The Bones Of You'. His antics lifted the set, if only for his winning sentiment as he implored the crowd to join him in shouting "Fuck the rain". Though it did not prevent further rainfall that evening, the quaint keys and peaceful strings during 'Mirrorball' eased any worries.
To enliven the set the band then opted for the steadfast guitar and stomp of 'Neat Little Rows' before Garvey gave in-depth singing lessons in preparation for 'Grounds For Divorce'. The effect was stunning, not only audibly but visually as views were suitably obstructed for waving arms. With an audience now paying him unsullied attention, Garvey launched into a brief anti-riots statement before solemn and inspirational renditions of 'The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver' then 'Lippy Kids'.
Urgent guitar and booming percussion gifted Garvey's voice almost celestial backing during 'Open Arms' meaning that the inevitable rain and mud could be forgotten for the ever triumphant 'One Day Like This' amidst intricate harmonies and lithe guitar all orchestrated by Garvey. Indeed, only Elbow could make such a grey evening appear so glorious.