Elbow: International Arena, Cardiff
Jude Rogers, Observer, The, 27 March 2011
TONIGHT, CARDIFF'S premier gig-shed has turned into a family parlour. Five picture frames hang from the stage, gold and old-fashioned, each of them holding a member of Elbow. Every now and then, each portrait breaks its composure – to scratch a nose, brush a sleeve, or, in Guy Garvey's case, exhale like Henry VIII after a particularly heavy supper. Eventually the lights lower, the frames empty, and the band arrive for real, raising half-empty pint glasses like welcome flags. The gesture is returned by 7,500 people – and before a note has been played, the audience is theirs.
Total word count of piece: 770