Elbow (Cast of Thousands) … pre-(Grounds for) Divorce

MUSIC OWL AWARD5th – value

When I went: October 2003

Music Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

Location: Newcastle University Students’ Union, Newcastle

Performers: Elbow (supported by Longview)

Creative team: Elbow

Approximate price: £30

Special points: Informal atmosphere where you could sit or stand; Longview’s free mini CDs

Best bit: Grace Under Pressure

If I could change one thing: More killer songs


I remember being so excited about going to see Elbow when I was an adolescent owlet, and really enjoying this gig. Elbow were supported by Longview who some of my friends actually preferred to Elbow, especially as they gave us super-cool mini CDs with a few of their tracks (this was back in the days when people actually listened to CDs and streaming music services were nearly all illegal).

Elbow themselves were confident if slightly low-key. They performed the Cast of Thousands album; the highlight was Grace Under Pressure, although Fugitive Motel was also very well performed.

Since this gig Elbow have arguably become more well-known and mainstream, especially after their hit Grounds for Divorce, but they have maintained the same yearning, melodic, sometimes epic sound. I would definitely like to see them live again to see how their live performances have changed.


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