Elbow @ Palace Theatre, Melbourne (Wed 27 Jul 2011)

went to this 12 years ago

Elbow are, in my opinion, one the finest acts you could ever see live, and tonight’s gig was no different. This was my fourth outing to an Elbow show, and I’m lucky enough to be seeing them at Splendour In The Grass this Sunday as well.

Tonight was also my first time to The Palace in Melbourne. Lovely room and a fair deal larger than The Metro in Sydney, where I last saw them play in 2009.

Build A Rocket Boys! is Elbow’s latest release, and to honest, it hasn’t grabbed me as much as their previous albums. There are certainly some very Elbow tunes in there (Lippy Kids & Neat Little Rows are favourites), but there also feels to be more of a ‘middle of the road’ vibe this album. I’m not sure what it is, but it almost feels as though this release isn’t as adventurous as their first four albums.

With that said, I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy this show in comparison to previous gigs. Within a few short bars into set-opener, The Birds, I knew my fears could be allayed. In typical Elbow fashion, the sound was immense, the playing faultless and Guy Garvey’s stage banter hilarious even when speaking about the seemingly mundane.

Around half the set was from The Seldom Seen Kid, with the rest being pulled from Build A Rocket Boys! and Leaders Of The Free World. I definitely would have loved some of the older tracks such as Switching Off or Scattered Black and Whites, but with a two hour set, and a new album to play one can’t expect everything. Truth be told, if I could have written the setlist, the show would have gone for two days instead of two hours.

The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver is one of my favourite Elbow songs, and hearing it again tonight was a real treat. Having that song blast through headphones with your eyes closed is a real goose bumps moment- try it sometime if you haven’t already. Hearing it live is even better.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Elbow again this Sunday. Splendour is my favourite of the festivals and every year when the lineup is announced, I always hope for Elbow to be there. This year my wish came true. Here’s to hoping they’re not bollocks on the day!

Well, this is being written on a plane as I fly up from Melbourne to Splendour and it’s time to land. See you at the Amphitheatre at 6:15 on Sunday night.

Setlist and some pics below- I also took some video which I’ll upload when I get to a decent internet connection (probably not until I’m home late next week) is now uploaded and below the photos.


  1. The Birds
  2. The Bones of You
  3. Mirrorball
  4. Neat Little Rows
  5. Grounds For Divorce
  6. The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver
  7. Great Expectations
  8. The River
  9. Lippy Kids
  10. Weather to Fly
  11. Open Arms


  1. Starlings
  2. Station Approach
  3. One Day Like This






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went to this 12 years ago