It was all old theatres and we found it much more relaxing. It’s more for the fans who have been there from the beginning.”After that, however, it’s boldly forward into a new era.
There are eight Elbow nippers knocking about the place now.
“It’s brought out the best in all of them,” he says.
Everybody in the band is a gentleman,” he says, attempting to explain why Elbow have lasted without line-up changes or punch-ups for close to 25 years — only the past seven of which have been as a widely adored, Mercury- and BRIT-winning success story.
Even their manager, Phil Chadwick, has been with them since the start and is from Bury like the rest of them.
He has since transformed her study in the house they shared in Prestwich into what he calls “the Silly Room”, a cosy space decorated with records, radios and a model of the Titanic. I’ve only met him briefly but he sounds like a great bloke. Plus we’ve still got our joint ideas account.”They maintain their shared love of words.
Now single and throwing himself into multiple new projects — writing a semi-memoir inspired by his striking lyrics; music for a proposed remake of Billy Liar; the theme song for a new Simon Pegg film called Man Up; next week’s “intimate” Elbow theatre tour and the solo album — he claims to have no regrets.“I was with my ex last night. “I don’t have to miss her, do you know what I mean? The line, “The way the day begins decides the shade of everything” appears in both her book, Animals, and the Elbow song New York Morning, because they can’t remember who came up with it.They want to carry on using that as a way to work faster — he says there should be a couple of surprise EPs later this year before another album appears. An album is a mountain to climb but with an EP you tend to loosen up and be more creative. It’s a really nice place to be for 20 minutes.”And he’s racing forwards with solo material too, again working differently.He only writes with his team around him, in Elbow’s studio, Blueprint, around the corner from the pub where we’re sitting.They include the band’s three-piece horn section, Bat for Lashes drummer Alex Reeves, Garvey’s best mate Pete Jobson — who plays bass in I Am Kloot but is on guitar here — and Elbow’s cellist Chris Worsey.Garvey, who can’t read or write music, gets the latter to transcribe his ideas.First, it’s my turn to have a long chat, during which it becomes obvious why the 40-year-old is in such demand as a BBC 6 Music DJ, a spokesman for his hometown and leader of a band that music writers are now contractually obliged to describe as national treasures.