One Day Like This a Year Would See Me Right

We finally saw Elbow on Sunday night. Phil’s seen them once before years ago but I never have. Ever since he introduced me to them a few years ago, they’ve been far and away my favorite band, so I was excited about the show.

There’s something almost ridiculous about Guy Garvey as a frontman. Overweight and bearded, he looks like a bit like Henry the Eighth if Henry the Eighth came from Manchester and liked a few beers. And his on-stage persona is less Mick Jagger and more friendly pub landlord – the kind who welcomes everybody and always has a fire going. And yet it all works and somehow, from the first minute, he just fills the room with warmth and joy and northern friendliness (“steady on, love” he gently reprimanded one over-excited female fan who grabbed his hand a little too tightly).

And that voice!

Never one to get too involved during concerts, I found myself singing every word at the top of my voice, completely without embarrassment and even – God forbid – clapping along with everyone else. They played almost all my favorites (although I was sad not to hear ‘Some Riot’) and I fell in love with a song I hadn’t much enjoyed before.

“Bones of You’ is about the way a song can suddenly transport you to another time and the combination of outstanding lyrics and emotive music is very powerful live.

Here are the lyrics – how brilliant are these?

So I’m there
Charging around with a juggernaut brow
Overdraft, speeches and deadlines to make
Cramming commitments like cats in a sack
Telephone burn and a purposeful gait

When out of a doorway the tentacles stretch
Of a song that I know
And the world moves in slow-mo
Straight to my head
like the first cigarette of the day

And it’s you, and it’s me
And we’re sleeping through the day
And I’m five years ago
And three thousand miles away

Do I have time?
A man of my calibre
Stood in the street like a sleepwalking teenager
No.
And I dealt with this years ago
I took a hammer to every memento
But image on image like beads on a rosary
pulled through my head as the music takes hold
and the sickener hits; I can work till I break
but I love the bones of you
That, I will never escape

And it’s you, and it’s me
And we’re sleeping through the day
And I’m five years ago
And three thousand miles away

And I can’t move my arm
Through the fear that you will wake
And I’m five years ago
And three thousand miles away

I’ve waited a long time to see Elbow and as the concert came to a close with several thousand people singing along to ‘one day like this a year will see me right,’ I realized just how right they were.

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