Elbow at Edinburgh Castle; “Favorite concert of my life”, says singer Guy Garvey

They can take the biggest hall and turn it into a party hall in terms of privacy and audience involvement.

© Elbow on stage at Edinburgh Castle

Add to that the wow factor of playing in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and you have the setting for the perfect show.

“Well, that’s lovely,” Guy Garvey said as he worked the crowd off the bat, raising huge cheers with the ad-lib line “Boris free days” in the opening number, Dexter & Sinister.

He returned to the sheer joy of the set, thinking about the history of the castle as the band delivered a beautiful set filled with highlights.

Garvey’s wonderful rapport with the crowd—down to earth, engaging, and laugh-out-loud funny—was reflected in the generosity of credits given to band members after each song.

They’ve been together for three decades almost entirely unchanged, and the bond between them has been evident throughout. They are masters of their craft who all bring their own skills to a sound that can range from whisper to scream, often in the same song.

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Mirrorball was absolutely stunning, as was What I Am Without You, the only cut from their wonderful new album.

My Sad Captains had Garvey leading the entire audience, while the set ended with a cheery Grounds For Divorce that brought everyone to their feet.

The encore may have been limited to just two songs, but what two; Lippy Kids, then the anthem One Day Like This, the song that will always define Elbow.

Somewhere among all the gems, Garvey found time for a Mexican wave around the bleachers and a reverse Mexican wave on the plaza that created a giant human ripple.

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Returning for the encore, he sang the first line of Sunshine On Leith and let the crowd take over, before sparking another chant as he walked off stage with the opening words of Flower of Scotland.

“Truly, this was my favorite concert of my entire life,” he said.

Many in the crowd would echo that sentiment.

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