I love the band, Elbow, for a great many reasons. And even though it's the greatest cliche in popular music history, I've loved them since their early stuff.
As a wordsmith, even one of the everyday hack variety, I love Elbow for lyrics such as:
"I'm proud to be the one to hold you when the shakes begin"
"You little sod I love your eyes/be everything to me tonight"
"Grow a fucking heart, love"
"Throw these curtains wide/one day like this a year would see me right"
"We still believe in love, so fuck you"
"Dear friends/you are angels and drunks/you are Magi"
"You were freshly painted angels/walking on walls/stealing booze/and hour long, hungry kisses"
"The violins explode inside me when I meet your eyes/and I'm spinning and I'm falling like a cloud of Starlings.............darling is this love?"
I love them because of their cleverness, their instrumentation, their openness.
I love them because they are five crumpled northern blokes who look like they could be my mates. (And I secretly love the fact that people keep telling me I look a little bit like lead singer Guy Garvey, especially around the saggy, weary eyes).
I love them because Guy Garvey genuinely seems like one of the nicest men in the world (I'd love to see him and Andy Moffat from the Redemption brewery each trying to buy the other a pint - I really wouldn't bet on who would crack first and accept the other's hospitality rather than give it).
I love them because they absolutely reek of the pub. I know they spend their time in pubs, and their music feels like it was born in pubs, it feels like that's where it should be performed, even though it works in vast arenas and on Glastonbury's main stage.
And now I love them because they've brewed their own beer:
The beer itself is not news: it was announced a good few weeks ago now, and is just about to be launched. It'll be officially launching at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, where I'm attempting to arrange an interview with them about the beer.
What's new is that the beer is now going to be available in bottle, so fans outside the north west can enjoy it. And that a percentage of profits will be donated to Oxfam. Because they're really nice lads.
If I can anticipate the inevitable "Why did they choose such a dull brewer to work with?" comments - Elbow specifically selected Robinsons because they wanted to work with a brewer local to them in the north west. And if I was to imagine what an Elbow beer is like, it's not some flashy, hop-heavy imbalanced beer: an Elbow beer is an accessible, traditional beer, one of those pints you'd have with your dad when you go back home, one of those beers that you can drink a few pints of, is balanced, fruity with a dry finish. And that's exactly the kind of beer Elbow went for. So long as it's done well, there's always a place for it, and Robinsons brew it perfectly well.
There will soon be a website for the beer, telling you where you can get it and stuff.
In the meantime, if you can't get the Build a Rocket Boys! beer, you can still get the Build a Rocket Boys album, and if you haven't done that yet, I suggest you do.