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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Elbow: From "Build a Rocket Boys" to "Brew a Beer, Boys"!

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.


Neil, Eating isn't Cheating said...

"Throw these curtains wide/one day like this a year would see me right" Is a great line. I love the Yorkshire colloquialism of it.

Source Deli said...

I share your love of this band, my favourite lyric being:

So yes I guess I'm asking you
To back a horse that's good for glue
And nothing else
But find a man that's truer than,
Find a man that needs you more than I

The other reason they fit with Robinsons, as me and the family travel around the hillier parts of the north west, we're forever refreshing ourselves in a number of their pubs. This like their songs is a scene of toil mixed with breathtaking beauty.

Anonymous said...

so why did they choose such a dull brewer to make their beer?love Elbow hate Robinsons boring beer.cheers john

Anonymous said...

"Don't they know those days are golden? Build a rocket, boys!" Favourite lyric by far and can't wait to try this beer.

SteveF said...

Yorkshire colloquialism!?!?!?!?!

I demand a retraction!

Source Deli said...

To stick up for Robinson's. Some of their range may be Meh, but don't forget they produce Old Tom. An amazing rich and strong ale.

Terry Dicks said...

How come so many beer people love this bunch? Having seen Seldom Seen Kid played at Glasto, can't play One Day like This without a lump in my throat. That then makes me thirsty - Beer ! Ah - the link :-)

Mark said...

Will be looking out for this. Saw them at Glasto this year and, for me, they were one of the best acts of the festival.


Ian Williams said...

Interesting to read this article in the Beer magazine but I can top it. When I ran the WC Brewery I brewed a beer for the Family Mahone (Mark Radcliffe's band). They came up with the name and liked it so much they used the name for their next album with the pumpclip as the cover. A quick search of "Mahone Brew" can attest to this. Beat that Elbow!