Guy Garvey: Courting the Squall review – Elbow frontman's gently experimental solo debut


After a quarter of a century spent playing with the same band, you might imagine Guy Garvey would be full of pent-up creative frustration. Perhaps it’s a testament to Elbow’s inter-band harmony, then, that his debut solo outing contains no grindcore rants called Fuck the North or I Hate Pints. Instead, it remains not a million miles from familiar ground – Broken Bottles and Chandeliers, a ballad that unfurls slowly around his distinctive bruised croon, is especially Elbow-like. But the differences are not so slight as to make the project pointless: there’s a diversion into smoky Parisian jazz on Electricity, while Yesterday boasts the percussive clatter of Tom Waits and climaxes with an almost madrigalesque melody. How much you value such gently experimental foraging over Elbow’s typically rousing melodies might determine your enjoyment of this: it certainly leans towards the former.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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