LIVE REVIEW: Elbow welcomed with open arms at Doncaster Dome

Elbow's Guy Garvey at Doncaster Dome. (Photo: Robin Burns).
Elbow's Guy Garvey at Doncaster Dome. (Photo: Robin Burns).

Losing a band member of more than 25 years standing often leads to acrimony, bitter break-ups and substandard following material.

Elbow waved farewell to Richard Jupp, the band's drummer since 1990 last year and their latest album, Little Fictions, is their first without him.

To say its been a turbulent time for the Bury-based rockers, there was no sign of it in a swelteringly hot Dome where old classics were mingled seamlessly with tracks from the aforementioned Fictions.

Opening with ironically, drum-laden Gentle Storm, frontman Guy Garvey is ready to lead us once more into his world of soaring vocals, sweeping strings, lush orchestral arrangements, all interspersed with that trademark "cheeky chappy" banter which has made him such an icon.

And there's no bad feeling towards Jupp, Garvey encouraging the audience to give the departed drummer a respectful round of applause, well earned for his work on classic albums like The Seldom Seen Kid and Build A Rocket Boys.

Beautifully melancholy tracks such as Mirrorball (backed up with two giant mirrorballs, natch) and New York Morning effortlessly combine sad and yet uplifting at the same time. Quite how Garvey manages that is a mystery, but one he pulls off with aplomb.

This is a stripped back Elbow - no fancy stage backdrops or projections, just songs and Garvey reaching out his arm-swaying audience with amusing vignettes peppered between the songs, like a preacher passing on his wit and wisdom to his flock.

Scattered Black And Whites is dedicated to his sister Becky, who proudly waves down at her brother from the balcony to loud cheers from the audience and by the time we get round to closing the set with One Day Like This, he's got the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands with a beautiful "throw those curtains wide" singalong and humalong.

Whistle-fuelled Lippy Kids and its minimal piano backing and then a snarling, noisy Grounds For Divorce, which sees Garvey smashing away at a couple of drums brings things to a truly uplifting (and in the words of the band, "magnficient" conclusion.

There's always room for Elbow in Doncaster. And our hearts.