“DO YOU NOT KNOW what my favourite Elbow song is?” asks Guy Garvey, in the new issue of MOJO. Surprisingly, the question isn’t being put to MOJO’s interviewer, but to the rest of his band. Guitarist Mark Potter doesn’t know. Mark's younger brother, keyboardist Craig thinks it might be Lippy Kids from 2011’s Build A Rocket Boys! But in fact, it’s Great Expectations, from 2005 album Leaders Of The Free World. “Yes! That’s my favourite Elbow track! Did nobody know that?”
In an honest and revealing interview Garvey opens up to MOJO’s Pete Paphides about his anonymous new life in New York – “I’m just this 40 year-old man in a yellow raincoat, sitting in cafés, observing, just like I was once [in Manchester].”
Garvey talks also about the impact of the breakdown of his engagement to novelist Emma Unsworth on Elbow’s latest album, The Take-Off And Landing Of Everything.
“You do feel a sense of loss and guilt,” he tells MOJO. “Nobody did anything wrong, and it was the right time for it to end – but that’s unusual to feel over a split. We’d both been trying to hold it together for a long time, out of respect and love for one another.”
Garvey goes on to reveal that Elbow have two celebrated new fans: Yoko Ono and Alan Bennett.
Yoko wrote to thank Garvey for a name-check on New York Morning while Bennett sent Garvey a copy of his 2011 book Smut, with a dedication on the inside cover that read “Dear Guy, I boast about knowing you.”
Next came a postcard from Bennett that mentioned another Northern pop star. “Morrissey was a fan of mine,” it read, “but all he was interested in was my friendship with Little Jimmy Clitheroe.”
There’s more Elbow, plus features on Jack White, Sean Lennon, The Slits, The The and Led Zeppelin, plus an in-depth review of Morrissey’s best album in 20 years, and more, in the new issue of MOJO magazine, on sale in the UK now.
PHOTO: Rachael Wright