Mercury-Prize-winning Mancunians Elbow have just released their adventurous new fifth album — “build a rocket boys!” — digitally in the states.
They’ve also just been offered a slot opening for U2 at this summer’s Glastonbury Festival — not bad for a little prog-minded combo that started out in their hometown’s dinky Night and Day Café.
We caught up with bandleader Guy Garvey, 37, this week, as he revealed his not-so-secret identity: Every Sunday night, from 10 p.m. to midnight, he’s a smooth-talking DJ on BBC Radio’s Music 6 station, with a show called “Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour.”
“They left me in the attic to do what I want, play what, and it’s great,” he enthuses.
“And the nicest story to do with my radio program is, you know The Watson Twins, right?” he continues. “Well, Leila Watson made me a compilation tape of stuff in and around L.A., and on there she put a Jesca Hoop demo. And when I finally got Jess on the phone on the program, she was in the bath, so I had a long chat with her in the bath about this one song. But she was such a riot on the phone, we asked her if she’d come out and support us on tour in the states. She did, and we became good friends, so the band invited her to support us around Europe, and she went down a storm with the Elbow fans.”
Hoop then fell in love with the group’s tour manager, moved from L.A. to Manchester, and wound up having a breakthrough British success with her last album, “Hunting My Dress.”
“So that’s a lovely set of circumstances that came from a simple compilation tape from Leila Watson — there ya go!”
For more information, visit www.elbow.co.uk.