Elbow encourage crowd to ‘fall in love’ at V Festival 2009

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Plus Guy Garvey and co defend Manchester after Oasis' no show

Elbow tried to inspire V Festival‘s Chelmsford crowd to “fall in love” during their set this evening (August 23).

Playing the V Stage, the band tried to get the audience to talk to each other between songs, hoping some romance might blossom.

The mass love-in was the brainchild of frontman Guy Garvey as his introduced the track ‘Mirrorball’.

“This about the day after falling in love, if you’ve never fallen in love I recommend you try it,” he wryly advised the crowd.

“Everyone turn to the person next to you and say hello, now turn to the people behind you. Actually that doesn’t work, everyone will be talking to the backs of each others’ heads! Still you never know, you might fall in love this very moment.”

Playing one of their last gigs as the reigning holders of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize – this year’s winner will be announced on September 8 – the band were invited to play an extended set after Oasis were forced to pull out of headlining the festival due to illness.

In fact the two bands’ shared home city of Manchester (Elbow are from Bury, Greater Manchester) was booed by some sections of he crowd as Garvey introduced ‘Station Approach’.

“This song is about our hometown of Manchester,” explained Garvey before quickly adding: “It can be about any hometown!”

However Chelmsford and band were soon “in love” again, as the singer encouraged them to sing along with ‘Grounds For Divorce’.

Later the group gathered around Craig Potter‘s piano for the opening of ‘Weather To Fly’.

“We’ve been a band for 18 years and this is the only song we’ve written about us five, after 18 years we deserve one, don’t we?” explained Garvey of the intimate start, before joking “It’s called ‘Bunch Of Bastards’!”

The group then wrapped up their set by commending tonight’s stand-in headliners Snow Patrol to the crowd before launching into a euphoric rendition of 2008 single ‘One Day Like This’.

Elbow played:

‘Starlings’
‘Bones Of You’
‘Leaders Of The Free World’
‘Mirrorball’
‘Some Riot’
‘Station Approach’
‘Grounds For Divorce’
‘The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver’
‘Newborn’
‘Weather To Fly’
‘One Day Like This’

NME.COM will be coming live from both the V Festival sites this weekend (August 22-23). Stay tuned to NME.COM/festivals/v-festival for news reports, blogs, video interviews and photos from the event. Plus get next Wednesday’s (August 26) issue of NME for the ultimate V Festival review.