Elbow star Guy Garvey tells of band's beginnings in Tottington

Elbow singer Guy Garvey

Elbow singer Guy Garvey

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ELBOW singer Guy Garvey has spoken of the group’s beginnings at a church hall in Tottington when their drum kit was held together with “bits of chemistry set”.

The internationally-renowned band, who went on to perform at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London, met in 1990 and trace their beginnings back to their first rehearsal at St Anne’s church hall.

Guy, aged 40, from Prestwich, told of the five-piece group’s formative years when he was the guest on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs programme on Sunday.

He said: “Our first rehearsal was at St Anne’s Church Hall in Tottington, and (Richard) Jupp’s drum kit was held together with bits of chemistry set, and I didn’t have a microphone stand, and we were all going through one tiny little piece of equipment to make a noise of any kind.

“I remember we played Johnny B Goode, and the introduction to a Simple Minds song. We only knew the intro to Don’t You Forget About Me, but I remember saying to them, we will be signed in six months.”

In reality, it took them another seven years to get a record deal, eventually releasing their debut album Asleep in the Back in 2001.

Guy also spoke of how he had a troubled education, saying he “fell out” with school at the age of 12, around the time that his parents divorced.

After a poor GCSE results, he decided that further education was not for him, but was told otherwise by his sister.

He said: “Our Gina said ‘what sixth form college are you going to’, and I said, ‘I am not’, she was like, ‘you bleedin’ are’, and she literally marched me up and enrolled me in Stand College in Whitefield.

“I still didn’t go to my classes. I got kicked out every term, apart from the last one, when two of the GCSEs I re-sat I managed to scrape Cs at.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that age, but I started singing in the common room, showing off initially in any way I could, just being loud and singing, and that’s where I met Mark and the rest of the boys.”

In a wide ranging interview with presenter Kirsty Young, Guy, one of seven children, said that meeting actor Timothy Spall was the highlight of appearing at the Olympics closing ceremony in 2012.

He also revealed that the group, comprised of brothers Mark and Craig Potter, Richard Jupp and Pete Turner, managed to evade the strict ban on alcohol at the event, by stashing it in the equipment belonging to Madness, who also performed at the global event.

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