The hottest ticket at this year’s Manchester International Festival isn’t Kraftwerk’s groundbreaking collaboration with composer Steve Reich, nor is it Damon Albarn and Adam Curtis’ spooky exploration of the American dream.

No, probably the most highly anticipated event of the two-week festival is Elbow’s gig next Thursday, playing with the most over-the-top backing group a band could ever hope for — the Halle orchestra.

So how did the Bury boys end up causing such a stir at the most prestigious festival in the North West?

“We were asked ages ago,” says bassist Pete Turner. “It was way before the Abbey Road session that we did, it was a long time ago. Obviously we jumped at it because it’s an absolute honour to be able to do a gig with the Halle.

“I spoke to Joe Duddell who’s responsible for everything really and he knew our music before and thought that it would lend itself well to having the Halle behind it.“ Anyone who was lucky enough to get a ticket will be able to experience a once in a lifetime show.

“It’s really what Joe, who is arranging and conducting, thought would work best,” said Pete, “so some of the structures and arrangements in songs that people think they know will work differently.

“There’s a great choir there —- I think in total we’re about 100 strong. It’s going to be loads of fun and a proper celebration of Manchester. We’ve got some surprise people coming in on the night.”

For those who missed out, the festival organisers have arranged for a live video feed to be relayed to a giant screen in the Castlefield Arena. It’s a free event, but considering the popularity of the concert it would be wise to get there early to guarantee a space.

Elbow as we know them formed in 1997, and their 2001 debut Asleep In The Back was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and a Brit Award. They followed it up with the innovative Cast of Thousands and the critically acclaimed Leaders of the Free World.

However it was at this point in 2005 that things seemed to falter for the boys. Leaders of the Free World, although lauded by the reviewers, sold poorly and the band found themselves dropped from their record label V2. Undaunted they started work on The Seldom Seen Kid, which they produced entirely themselves before being signed to indie label Fiction. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, having won the Mercury Music Prize, two Ivor Novello awards, a South Bank Show award and numerous other plaudits, they have cemented their place as the very best of the British bands around today. But there are no airs and graces here, it seems. As excited as they are about a summer packed with festivals and culminating in an MEN Arena date, they are also looking forward to getting their heads down and going back to work.

“Now we’re just looking forward to getting back to normal life and doing everyday stuff,” says Pete. “The lads have families now so we have to be sensitive to that. It’ll be good getting back to a regular routine.”

But does he not find it odd going back to doing the housework as well as being in one of the biggest bands in the country?

“I like hoovering, it helps me relax!” he said. “Hoovering or the ironing or something. It’s nice getting home from somewhere where everything’s done for you and doing it yourself.

“Making a normal tea — fish fingers and mashed potatoes and peas or something by yourself, it’s a really nice thing.”

And with that, Pete is off to do some housework, although not before I have the chance to ask him what the soundtrack is to his domestic life.

“I’ve been revisiting Faith No More a little bit with them playing recently,” he says. “Interpol are my favourite band so I listen to them a lot. “It needs to be something that you can hear over the hoover.”

l Elbow and the Halle, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Thursday July 9. Sold out.