Belfast Telegraph

Why I'd give surly critics the elbow

By Jane Graham

I went to see Elbow in Glasgow last week. I arrived flustered and grumpy after a day of sick children, squeezed deadlines and unreliable public transport, but within 10 minutes of Guy Garvey's avuncular stage chatter, and some of the most soulful and elevating live music I've floated in for a long time, I was at peace with the world.

Well, almost. I've been reviewing live music since I was 19, which has meant I've not often had to pay for a ticket.

A fantastic privilege indeed but it does mean I usually have to sit amongst other critics. Bummer.

Critics don't dance, don't sing along or throw their hands in the air. Often they don't even clap. They stare ahead, looking unamused.

As a committed joiner-in, I'm a bit of a pariah in the critic pit, but I just don't get it. Especially at an Elbow gig.

Most of you are speccy beardos, guys - cool went out the door years ago!

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