Guy Garvey's Swan Song

The Elbow frontman's ideal final day
Guy Garvey's Swan Song

How would you spend your last day alive? Guy Garvey is off for egg and chips.

Where would you like to wake up?

On the Isle of Mull in a friend’s house where Elbow have written many records, with the warm feeling in my belly that I was drunk on too much red wine the night before, but I‘d finished a brilliant song.

What would you like to achieve on your last day?

Let’s pretend I’ve been training for my pilot’s licence. I’d like to take off in a two-seater sea plane from the loch in Mull and land it expertly in the little boating lake at Heaton Park. Which interestingly has a pair of my spectacles at the bottom of it from my last day at school in 1990.

You host a last supper: who’s coming, and what’s on the menu?

I have a sprawling and excellent crew. We’ll meet at The Coffee  Pot on Stevenson Square and have a simple but classic ‘egg and chips’-type tea before heading to the Temple of Convenience, saying goodbye to all my favourite boozers en route. The band would be there, my family would be there and all my most excellent friends.

What would be your biggest regret?

That I never learned another language. I love the sound of Urdu.

Who is the last person you would kiss?

Emma Jane Unsworth, the prettiest girl ever to  spring from Prestwich.

What is the last song you want to hear?

I’m having two. I quite often like to cleanse my aural palate with something so preposterous it can barely be classed as music, before getting my teeth into something I know is fantastic. A starter of ‘MacArthur Park by Jimmy Webb, which has the most ridiculous, hysterical chorus, which Richard Harris sings so sincerely it can’t possibly be serious. “MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark / All the sweet, green icing flowing down / Someone left the cake out in the rain / I don’t think that I can take it / ’Cause it took so long to bake it / And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh no”. Followed  with ‘All The Morning Birds’ by Jolie Holland, the sweetest voice  in history singing a beautiful song about love and friendships.

What would your deathbed confession be?

I’ve stolen from most of my employers, and I don’t get Nirvana. What would your final words be? ‘All the money, all the jewels, the fabulous riches I’ve spent my life accumulating, it’s all…..in…..the…..rugaguggh..’

How would you like to die?

How does any red blooded man want to die?!

Who would you like to meet at the Pearly Gates?

Bryan Glancy with Harold Lloyd, John Lennon and Katharine Hepburn. THAT would be a party!

Describe your vision of Heaven.

It’s a high-topped oak bar. It’s  permanently early evening  spring. There’s something wistful and beautiful on the jukebox, maybe ‘Women Of Ireland’ by The Chieftains, and I’ve got the perfect anecdote for the conversation - they’ve all heard it before and NOBODY minds hearing it again.

If you could be resurrected the next day, what would you come back as?

I’m nosey at best, obsessively voyeuristic at worst, so something invisible that can really sneak around invading people’s privacy.

‘Dead In The Boot’, a collection of Elbow  b-sides, is out now.

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