When I get to ‘S’ in an A-Z challenge, I always feel like I’m on the home straight. Although there are still seven letters to go, psychologically I feel like I’ve done most of the hard work. Of course ‘psychologically’ does not begin with ‘S’, even though it sounds like it should. So I’m probably talking nonsense.
S is for The Seldom Seen Kid
Elbow’s fourth album was the other CD that my sister bought me for my 29th birthday, alongside Red by the Guillemots (which was yesterday’s album du jour). Initially I preferred the Guillemots offering as that was more instantly accessible (though ultimately also more disposable) but The Seldom Seen Kid really did grow on me over time.
Elbow don’t often seem like the most exciting of bands but I’ve seen them in concert a few times and they are quite phenomenal as a live act. I think seeing them live does put a different spin on their music and certainly I always leave a gig feeling like they are a much better band than I thought they were when I went in.
I do like all of their back catalogue, but The Seldom Seen Kid still stands out as the band’s best album. It won the Mercury music prize too, which is no small feat.
Mrs Proclaims and I were listening to it quite a lot in the build-up to our wedding, to the extent that our first dance was to one of the more obscure tracks of the album – An Audience With The Pope. I’m not sure we’d choose that song now, but it spoke to us at the time. Or rather these particular lyrics summed up my feelings about my soon-to-be-wife:
“I have an audience with the Pope
And I’m saving the world at eight
But if she says she needs me, she says she needs me
Everybody’s going to have to wait”
The song we obviously didn’t choose for our first dance though, was the one that is arguably the most recognisable track off the album – Ground for Divorce.