Manchester always gets behind their own bands and with Elbow there's no exception. They may not have the wide appeal of Oasis but Manchester swinging to a different beat right now and whether its the dance grooves of Nylon Pylon or the downbeat tempo of Elbow there's something for everybody. We caught up with Pete and Craig to discuss the Mercury Music Prize nomination, building bridges with the residents of Bury and the all important second album.

Q: A headline show at the Ritz in Manchester. After all the set-backs you've had, it's almost like a two fingered salute to any of your detractors
Pete: We'll the Apollo's the next one isn't it, skip the Academy because it's a shit venue. I saw Mogwai here a few years back and then Doves played here...and as everyone already know, we just do what Doves do.

Craig: It's mad to think that just a few years ago we were working at the Roadhouse (Legendary Manchester venue). We worked there before we got our deal with Island and then went back after we got dropped. We'll probably be back in there again next year.

Pete: It was weird actually because I remember when you used to get touring bands and they'd have the tour bus outside, you waited on them hand and foot and then you were there sweeping the floor at the end of the night. We were always very confident we'd get there and I knew we had the songs - we've always had that quiet confidence.

Q: The Mercury Music Prize a couple of months back. Must have been a real strange one with the events earlier that day?
Craig: The evening was really strange because we thought it might have been called off. It was just a really strange atmosphere with everyone trying to get into it.

Pete: We'd spent a really long time looking forward to it and obviously it was overshadowed. There wasn't really much of a vibe there but we got pissed in the end...

Craig: ...basically we got shit-faced and from then on we didn't give a fuck about America!!!

Pete: Seriously though. It got to the point where we all just said "lets just switch the TV off" because we'd found ourselves at this Awards show while all this shit was going off.

Q: I hear you're not best friends with Bury's tourist board. After the NME article you couldn't imagine how many people were writing complaints letter to the local papers and the like. Do you stick by what you said or was it taken out of context?
Pete: The thing is were kind of wary about talking about because all it basically amounted to was a few flippant comments. We all have family and friend in Bury, we all grew up there with trouble free and its just a few flippant comments that have followed us around.

Craig: The NME just jumped on it cos' they obviously can't think of anything else to talk about.

Pete: They missed out a lot of nice things we said about it. Bury does has it problems but its no different from any other small town - there's village idiots the same as any other place.

Q: The album "Asleep In The Back" was written about Guy's experience in Bury. Are you thinking about the next album yet?
Pete: Were trying to write whenever we can. Its hard to tell what its going to be like at the moment, but the thing that I can hear at the moment when I listen to the songs is that its typical of us in the sense that its five people writing with different influences...it doesn't sound like anything else I know really. We've got a song called "Whisper Grass" which I was listening to earlier today and it just struck me that it was very Elbow.

The music usually comes before the lyrics and I just think that the very morose moody side is what we'd listen to ourselves. Its because we like that music, but were certainly not miserable people. In the early days we were writing really bad funk and the idea was to get signed with the funkier poppy songs and then bring are usual tracks to the table.

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