Elbow – Real Life (Angel) (2014)

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I think ‘Real Life (Angel)’ is my favourite song on there at the moment. I’ve listened to it a dozen or more times and I’m still not sure what it’s about. Someone struggling with an addiction?

GG: No. It’s a heartbroken friend. It’s very much about someone close to me who was heartbroken. It’s me talking about them, giving them advice, telling them to dance it out. It’s basically saying this is who you are; I am your friend; we are your friends. Do whatever you have to do to get through it, namely, dance away the heartaches. My methods can be more extreme – I fucked off to New York. That was my method of dealing with it.

Did that work?

GG: Yeah, it did. If you really, really invest yourself in something and it comes to an end, whether it’s right or not that it comes to an end – and in my case it was right that it came to an end – you’ve got an awful lot of self-examination to do. There’s nowhere better to do that than a place where nobody knows you. Nobody knows who you are in the States. Obviously there are Elbow fans in the US, but walking down the street, no-one knows who you are. Any interaction that I have over there, you feel that it’s on your merits, that it’s on your personality. It’s the best place to start if you have to rebuild a little bit.


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