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Fly Boy Blue/Lunette by Elbow
Album: The Take Off and Landing of EverythingReleased: 2014
When Elbow frontman Guy Garvey split from his longtime partner Emma Unsworth, he felt he had to get away. Having developed an affection for New York, he upped sticks and moved to the Big Apple. The imagery and characters of this song are adapted from scenes he observed at JFK airport lounge as Garvey flitted back and forth between New York and his home city of Manchester. "In an airport lounge, the whole world is going its separate ways, under this cloud of anticipation that exists in all airports," he told The Independent. "It throws up where you're going, where you've been, what you like, what you don't, and it gave me an opportunity to create some new characters in Red Bob and The Ivory Host, who were a man with high blood-pressure desperate for a drinking-partner in a plastic Irish pub in JFK airport, and our very pallid but austere barman."
This is actually two songs in one (the clue's in the title!). Fly Boy Blue is a stream of consciousness images of travel and coming home. Lunette is not only a first draft lyric, but also a one-take vocal too. "It's a love song to three things," Garvey told The Observer. "Smoking, drinking and a woman. If it just had pasta in there it would be complete! Though, actually," he added, very seriously, "I have an aversion to food in songs. I just do."
The music for the song was pretty much a live take by guitarist Mark Potter, drummer Richard Jupp, and bassist Pete Turner. Guy Garvey then added his vocals. He told Uncut magazine: "It created a bit of a challenge for me, lyrically to throw something different into the mix. I read the lines from the cover of the magazine, then I used that rhythm to write my own images. That was loads of fun, and throughout something that I normally wouldn't do."