Vocalist Guy Garvey first met guitarist Mark Potter in 1990, while both were attending Bury College in Bury, Greater Manchester. Potter asked Garvey him to join him in a band with his friends, drummer Richard Jupp and bassist Pete Turner. They began gigging as Mr Soft (a tribute to Cockney Rebel's song of the same name). Potter's brother Craig soon joined the band on keyboards and later that year they played their first gig together at the Corner Pin pub in Ramsbottom, Lancashire.
By 1997 the five-piece were called Elbow. Their name was inspired by a line in the BBC TV drama The Singing Detective in which the character Philip Marlow describes the word "elbow" as the loveliest word in the English language.
Soon after their change of name, Elbow won a battle of the bands in the northwest, signed a deal with Island Records and recorded an album. Unfortunately, Island was sold to Universal, Elbow was dropped, and the album wasn't released.
"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger," Potter commented to 247 magazine. "We just pick ourselves up, and nothing really matters other than the fact that the five of us still love being in a room together and making music, and that's always what it's always been about, right from the very beginning."
In 2001, Elbow finally released their first album, Asleep In The Back, on V2 records. It was nominated for the Mercury prize.
Elbow's career really took off when their fourth studio album, The Seldom Seen Kid, was awarded the Mercury Music Prize in 2008. After the win the record saw a huge boost in sales, which was sufficient to earn it gold status.
During the 2012 Olympics in London the athletes arrived for the closing ceremony to "One Day Like This" while another Elbow tune "First Steps
" was the BBC's official Olympics song.
Guy Garvey's grandmother didn't like the name Guy. So she called him Roy instead.
Garvey has a sideline as a radio presenter, starting off with a show on Sunday evenings on XFM before switching to BBC 6 Music where he has a Sunday afternoon slot (2 p.m. to 4 p.m., British time).
Guy Garvey married actress Rachael Stirling in 2016, in a low-key ceremony in Manchester. They had met at Benedict Cumberbatch's wedding two years earlier.