Elbow: Open Arms (Comic Relief performance)


There’s usually a moment – or two – on every Elbow album where the skies open and the seas part and an invincible rush overtakes your ears.

Usually, the moments are obvious, like on the 2008 standout One Day Like This, from the Mercury Prize-winning The Seldom Seen Kid. Or Station Approach, the leadoff track from the 2005 album Leaders Of The Free World.

Sometimes, these moments can be subtle, which seems to be the case on the new album build a rocket boys!, a mostly subdued but elegant offering. That said, I probably overlooked Open Arms upon my initial handful of listens. But then I saw a video of Elbow performing the song live for Comic Relief as part of Red Nose Day, and, well, when you add a children’s choir and put the song’s chorus – “We got open arms for broken hearts – in this context of helping the needy, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the power of it.

The band also released an official video for the song (albeit an edited version, by about 40 seconds or so), featuring the artwork of Oliver East:

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