Guy Garvey

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Guy Garvey
Guy Garvey of Elbow at the V Festival 2009.jpg
Garvey at the 2009 V Festival, Chelmsford
Background information
Birth name Guy Edward John Garvey
Born (1974-03-06) 6 March 1974 (age 41)
Bury, Lancashire, England
Instruments Vocals, guitar, percussion, harmonica, keyboards
Years active 1990–present
Associated acts Elbow, I Am Kloot, Massive Attack
Website guy garvey
Notable instruments
Vocals, guitar, drum kit.

Guy Edward John Patrick Garvey (born 6 March 1974, in Bury, Lancashire, England)[1] is an English musician. He is the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Elbow. He is also a presenter for BBC 6 Music.


In the early 90s, while at sixth-form college in Bury, Garvey formed Elbow with Mark and Craig Potter, Pete Turner, and Richard Jupp. He serves as the main songwriter and lyricist of Elbow, and has been widely praised for his songwriting throughout his career. As well as vocal duties Garvey has also played a wide variety of instruments live including both electric and acoustic guitar, trumpet, and various forms of percussion. Elbow won two Ivor Novello awards for best song writing for the 2008 single "Grounds for Divorce" as well as best contemporary song for "One Day Like This".[2] He was awarded a lifetime achievement honour by the Radio Academy in 2014.[3] In the same year, he also featured on the re-launched Band Aid charity's single to raise funds for the Ebola crisis in Africa.[3] Garvey, with Elbow, was commissioned by the BBC to write the theme song for the 2012 London Olympics and Elbow performed this song, "First Steps" at the closing ceremony of the Olympics.[4]

Amongst other work, Garvey produced and recorded the I Am Kloot album Natural History (2001). Alongside Elbow keyboard player Craig Potter he also produced I Am Kloot's single "Maybe I Should" (2005, not associated with any album), their Mercury Music Prize nominated 2010 album Sky at Night and their 2013 album Let It All In. Elbow were themselves Mercury Music Prize nominees, in 2011, for the album Build a Rocket Boys! and won the prize in 2008 for their album "The Seldom Seen Kid". In addition, Garvey made an appearance on Massive Attack's 2010 album record Heligoland.

He is a member of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).[5] In April 2012 Garvey became a patron of the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to music he received, in July of the same year, an honorary doctorate from Manchester Metropolitan University, to become a Doctor of Arts.[6]

Garvey has been a presenter on BBC 6 Music for over five years (Sunday afternoon 2 pm to 4 pm, British time) and previously presented a show on Sunday evenings on XFM. He had a monthly column in the now-defunct listings magazine City Life and is a patron of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG),[7] the Manchester-based charity responsible for clearing war zones of mines and munitions worldwide.

In 2015 Garvey presented Music Box, an iPlayer-exclusive series covering emerging and established bands. Garvey has also read several children's stories for the CBeebies "Bedtime Stories" program on the BBC.[citation needed]

In 2015 Garvey announced that he would be releasing his first solo studio album while continuing his duties as Elbow's lead songwriter. The resulting album, Courting the Squall, was released on 30 October 2015 by Polydor Records in the UK.[8][9] On 27 October 2015 Garvey appeared on BBC Two's Later... with Jools Holland, where he performed "Angela's Eyes" and "Belly of the Whale".[10]

Personal life[edit]

Garvey grew up in a working-class family in Bury, Greater Manchester. His father worked as a chemist at ICI and as a proofreader; his mother was a police officer before becoming a psychologist. One of seven siblings, Garvey has five older sisters — Gina, Louise, Sam, Karen and Becky — whilst his younger brother is actor Marcus Garvey.[11]

Garvey's partner from 2003 until 2013 was writer Emma Jane Unsworth.[11]

Since 2015, Garvey has been dating actress Rachael Stirling.[12][11]


With Elbow[edit]



  1. ^ Dave Simpson (25 July 2008). "''Guardian'' profile". London: Guardian. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Rosie Swash. "Double triumph for Elbow at Ivor Novello awards | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Radio Academy". Radio Academy. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Elbow Unveils First Steps". NME. 
  5. ^ Founder of UBR (18 May 2009). "British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors". The Unsigned band review. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Honorary Doctorates announced | ManMetLife | Manchester Metropolitan University". Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Mines Advisory Group". Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Goodacre, Kate. "Elbow's Guy Garvey is going solo with his new album Courting the Squall". Digital Spy. Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Guy Garvey - Courting The Squall". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  10. ^ 22:00 (27 October 2016). "BBC Two - Later... with Jools Holland, Series 47 Live, Episode 7". Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Hattenstone, Simon (31 October 2015). "Guy Garvey: ‘I used to think booze helped me write. It doesn’t’". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  12. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (7 November 2015). "The Tipping the Velvet star is returning to our screens in the BBC's Capital". The Independent. 

External links[edit]