WISE WORDS: Elbow Frontman Guy Garvey On The Pleasure Of A Box Set, And The Arms Of The Woman He Loves

In the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they've learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to Guy Garvey


The charismatic frontman of alternative rock band Elbow, Guy has collected two Ivor Novello songwriting awards, and was on duty for the London 2012 Olympics, for which Elbow had to perform the official song. He is a member of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and in October 2015, released his debut solo album, 'Courting the Squall'.

For five years, Guy has also been a familiar voice with listeners of BBC 6 Music, for whom he will be on presenting duties this weekend at the 6 Music Festival. To mark his latest venture, Guy speaks to HuffPostUK about some of the hardest lessons he's learned along the way, and the simple things that keep him happy...

Guy Garvey is one of BBC 6 Music Festival's presenters this weekend

What do you do to switch off from the world?

Box set box set box set and the occasional podcast. Current favourites – just finished 'The Sopranos' again, 'The Wire' for the third time. Someone make some more good television!

How do you deal with negativity?

Try and ignore it. Nobody gives me more shit than myself really, have to catch myself, getting quite good at it now.

When and where are you happiest?

In the arms of the woman I love, watching something brilliant and drinking.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It was in regard to songwriting. The song is all, was the advice. Your whole responsibility is to the piece you are working on and it was from a brilliant singer songwriter called Mano McLaughlin.

What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned?

I can’t be around bullies. I’m a pleaser, bullies are very bad for me.

What would you tell your 13-year-old self?

You’re not fat, you dick.

What 3 things are at the top of your to-do list?

Go to India, I go on Monday

Soundtrack a movie, I’d love to do that.

I want to go into space.

What do you think happens when we die?

I don’t think there’s a heaven and a hell other than the ones we carry around with us. I don’t think there’s an afterlife other than the way we affect what we leave behind. But my grandfather lives on through everyone he’s touched or influenced.

When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?

When I see people work together. As simple as letting an ambulance through traffic, through to the moon landing to premature baby care. When we get our ideas together we’re really quite remarkable.

What quality do you most try to bring to your relationships?

Comfort and care.

What keeps you grounded?

Craig Potter (Elbow's keyboard player).

What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?

Someone opened the door for me in the pub. Never lost on me.

Guy Garvey is one of the BBC's presenters for the 6 Music Festival this weekend - lineup here.