Theirs was the soundtrack of the Olympic build-up and Elbow performed at the closing of the London games. They played in front of a global audience of one billion, but singer Guy Garvey says that the best bit was meeting his hero. “It was great – an absolutely brilliant night,” said Guy. “I’d watched all of the Games on the TV and to finally be there in that same stadium where it had all happened, the atmosphere was incredible. “But the best bit was afterwards, getting drunk with Timothy Spall. He’s a real hero of mine, so after the show I went up to him and said ‘can I buy you a drink?’. He said ‘yes you can’ and so we did. Several drinks later I came back from the bar and told Kate Moss and Kate Hudson (who was there with fiancé Matt Bellamy) to stop hogging Timothy Spall.“Sorry, that sounds like a showbiz anecdote doesn’t it? I’m really not very showbiz normally. “I was just watching it back on the TV now. I can’t believe we were there. It was great to get to see how it looked. During the actual show I was backstage for most of it, chatting with the guys from Muse and Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs, who’d been dreading falling off his scooter on the way into the stadium.”As if to cement his non-showbiz credentials, Guy explains how he and the band are already back up in their native Manchester.“I’m back up north now,” he said. “I never stay away for long. People sometimes ask if I’m going to move to London. I’m not moving anywhere unless I can move everyone I love with me. There are hundreds of us – there would be an exodus from north Manchester. It’s easier to stay where we are.”Guy, like the rest of the band, still lives in the same street he did before the band made it big. For years Elbow were Manchester’s famous should-have-beens, the band perched on the brink of success for more than a decade. They got dropped from labels time after time, despite being tipped by musicians from across the musical spectrum. Everyone knew how good they were, but somehow commercial success always eluded them.And, then, with the release of their fourth album, The Seldom Seen Kid, their fortunes changed. The album won the Mercury Prize, and the band spent 2008 in a whirlwind of a sold-out UK tour.“The Seldom Seen Kid was the nickname my dad had for a colleague who took more than his fair share of time off work, citing union business,” said Guy.The next year they won Best British Group at the Brit Awards and picked up two awards at the Ivor Novello Awards – One Day Like This won Best Song and Grounds for Divorce was Best Contemporary Song.Last year their debut UK arena tour sold out, and the band even found time to launch their own beer with local brewer Robinsons.Starting the year with the announcement that they would provide the theme music for the BBC’s 2012 Olympic coverage, Elbow then went on to sell out their near hometown Jodrell Bank show within minutes of going on sale.“That was such a muddy show – I want to thank each and every person who stayed,” said Guy. “We really do have the best fans. They’ve been with us through thick and thin. “One of my favourite shows of last year was at the Echo Arena. I don’t know what happened but I lost my mind and started running around the crowd.” After the show the band are planning a big night out in Liverpool – a city they know very well. “We’ve had a lot of fun in Liverpool over the years,” added Guy. “We recorded our first two albums in Parr Street Studios. I’ve got such fond memories of that, and of the gigs we’ve done there over the years. We’ve got to know the city really well. Thinking about it, it’s probably the only city we’ve ever lived in apart from Manchester.” So, what can we look forward to from the Echo Arena show? “This is the last set of gigs we’re doing before we go into the studio for the next album, so we may throw one or two new songs in,” said Guy. “Don’t worry, it’s not going to be a lot – and we’re still going to do all the ones everyone knows – but there might be literally one or two new ones just to give you a sneak preview. I hate it when you go and see a band you love and they don’t play the songs you want to hear. “There’ll be a mixture of songs, a bit of everything.”Elbow play the Echo Arena, Liverpool, on Thursday, November 29. To book, call 0844 800 3680.