Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 16:44 UK

Elbow play with Halle Orchestra

By Elizabeth Alker
BBC 6 Music News reporter

Elbow perform with the Halle Orchestra. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes
Elbow have won the Mercury Prize, a Brit and two Ivor Novellos since 2008

Mercury Prize-winning band Elbow have played the first of two unique gigs with the Halle Orchestra, re-working tracks spanning their 19-year career.

The show took place at the 2,000-capacity Bridgewater Hall as part of the Manchester International Festival.

"The Halle is something that everyone in Manchester is proud of, so it's a great honour to share the stage with them," frontman Guy Garvey said.

A second performance will be shown on big screens in the city centre later.

Elbow's songs were reworked with the help of composer and conductor Joe Duddell. They performed alongside the Halle, Britain's oldest professional symphony orchestra, and the Halle Youth Choir.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music News before the show, frontman Guy Garvey said he felt proud to share the stage with the orchestra. "I never thought anything like this would happen for us," he said.

"I've been going to see the Halle since I was a kid. My granddad and my sister used to take me. They were one of the things that all my family used to show off about when they were talking about Manchester."

It's one of the most flattering things in the world to hear your music being played by such amazing musicians
Guy Garvey

The singer said Elbow's music lent itself to an orchestral backing because it was "quite cinematic".

The collaboration, which followed Elbow's performance with the BBC Concert Orchestra in January, saw some of Elbow's songs transformed.

Tracks such as Scattered were given longer orchestral introductions, while Weather to Fly and Newborn were expanded with new instrumental passages.

Grounds for Divorce saw the choir add harmonies, and even the audience was asked to join in at points during the show.

Garvey explained that Duddell took their music and made it his own. "Joe's orchestrations sometimes don't include the band at all," he said. "He's taken melodies and themes but he's taken them in a totally different direction.

"It's one of the most flattering things in the world to hear your music being played by such amazing musicians," the singer added. "We're just so pleased to be part of it."

The band finished with One Day Like This as an image of Manchester's town hall was projected onto the back of the stage and the clock tower chimed at 2200 BST.

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