Almost two hours later, as the Elbow frontman brings Saturday’s Dalby Forest gig to a close, the crowd is left with feeling an admission of their own; he must surely have been exaggerating?
If this is ‘ropey’ imagine him on a good night. Clearly messing around in the woods beforehand, as he professed to doing, sorted his head out.
Think balmy summer evenings in the depths of the North Yorkshire Moors and there can be few better matches than these Mancunians whose often melancholic songs somehow create such a warm elevation, too.
Garvey, fresh from those surprise cameos alongside Peter Kay in Car Share, is clearly at one with the world and loving life as a new dad at the age of 43, dedicating Magnificent (She Says) to his newborn son Jack and a bandmate’s recent arrival, too.
In his customary black shirt attire, displaying all his usual wit and wry musings between and also during songs – he halted Head for Supplies to implore peace and love when a couple revellers fell out mid-tune – there is plenty from Elbow’s latest album, including the titular song, Kindling and Gentle Storm.
But there was old favourites such as My Sad Captains – “what a perfect waste of time” – after opening with Any Day Now followed by The Bones of You.
His ode to, well, trains, pulls up in the shape of Station Approach before a brilliant New York Morning.
Mirrorball appears, too, ahead of a mesmeric The Birds but it is the anthemic sing-along One Day Like This, which always finishes things off, that genuinely summed up the feelings of the 5,000 crowd.
For the encore, Garvey’s lyrical quality were to the fore once more with Lippy Kids and Grounds for Divorce but no one wanted to split from this gig, the latest in a number of hits delivered by the Forestry Commision.