The South Bank Show meets Elbow, looking at the 18 year career of a band who, until the mainstream success of their latest album The Seldom Seen Kid, were considered a well kept secret by music connoisseurs - musically peerless, critically acclaimed, hugely respected, but always in the shadows of the mainstream. With a Mercury Music Prize, Two Ivor Novellos, an NME lifetime contribution to British music award, a Brit award and a 2009 South Bank Show Award for The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow's 18 year career has become the music story of 2009. Melvyn Bragg interviews lead singer Guy Garvey who reveals how the band kept their self belief alive in the first decade of Elbow's career when they struggled for a deal. He talks about the sixth form college where the band formed, coping with losing their first record deal, Elbow's infamous tour of Cuba in 2004, and reveals the inspirations behind some of the great Elbow records like Starlings, Grace Under Pressure and Leaders of the Free World.