While Elbow’s acclaimed ‘Asleep’ was born of fierce bloody-mindedness, ‘Cast of Thousands’ was conceived in a pressure cooker about to blow. Instead of feeling encouraged by their success, Elbow were frozen by expectation. “It was terrifying. All the pressure came from within the band – making the album was like dragging a plough. You can get so worried about something being right that it doesn’t become anything because you won’t allow anything to happen,” Garvey told Alexia Loundras of the Independent, struggling to convey the stifling stress his band felt.