In September, Elton played Bestival, and his show was recorded by Concert Live. The CD set's package was designed by Gary McGarvey, better known as Horse. He recently spoke with this Web site about his career.
EJW: Had you collaborated with Concert Live or Elton previously?
GM: This is the first time I have worked with Elton, but this was my third year with Bestival. Each year we commission between 8 and 12 limited edition screen printed posters for the headline acts of the festival, I run a touring gig poster exhibition called Screenadelica, and I choose the artists to design the prints for each act. This year I had the opportunity to do one for Elton's performance. His management liked the design enough to use it for the CD cover of his recording, something I was extremely honoured to have happened.
EJW: How did you obtain your unusual name?
GM: My name came about as a result of needing to actually just locking something down and sticking with it! I lived in Belfast for 4 years before moving to Liverpool and ‘Horse’ is a common slang greeting- ‘Well Horse,’ so it just kinda fitted.
EJW: How long have you been in business and why were you named 'Hero of the Year'?
GM: I started my studio 5 years ago now, primarily working within the music industry but I cover all areas of design really. I specialise in screen printed gig posters and I work with both national and international bands and get the opportunity to exhibit my work at festivals all over the world.
The Hero of the Year award is given to someone who makes an impression for the better on the Liverpool music scene. That particular year I had established a successful gig poster exhibit, bringing artists from all over the world to take part. I brought this show on a smaller scale to many European festivals to great response. All the prints we produce are limited edition and officially commissioned by the bands; it's still quite a niche thing to collect, I made it my mission to make it more mainstream and get more local artists into making posters, and try to get rid of the usual bad band posters that usually grace cities walls. The Liverpool Echo recognised all the labour I put into this and gave me the award that year.
EJW: Back to Bestival . . . How did the ideas for motifs like the ship, clouds and fireworks come about for the CD cover?
GM: The theme of this year was ‘HMS Bestival’ so the two went hand in hand really. I had spoken to the organisers and was told of the amazing fireworks display which was to happen at the end of Elton's performance so it all just fitted together. I wanted the poster to be bright and fun and I hope I achieved this.
There are a very limited number of posters available at my Web store: These are limited edition of 100 posters, signed and numbered by myself and never reprinted, so quite collectable. They can be found at