Author Topic: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy  (Read 486 times)

Bad Ambassador

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Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:27:58 PM »
New album out soon, Office Politics, seemingly a concept album about the rat race. Boasts possibly the best song title of all time, "The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale".

For my money, the best singer-songwriter since McCartney. Yes.

The name's a bit of a giveaway.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:09:41 PM by Bad Ambassador »

Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 05:33:59 PM »
Saw him live ages ago, just him on the piano and occasionally guitar. Was pretty special, touching in places.

Never did Something For The Weekend though did he? Diden't do that one did you Neil? Chose not to do one of my favorite singles of all time that night?

Did you Neil?


Johnny Textface

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Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 05:52:13 PM »
The album cover of the new one is BRUTAL.

Down in the street below is a great bit of songwriting. I will listen to the new one more than once probably.


Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 05:53:04 PM »
Loved the first four or five albums and then went off him for a bit, but I was listening to some of the most recent album the other day and thought it was a return to from so will have to obtain it.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 06:09:25 PM »
He's brilliant. Is there anybody contemporary doing this sort of thing now? The idea that a song like Something For The Weekend being high in the UK pop charts today seems as unlikely as Evan's Cycles selling Penny Farthings

Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 06:42:34 PM »
The early Divine Comedy albums remind me so much of a certain time of my life that I can't listen to them (even the later stuff)- doing so induces brooding. Shame because I do like them.

For some reason I could listen to the Duckworth Lewis Method without the same thing happening.

He has just been interviewed by Pete Paphides- listen here: https://www.mixcloud.com/petepaphides/needle-mythology-3-casanova-and-dare-with-neil-hannon-and-pete-paphides/

purlieu

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Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 06:47:26 PM »
Love all the '90s albums; since then the only that's blown me away is Absent Friends, although the others all have very good moments. I do miss the more orchestral bits with his Michael Hyman influence that have been largely missing from the past few; the recent single feels like a step further towards indie-pop, which I don't think is really his forte, sadly. That said, I hated Foreverland on first listen, but it grew a lot on me.

He can do bombast and drama and subtlety and humour and heartbreak equally well. There haven't really been many songwriters like him in the past 20 years, and that makes me quite sad. I'm happy the new album will have a deluxe edition with his own recordings of the songs he wrote for the Swallows and Amazons musical, as the similar version of In May that came with the last album was superb.

Promenade is my fave, I think. A lovely day-in-the-life concept album.

Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 06:49:56 PM »
I've loved The Divine Comedy ever since I first heard them and bought Casanova.
Neil really is a tremendous songwriter.

Saw him live ages ago, just him on the piano and occasionally guitar. Was pretty special, touching in places.

He does these shows pretty regularly ("to pay for a studio session with a string quartet") and I couldn't recommend them high enough. Seen a few of them, the best being a lunchtime gig in Edinburgh during the festival about 8 years ago.

Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 07:05:53 PM »
I'd say genius for everything up to and including Regeneration. Liberation in particular is such a striking and ambitious piece of work and I still can't get over how young he was at the time it was recorded, the talented bastard.

I feel like from Bang Goes The Knighthood on he's veered into lightweight novelty tunes that don't have a lot of appeal for me, without that heartstrung edge that underlines all his best stuff. The new one, "Queuejumper" is a prime example. It's alright. Sounds a bit like Lovecats. Not sure I'd listen to it again.

Has everyone heard the prototype Europop with Neil's mate on lead vocals? Very odd indeed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_nLbKa_Pg

purlieu

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Re: Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 10:25:20 AM »
I feel like from Bang Goes The Knighthood on he's veered into lightweight novelty tunes that don't have a lot of appeal for me, without that heartstrung edge that underlines all his best stuff.
There are some moments - 'When a Man Cries', 'To the Rescue', 'I Joined the Foreign Legion', the wonderfully odd 'Other People' - but yeah, this is the kind of thing I was saying upthread. But then I realised that the same kind of thing could be said for Casanova, so I'm not sure if it's just that. Have you heard In May from the deluxe edition of Foreverland? It's probably the most devastating thing he's ever done (Frank Alva Buecheler's words are utterly heartbreaking).