a short site about The Divine Comedy

The Last Word

With : Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy

When was the last time you bought a band T-shirt at a gig?
I never suited T-shirts, I really never bought them. I remember buying one at a U2 gig, just for old times’ sake. It was on the POP tour, so even now it was 13 years ago. I think it was good karma, because I ended up hanging out with them later that night – ‘I bought your T-shirt, you owe me this!’.

When was the last time you offended someone?
I make awful faux pas, usually when in the company of people I admire, for some reason. I just say stupid things. I remember, quite a while back, Simon Le Bon popped up, and I’d just been having a conversation about how old he was. But then he just popped in front of me, so obviously I went, “Oh hi, how old are you?”. And he jumped back like a scalded car and said, “Well, I’ve sold a mot of records”. The things was, later on that day we both separately tried to find each other to apologies, which was nice.

When was the last time one of your heroes disappointed you?
I hate to say this, but it was Midge Ure from Ultravox. I really loved Ultravox when I was a teenager, and I bumped into him at something at the end of the evening. I was trying to be nice, and I said that ‘Vienna’ was the first single I ever bought. And he took it rather badly, as if I was trying to make him feel old. So I thought, “Well, that’s a it much!”. I bear no grudge.

What’s the last piece of good advice you were given?
It was from my radio plugger in Scotland, because I was travelling so light that I’d just squished my shirts into a little shoulder bag, and when I took them out, obviously, they were crinkled to buggery. He said to fill up the bath in the hotel room with hot water and hang them up in the bath, and sure enough, the next day they were absolutely crease-free! Remarkable. It sort of steams them, brilliant.

What was the last good record you bought?
It was [Marlene] Dietrich in London, and it was five quid in a junk shop in Edinburgh. I went in there just to buy an emergency tie and there she was, just staring up at me, looking elegant. And it was a fiver, amazing value. Brillant record, all the hits. Fantastic.

When was the last time you set something on fire?
[long pause] An enormous spliff! But obviously it wasn’t for personal use, I was just helping someone out… [laughts]

What was the last injury you sustained?
I was cycling in the country side with my girlfriend just yesterday, up in Cavan, and I have severe bruising today in important regions on my body. What don’t they make bicycle seats more comfortable? I don’t understand it. It was pretty rough going, lot of [mkaes juddering noise] up and down over rocks.

Alternative Ulster 66, 06/2010