a short site about The Divine Comedy


Everything’s fine and dandy for pop’s former Mr Prim, Neil Hannon and his band of musical highway-men, The Divine Comedy in 2001. But ‘suits you sir’ won’t be a catchphrase that fits the Ulster aesthete and the rest of Ulster’s most refined sophisticates these days.

For ‘the times are a changing’ for The Divine Comedy, who get ready to play three special Irish shows in Londonderry, Belfast and Dublin this month. Out goes the bespoke sophistication for a long haired rock look in advance of new single, Love What You Do, in February, and album, regeneration, in March.

Hannon and Co. made their name with a fine line in dry-witted lyrics and sweet stringed songs like Something For The Weekend and Becoming More Like Alfie. But marriage in 1999, turning 30 and more importantly, a record label move to Parlophone -the home of Supergrass, Blur and Radiohead- seems to flag up sigificant changes in style, on the horizon.

Whether visual changes - along with sound input of Radiohead’s Kid A producer, Nigel Godrich - means a move from a simply Divine Comedy to a sizzling sonic Inferno remains to be seen...and heard. A hint came from Hannon this month, when he revealed of their forthcoming output: “Thankfully this is a virtually reference-free album, I’ve tried to rely less and less on such reference points un our songs.”

But stretching his creative capabilities has been an intriguing direction for Hannon and his Comedy cohorts with their soundscpe for much of German chanteuse, Ute Lemper’s album, in 2000. Listen to the brilliantly dramatic Hannon-written, Divine Comedy backed You Were Mean’t For Me on Lemper’s Punishing Kiss. The prospect of their reborn return is all the more appetising.

The Belfast Community Telegraph 18/01/2001