a short site about The Divine Comedy

Time For Live Comedy

It was fitting that The Divine Comedy called their latest album, which was released early this year, Regeneration.

Despite years of indie success, and a reputation as the quick witted, acidic, Noel Coward of Pop, singer Neil Hannon had decided he needed to rethink the entire direction of the band.

“I was tired of writing ‘clever-clever’ wordy little songs” he explains “I wanted to do something more heartfelt and emotional”.

The Divine Comedy are about to launch a major UK Arena tour with singer Neil Hannon still professing relief at the band’s change of direction.

“We couldn’t just go on making the same record of reasonably cheesy pop songs year after year” he says.

“It was ironic in a way – Regeneration was our first album for a major label, and it’s the least obviously commercial album we’ve ever made. But in the long term it was essential.”

Divine Comedy singer Neil Hannon feels proud of the change of direction that the band affected on their Regeneration album, but feels that they received no assistance from certain quarters.

“It certainly doesn’t help when Radio 1 absolutely refuse to play any of our singles” he says, pointedly.

“They are supposed to be the national pop network but nowadays they are just not interested unless you happen to be making dodgy Trance records”

The Divine Comedy, who go out on tour this week, are currently writing material for their next studio album. So what are the new tunes like?

“I think they’re……cooler”, says Neil, “But I would say that wouldn’t I. They are more like stories than the songs on Regeneration were.”

OK. What are they about?

“Ships”, he responds. “Businessmen”, there’s a long pause as he ponders further… “Oh yes, and animals, that’s it so far”

The Divine Comedy may have adopted a less flippant, more cathartic style of song writing on last album Regeneration but Neil Hannon would still be loathed to write about real life disasters like the terrorist attacks on New York.

“I can’t begin to understand what happened there” he sighs “I’d sooner write about grapefruit”

“It wouldn’t help for me to write songs about it – and I hope Americans don’t start writing songs about it either.”

As The Divine Comedy play a handful of live dates and start work on their next studio album, Neil Hannon is facing up to a life changing new arrival.

“I’m three months away from becoming a father” he says “How do I feel about it? I feel absolutely terrified”

“Right now I’m having to farm out all of my guitars to other band members as my little home studio is turned into a nursery……the way I play guitar though……that’s no bad thing.”


Channel 4 Teletext, 20/10/2001