a short site about The Divine Comedy

Guinness Storehouse

I know I'm in no position to criticise, but what's with the adolescent heavy metaller hair, Neil? The cause of audible gasps as he takes to the stage sans band for a quickie acoustic set, it's a million miles removed from the well-groomed foppishness of old. Which is obviously the point. Having succeeded in becoming the unlikeliest pop star this country has ever produced - and, boy, has there been some competition - it's back to darker, more Scott Walker-ish territory.

Not that the likes of 'Everybody Knows That I Love You', 'Daddy's Speeding' and 'Singer's Fear Of The Pollen Count' were ever in danger of being covered by Westlife. Stripped down to their component parts, they remind you of how deliciously melancholic Hannon can be when he wants to.

It's not just a Greatest Hits & Near Misses set, though, with the Galway Arts Festival liggerati being treated to the world premiere of 'Our Mutual Friend'.

"On our friend's settee/She told me that she really loved me/We played old 45s/She said it's like the soundtrack to our lives," he croons before mischievously namechecking 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' (see, told you!).

Tonsorial shortcomings aside, this was a timely reminder of all that's great and wonderful about The Divine Comedy.

Stuart Clark
Hot Press 17/06/2002