a short site about The Divine Comedy

Monitor

The Divine Comedy are primed to be the next success story from the skint, but highly creditable Setanta label. With artists of the calibre of The Frank And Walters and A House verging on the big time, this Enniskillen four piece follow eagerly in their footsteps.
February sees the release of a monstrous new ep, Europop, which should finally bring the band wider recognition and a firm endorsement of excellence from various corners of the music press. Before augmenting their line up with a fourth member, John Allen, the band had a low key album release followed by the Timewatch ep, both of which were warmly received. But false expectations arose in the ‘Comedy’ camp:
“We thought we were gonna be pop stars overnight… but we weren’t. Our music had always warranted mega-fame but this latest record is more upfront,” confided guitarist Neil. “Commercial!” intruded John before rapidly denouncing the comment. “In a way, what John says is true,” continues Neil, “it’s all very superficial but I suppose that we are now making records that people are actually gonna like.”
Although denying that they comply with the Indie ethic of writing meaningless songs, the band display their own philosophy on the matter. “We just figure out what they mean after we’ve written them,” laughs John. The title track of this new ep is sparkling and its meaning is clearcut:
“’Europop’ is out manifesto,” states Neil, “It’s about being pressured by outside influences and not succumbing to those pressures, it’s about keeping our identity.”

The Divine Comedy are reminiscent of so many bands that have preceded them, that it would seem pointless to attempt to categorise them, or indeed rob them of their identity. They could easily be unwittingly paralleled to Wire to name but one, although it could be that they are spearheading a new 90s derived pop propulsion. Songs such as ‘Monitor’ (not especially named for this page) and ‘Interfada’ certainly seem to suggest to.
“The latter is not political,” stresses Neil. “It’s the Palestinian word for an uprising within oneself and that’s what the song is about.”

Since arriving in London the band have failed to find their social niche (someone to go down the pub with) although, in my opinion, they won’t suffer the dark seclusion of a Tottenham flat for much longer and will soon discover that the world is their oyster.


Dean Wengrow
Lime Lizard 04/1992