a short site about The Divine Comedy


Ireland’s orchestrated contribution to Britpop retro-futurism.

Whereas Scott Walker sung about a decidedly un-swinging part of ‘60s London, one of his greatest fans was adapting that vaulting orchestra swell for a much happier, cravat-sporting agenda. Neil Hannon’s fourth album wasn’t just his commercial breakthrough but his apogee of ironic pop effervescence and Carnaby Street dandy style. Conceptually, to borrow his own songtitle, he was Becoming More Like Alfie – a raffish rascal embarking on lusty adventures. To Walker-esque grandeur, Hannon fused Bowie’s Tony Newley phase, with giggles and self-parody high on the menu (there’s even an exaggerated posh BBC ‘50s spoken intro to ‘Theme From Casanova’). ‘Something For The Weekend’ is the pop pearl, and don’t forget ‘Songs Of Love’ provided the lilting theme (an instrumental form) to Ireland’s greatest sitcom, Father Ted.

Martin Aston
Mojo Classic Volume 2 Issue 7, The Story of Britpop, 2009