a short site about The Divine Comedy

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Not So Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy are to split - and NME has uncovered the real story behind the band demise.

Their Label, Parlophone, confirmed the split in a statement last week. It read: "The Divine Comedy as a seveb piece are no more. Their current tour on the UK and Ireland will be the last in this format; at the end of the tour, founder Neil Hannon will continue to work on a new Divine Comedy album."

Some of the band were at school with Hannon and have played with the band for seven years. The spilt was described as "amicable".

However, a source close to the band told NME that the split was the result of financial difficulties after this year's flop album Regeneration, their first release for Parlophone. Six band members have effectively been sacked while Hannon, who was the only member actually signed to the label, will record another album.

The Source told NME: "The band have only been getting properly paid since last year after the Parlophone deal. They all worked really hard and were supposedly all mates.

"The band wanted to be signed to the label, but instead they were paid a wage by the management. Now they have been sacked but Neil had still got a deal, although the label wants more creative control and hit single this time."

Regeneration saw The Divine Comedy take a more serious direction, following criticism of singles like "National Express" and Hannon's fondness for posing as an English aristocrat in cravat and smoking jacket.

Our source continued: "They were due to the record an album in February. But he (Hannon) told them at a rehearsal the band was over. He just looked at the floor the whole time he told them."

The source claimed poor sales of Regeneration meant it was no longer viable for Hannon to continue to pay the band. They also criticised management decisions such as blowing £150,000 on a video for "Bad Ambassador".

"Perfect Lovesong", released this week, will be the final single from the current line up.

NME 31/10/2001