a short site about The Divine Comedy


To credit any label with a good ear is usually wishful thinking; in the case of Setanta (Irish emigre Keith Cullen by another name), not so. Humble triumphs of instinct over fashion (The Frank & Walters, Brian, Into Paradise) are now eclipsed by Neil Hannon aka The Divine Comedy. An unself-consciously quaint, bookish one-man band, he is a true maverick in Paddy McAloon/Cathal Coughlan mould. Aspiring towards classical as well as pop, Hannon's third album is an unfathomably rich tapestry of jokes and romanticism; Nyman might have provided the arrangements, Weill the backdrops, Behan the refreshments. The Book Lovers playfully catalogues great authors (Amis to Zola, with a "gag" for each), love song The Summerhouse opts for pastoral yearning, and When The Lights Go Out All Over Europe is Woody Allen's Shadows And Fog in song.


Andrew Collins
Q Magazine 05/1994