a short site about The Divine Comedy

Absent Friends

Neil Hannon’s attempts to create a proper rock band called The Divine Comedy have fizzled out, so he’s back to essentially solo work. Not that he seems to have reached what counsellors call ‘closure’, given the songs on Absent Friends and the album’s title.
One track is about his imaginary friends, another is the story of a goth who tells her mum and dad (or, rather, wants to tell, but doesn’t) that she’s very happy on her own, honest. When not toying with the concept of Billy No Mates, Hannon hits his commercial stride on Come Home Billy Bird, the tale of a business traveller trying to get back in time to see his son play football, which barrels along like the band’s previous hit National Express.
Elsewhere things are a little more introspective, and a little less immediate.


Mark Edwards
The Sunday Times ‘The Month’ 29/02/2004