a short site about The Divine Comedy

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Music gear

This section aims to list all the musical instruments and recording equipment that have been used by Neil Hannon or his band over the years. Even though most of them were owned by Neil Hannon, it is possible that a few of them were owned by his musicians, we won’t make a difference in the listing.

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Thanks to Tosh Flood, Rob Farrer and Lawrence Hoy for their contributions.

C. Bechstein 19th Century Piano


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This is the first instrument Neil approached as being his father’s family piano. Despite it was a violent approach (Neil really hammered the piano), after he replaced all the keys that piano saw the birth of most of his beautiful songs he composed when living at his parents.

Songs recorded with: Painting The Fourth Bridge


Neil’s first ‘crap guitar’

Neil’s very first guitar was actually a guitar that formerly belonged to a Goth friend of his brother. Neil Hannon often described it too many time as a ‘crap guitar’ [1] but recorded with it his very first demos with a tape recorder.


Kay KE Electric Guitar


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Years: 1984-1989 (?)

This Les Paul copy was Neil’s very first electric guitar that he bought in an Enniskillen shop. Unfortunately for him, the shop actually did not sell the amp he needed with [6] This guitar was used mainly on all the October songs, at least for rehearsal and live performances. It was left broken at the end of the October era.


Hohner ST57 Electric Guitar


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Years: 1984-1989 (?)

This left handed guitar was Lawrence Hoy’s guitar. It was played on almost all October material and on the first Divine Comedy demo recorded at Banbridge.



Fender Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar


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Years: 1986-1989 (?)

This low-price Fender was Neil’s second guitar which he also played with at the time of October. At this time other guitars Neil may already have in his collection may include a black Hondo Les Paul, and an Ibanez.


Carlsbro 60 Watt 5 Channel Mixer Amp


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Years: 1987-1989 (?)

This mixer amp was bought in Belfast’s Matchett by the band October.


Boss DR-220A


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Years: 1987-1999 (?)

Also bought at Belfast’s Matchett, this drum machine replace the drummer the band did not have. After being used for the studio recording of the October 1st EP, this drum machine has been used by Neil Hannon for all his demo material until the 00’s where he moved onto computers.

Songs recorded with: Lucy (home demo, B-side to The Frog Princess)


Arion SCH-1 Stereo Chorus Pedal


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Years: 1989-1990 (?)

This pedal was used by Lawrence Hoy on the early demo of the Fanfare… songs. When he left the band, Neil bought it because he loved its sound. It was subsequently used on the album Fanfare For The Comic Muse.



Bontempi Organ


Years: 1993

This organ was bought for the recording of the Liberation album and used for demo material. After being used for the recording of the album, it was then donated to the studio in order to let a mark. [2]

Songs recorded with: Three Sisters


Washburn DC10E Acoustic Guitar


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Years: 1993-1994

This guitar was used on the acoustic tours of the Liberation and Promenade albums.

Songs recorded with: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (live at La Cigale)



Hohner Fretless PJ Bass F1


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Years: 1995-1996

This bass guitar was played by Grant Gordon during the recording of the Casanova album.

Songs recorded with: Charge



Fender Jazzmaster Electric Guitar


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Years: 1996-now

This is the electric guitar that Neil used on tour at almost every gigs until 2001. After that he started using other guitars live and has mostly played only the acoustic guitar since 2006. It is said that this guitar has been given to Cathy Davey.


Yamaha Clavinova PF


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Years: 1996-1997

This was the keyboard used by Joby Talbot on tour at the time of Casanova and A Short Album About Love.


Korg CX-3 (classic) Organ


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Years: 1996-1997

This was the Hammond clone that Stuart ‘Pinkie’ Bates used to play with during the Casanova/ASAAL tours.

Songs recorded with: A Woman Of The World (band version, B-side to The Frog Princess)


Yamaha APX 4A Acoustic Guitar


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Years: 1997-1999

This guitar was used by Neil Hannon between 1997 and 1998. We don’t know if its usage was for studio recordings, or live performances.

Songs recorded with: The Pop Singer’s Fear Of The Pollen Count


Roland JV-2080 64-Voice Synthesizer Module


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Years: 1998-1999

This synthesizer module has been used at the time of the album Fin de Siècle.

Songs recorded with: National Express


Gibson ES 335 Electric Guitar


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Years: 1998-1999

This is the guitar which was played by Ivor Talbot during the Fin de Siècle tour in Europe.


Korg N364


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Years: 1998-1999

This synth was played by Joby Talbot during the Fin de Siècle tour in Europe.



Hammond XB-2


Years: 1998-1999

This organ was played by Stuart Bates during the Fin de Siècle tour in Europe.



Fender Telecaster ’67


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Years: 2001-2006

This is the electric guitar which was mainly used by Neil during the Regeneration tour, but also sometimes during the Absent Friends tour. It was also used on the studio for the recording of the album Victory For The Comic Muse.
The guitar was not actually Neil's but was provided by his road crew, Dean and Warren Kennedy. Before that it belonged to Dr Feelgood, and has been played by other musicians such as Peter Perrett and Roman Jugg [7]. The guitar went on sale among a collection Dr Feelgood memorabilia in 2017.

Songs recorded with: Sweden (live B-side from Bad Ambassador)


Gibson Les Paul Goldtop ’56 reissue


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Years: 2001

This is the electric guitar which was played and owned by Ivor Talbot at the time of Regeneration, it may have only been used for the studio and not on tour.


Digitech Whammy Pedal


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Years: unknown

This is a commonly used pedal which has also been owned by guitarists such as David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jonny Greenwood or Josh Homme.


Ampeg SVT 2 Pro Bass Amp


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Years: unknown


Guild Starfire IV, Thinline Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar w/ Double Cutaway


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Serial number: AG000041

Years: 2000-2005

The guitar was purchased by in January 2000 direct from the Fender UK showroom.


Yamaha GX-1, ‘the dream machine’


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Years: 2000

This famous keyboard was used during the recording of Regeneration as the studio owned one of those machines.


Roland VK-7


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Years: ?-2001

This keyboard was used by Stuart ‘Pinkie’ Bates, especially during the Regeneration tour. Subsequently the band toured with it in the US before bringing another Yamaha keyboard.


Yamaha QY70


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Years: 2001-2003

This mini-synth/sequencer was used by the band at the end of the year 2001 and in the USA tours in 2002-2003.


Premier Signia kit


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Years: ?-2001

This was the drumkit used by drummer Miggy Barradas during the Regeneration tour. “I’m playing a Premier Signia kit – 10”, 10”, 14” – sometimes I substitute a 16”, depending on how big the gig is – and a 22” bass drum. I’ve got a lovely old wooden shell Premier piccolo snare drum, which I picked up in Belgium. I’m still using UFIP cymbals, which I find very nice and crisp. I’ve got a 20” ride, a 16” and a 14” or a 13” crash, depending on where we play, and a lovely pair of 14” hi-hats…” [5]


Slingerland 1961 Radio King Snare Drum


Years: 2002-?

This was part of the drum kit played by Rob Farrer with the band in 2002.



Gibson Les Paul ’72


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Years: 2004-2006

This guitar was played live by John Evans during the Absent Friends and Victory For The Comic Muse tours. It was also used on the studio for the recording of the album Victory…. It may have also been used by Ivor for the Regeneration tour in 2001.


Fender Telecaster Thinline ’72


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Years: 2004-2008

This guitar was played live by John Evans during the Absent Friends and Victory For The Comic Muse tours. It was also used on the studio for the recording of the album Victory….


Laney VC 30 amp


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John Evans is known to be using a Laney VC 30 amp [4].


Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean Electric Guitar


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Years: 2002-2005

Neil Hannon used this guitar on tour in 2002-2004. Although in 2004, he also toured with the Telecaster and Jazzmaster guitars. It was also used on the studio for the recording of the albums Victory For The Comic Muse and Bang Goes The Knighthood. It was then subsequently swaped with Thomas Walsh’s Burns Hank Marvin Signature in the days of the Duckworth Lewis Method.


Gibson ES 335 12-strings Guitar 1967 Sunburst


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Serial number: 094571

Years: 2004

This 12 strings guitar was used for the recording and the tour of the Absent Friends album. It was also used on the studio for the recording of the album Victory For The Comic Muse.

Songs recorded with: Come Home Billy Bird



3/4 Size Double Bass 1950


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Years: 2004

This English double bass was played live by Simon Little with The Divine Comedy in 2004.

Featured on: Live At The Palladium



Pre-Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray ’78-’80


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Years: 2004-2009

This electric bass guitar was played live by Simon Little with The Divine Comedy from 2004 to 2008, and with The Duckworth Lewis Method in 2009.

Songs recorded with: No One Knows


Warwick FNA Jazzman 5-String


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Years: 2005-2009

This 5-string bass guitar was played by Simon Little on the recordings of the albums Victory For The Comic Muse (partially), and Bang Goes The Knighthood (all album).


Ibanez 2372 Guitar


Years: 2006

This guitar was used on the studio for the recording of the album Victory For The Comic Muse.


Hamond XB-3 Organ


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Years: 2005

This organ was used on the studio for the recording of the album Victory For The Comic Muse. It is said that Neil Hannon had a B3 as well, but offered it to his guitarist Tosh Flood.


Roland RD-700


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Years: 2004-2011

This keyboard has been used by Neil Hannon and Andrew Skeet during the Absent Friends/Victory era. It was also used during some DLM and solo performances in 2010.


Roland RD-700SX


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Years: 2009(?)-present

This keyboard has been used by Neil Hannon at the time of the Duckworth Lewis Method.


Korg MicroKorg


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Years: 2009-2010

This keyboard has been used by Neil Hannon at the time of the Duckworth Lewis Method, live and for the album; as well as on the album Bang Goes The Knighthood.



Bosendorfer Grand Piano



This piano was used on the Duckworth Lewis Method album and on Bang Goes The Knighthood for the parts that were not recorded on Westland Studios.


Sennheiser e 965 microphone


Years: 2010 ?

Neil Hannon is said to use the Sennheiser e 965 microphone on stage. [3]


Korg SV-1


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This keyboard is part of Neil Hannon’s home studio and has been used for the demo recording of the second Duckworth Lewis album as well as live with Harry Holler And The Hooligans.


Burns Hank Marvin Signature (Greenburst)

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Years: 2013

Originally owed by Thomas Walsh, the guitar was swapped to Neil Hannon’s hands. Neil used this guitar on tour with the Duckworth Lewis Method in 2013.



[1] Muse Magazine biography
[2] A Secret History notes by Darren Allison
[3] L&Si Online
[4] John Evans on Laney’s website
[5] Rhythm 07/2001
[6] Les Inrockuptibles interview 5/1994.
[7] Dr Feelgood guitar is a surefire auction hit