The Divine (Standup) Comedy...
Last night Sarah, Marky, Drew and I went to the oh so hot Bloomsbury Theatre to see The Divine Comedy perform live. Having all but disbanded The Divine Comedy three odd years ago, I thought Neil Hannon had pretty much sunk without a trace. But oh no, the UK's favourite fop idol is back - promoting his latest album Absent Friends. A corker of an album, a corker of a show.
The diminutive Neil played guitar stage right and was joined on stage by simply a piano and a cello player. Yet between them these three created quite an impressive wall of sound that almost had you believing there were more of them than there actually were. Where was all that sound coming from? An orchestra of three.
To be honest The Divine Comedy hadn't really registered too brightly on my radar before this latest album but after hearing it just once I was hooked. I'm now keen to listen to their entire back catalogue - much of which was in evidence last night - at one point he was even taking requests!
The set was quite satisfyingly long and the songs were all as bitter-sweet and catchy as you might expect from the man who brought us Something for the Weekend, National Express, Generation Sex and Bad Ambassador. However for me the highlight was the hypnotic newy - Our Mutual Friend - which recalls the pal who introduced Hannon to a woman, then took her for himself. Masterful pop.
Neil chatted with the audience quite a lot between the songs. Even cracking a few gags and inviting heckles. Perhaps a new career awaits - The Divine Standup Comedy. If so, he had started out in front of a tough crowd; seated around us were comedy heavyweights Paul Merton, Matt Lucas, Ian Lee, Mackenzie Crook and Phil Jupitus.