The Divine Comedy at the RAH...
Ben, Sarah, Paul and I went to the Royal Albert Hall last night to go and see The Divine Comedy do a one-off full orchestral gig. And what a great gig it was. The place was packed and Neil Hannon was in good form.
The evening started with a proper overture. Yes, a proper overture - all his hits in an orchestral medley. Fancy. And over the next two and a half hours we enjoyed each song only hinted at earlier in full. Amongst others we were treated to 'Generation Sex', 'The Certainty Of Chance', 'Everybody Knows (Except You)', 'Something For The Weekend', 'Bad Ambassador', more recent jhits such as the wonderful 'Absent Friends' and 'Our Mutual Friend' and of course the marvellous 'National Express'. Why, he even played songs from 'Liberation', their massively unsuccessful 1993 album.
Hannon influences are clear; Jacques Brel, Scott Walker and Michael Nyman. (Note to self: I really must get more Scott Walker - Marc likes him too.) He's a bit of a showman too. He chatted in between the songs telling jokes and relating weird stories, he drank beer too, he climbed on the grand piano, he threw flowers into the audience and he fell to his knees more often than a nun with a wonky knee.
Encores of 'Songs of Love' ('Father Ted' theme tune with lyrics added) and Fin De Siecle's 'Sunrise' finished the evening off perfectly.
Oh, and did I mention there was a proper interval too. One suspects it wouldn't be too hazardous to suggest that Neil Hannon is having by far the finest night of his entire sodding life.