At 5pm on a dreary Thursday evening, I received a message telling me that I had been added to the guest list with a photo pass for The Divine Comedy that very evening. A few panicked moments of organising childcare ensued, and I was then on the road to Cambridge to photograph one of my favourite ever bands! My car was filled with a frisson of excitement for the next hour and 15 minutes.
On arrival, The Junction was already pretty full, and it was very apparent that every person there felt exactly as I did.
Support act Lisa O’Neill was the perfect opener to The Divine Comedy.
With her far-fetched tales (including one where she ended up making Irish stew for Elvis Presley), and her voice that made me imagine she only consumes the most luxurious chocolate and nothing else, she impressed, captivated and tickled the fancy of her audience.
She was utterly delightful, and nicely set the tone for what was to come.
The Galway Shawl
Elvis, I Give You Irish Stew
Pothole in the Sky
The time soon arrived for Neil Hannon and his band of quirky men to grace the stage. Hannon’s droll wit was immediately evident, just as I had hoped.
I have always listened to The Divine Comedy’s intricate, classy tunes with fondness. To witness them live was beyond what I could have expected. Their fresh, lively compositions speaking of romance, laced with comedy and regaling the history of 18th century Russia both entertain and charm the audience in equal measure.
Hannon himself is the ever-present member of the band when others have come and gone. He is the design behind the output. He may be small of stature, but he is superhuman in personality. Without his intelligent, odd, gentlemanly, mischievous, sincere, kooky ways, there would be no such music in the world.
That evening, I was enchanted, bedazzled and fascinated, and left wanting more… there is no better sign of a great gig than that!
Down in the Street Below
Assume the Perpendicular
Bang Goes the Knighthood
The Complete Banker
Our Mutual Friend
Alfie (Cilla Black cover)
The Certainty of Chance
How Can You Leave Me on My Own
To the Rescue
Count Grassi’s Passage Over Piedmont
The Frog Princess
A Lady of a Certain Age
Catherine the Great
Funny Peculiar (with Lisa O’Neill)
At the Indie Disco
Something for the Weekend
Becoming More Like Alfie
Songs of Love
Tonight We Fly