mrry (Happy New Year)
Blog 27/Oct/2001

Quite an exciting week: so exciting, in fact that there are no dreams at all. Wow! Still, I implore you to read on.

So, on Tuesday night, Jamie and I went to see The Divine Comedy (I know now about the split - ta Julie), at the Barrowlands. I think I'll just tell you all about it, in excruciating detail.

We arrived early, and managed to get a spot right at the front, right in the middle. Despite a polite request from people behind us to stand in front of us, we maintained our prime spot right until the end. So there.

The support was Ed Harcourt, apparently a Mercury nominee, but nobody could think of one of his songs. Handily though, he was quite good, supported by a quite-big group, including a trumpeter, who gave the proceedings a Mariachi feeling. The best song was undoubtedly his last, Shanghai, which has a wry lyric, and at the end of which he did a handstand on his keyboard. And in doing so kicked his bassist in the face. Who then stormed off in a fit of pique, shoving a mic stand out of his way.

There was a long wait before all of the lights went out and some ghostly music started to play. We waited anxiously as some spotlights flew around the crowd, to much screaming. Also sprach Zarathustra came on, and the band finally entered to much ecstasy.

The set was a mixture of new and old (about 50:50) and ran for almost two hours. I shan't name all of the songs, because I can't remember exactly the order and so on, and it would probably mean nothing to you. Basically, they did play (of the well-known singles): National Express, Generation Sex, Love What You Do, Bad Ambassador ("This is a song about a not very good diplomat..."), Perfect Lovesong (out on Monday!) and Songs of Love (the Father Ted theme tune).

They didn't play Something for the Weekend, The Frog Princess or Becoming More like Alfie, strangely, but they did make up for it by including classics like Bernice Bobs Her Hair ("This is a song about a little girl. Hm, a Divine Comedy song about a little girl. Which one could that be?...") and Tonight We Fly (possibly the best song to end anything with). Also, they put in a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Power of Love, which was epic.

Neil Hannon was in bearded form, with his long blond do making him look rather like Erik. My favourite moment was probably when he pointed at me and said, "What about you, how are you doing?" to which I replied "Great!" thinking that "Wahey!" wouldn't be much of an answer. It continued with him asking "Really?" and my reply of "O, yes!"

So simple minds: simple pleasures. And nothing simpler nor more pleasurable than the stuff that the roadies throw away at the end of the gig. I left with Neil Hannon's plectrum and Neil Hannon's towel. Jamie did somewhat better, nabbing another of Neil's plectrums, another towel, a full bottle of Evian, and a promo CD for an unrelated Californian band. To complement my haul, I couldn't resist buying a long-sleeved Regeneration t-shirt, some stickers, a postcard and a badge.

The sum total of which is that it was the best gig ever (for me).

That was all the excitement over, except a shopping trip to Livingston for some new clothes, which included picking up some trowsers for 49p in the Gap Outlet. Unfortunately, Livingston combines the bad points about Edinburgh (the people), East Kilbride (the shopping centre, roundabouts) and the countryside (people who wander about dreamily into your path), and I hope never to have to return there.

Apropos of the abovementioned Divine Comedy split, I'm not too worried. The band as it is has only been together for four years, during which time they released Regeneration, a greatest hits collection and Fin de Siècle. (I'm unsure about the short album...) So much of their greatest older stuff was released when it was just Neil Hannon, who has always been the songwriter. And he's working on a new Divcom album right now, I read. So you can all sleep easily tonight.








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