evmtsandiuhlstrytalksonhowto . gaahudhflmmmwo’ssomeflihg


Mallovertheplace. .

It’s a measure of the Harmon lyrical wit that listeners are drawn into that kind of analysis which you’re hardly going to indulge in with Northern Uproar, after all. New single ‘A Frog Princess’, Hannon’s favourite and the funniest

track on the album, begs some sort of

The only one who ever grooved her explanation.

‘What people tend to forget is that you’re was the son of apreacherman. trying to write a good song first and

Fiona Shepherd SWapS b0" m0“ foremost,’ he says before expounding . . . with The Divine Comedy’s Neil ‘Obviously I haven’t been contemplating Hannon the imminent death of a French girl

that’s not my style. I went out with a ining up patiently to speak to Mr few French girls and they were all very Croontastic himself Neil Hannon, it nice but relationships, whether with occurs that The Divine Comedy French or British or Rhodesian girls. mainstay (the one constant down the all end eventually unless they don’t. years, despite line-up changes or new This song is basically about something musical avenues) might be a little coming to an abrupt full stop and weary of expounding his philosophies on life, somebody trying to make excuses.’ the universe and writing the Father Ted theme However, Hannon elevates The tune, despite his gentlemanly after-dinner Divine Comedy to a realm higher speaker persona. But not a bit of it. than other perceptive pop writers. Quite

‘I’m rather too good at talking about myself,’ simply, it’s in the delivery. The boy can says the son of an Irish preacherman. ‘I’ve spent sing. He can transport with his tonsils. so many years waiting for people to be ‘I like going to dingy rock dives and playing interested in me. Now by a drip-dn'p process stupidly romantic music,’ he says. ‘lt’s such a I’ve got through to the many people out there nice contrast.’ who knew I existed but didn’t know quite why. With lungs like bellows and a way with a Now that they are interested I can hardly say pair of cufflinks, Hannon has unwittingly “bugger off”.’ secured entry to that exclusive club who are The album Casanova has proved to be the not merely singers—they are crooners. vehicle for Neil Hannon’s rise to top of the fops. ‘One of my favourite singers is Scott Its lyrical wit and lush arrangements make it one Walker. Sometimes he completely missed of the most coherently realised albums of recent the mark as far as the song but the voice is times, a mixture of easy listening heaven and always there and that informs the way I sing. Pulp-like observation. But unlike Jarvis peering Technically. what crooning is about is hitting through the keyhole. Harmon surveys from the the notes without any fear of not getting chaise longue, commenting on the absurd them.’ charades of love and romance with such Any contemporaries? ‘George Michael eandour that it’s been tempting for some to because he’s got a lovely voice. “Jesus To A cloak Hannon in the Casanova mantle and paint Child” was a total croon.’ him as the aristocratic cad. And finally in this instalment of the wit and ‘They can’t fail to read me into my music wisdom of NeilHannon—that Father Ted theme because the music is me,’ states Hannon. ‘I am in full. ‘They just asked me and I said yes.’ I’m what I sing and vice versa, but it’s not the whole still waiting for the punchline to that one. of me and that’s where people make the mistake, The Divine Comedy play The Arches, Glasgow thinking they can find out exactly what I am on Mon 14 Oct. from the music. It’s just a small snapshot. Even great novelists find it hard to cover a fraction of their personality within the space of War And Peace-type tomes. So I think it’d be pretty difficult in the space of one pop record to say who you are.’

16mm 4-17 Oct 1996