Divine Comedy front man and writer, Neil Hannon with a revolving door of musicians, has for many years consistently produced some of the greatest tunes of a generation. Witty, incisive lyrics, often with a poignant edge, combined with great musician ship over there 29 years (so far!) have ensured that they will always have a loyal fanbase and having the opportunity to see them live is an opportunity not to be missed.
Earlier this year The Divine Comedy released their 12th album ‘Office Politics’ to widespread critical acclaim and rightly so, and tonight Leeds Beckett welcomed back The Divine Comedy on the ‘Office Politics’ tour.
The stage was set up to resemble a sort of 80’s style office and as you would expect, the band trooped on through the ‘In’ door quickly followed by Neil Hannon and it was straight into ‘Europop’ from their ‘Liberation’ album with it’s synth heavy beat, which immediately got the crowd moving.
Naturally this set heavily featured tracks from their new album, which on occasion can be a risky strategy for any band, but there were no problems here. Already the new tunes sound like they’ve been around for ages and as soon as they dived into the worryingly catchy ‘Queue Jumper’ this went down a storm with the audience.
Standout track from the new album for me is ‘Norman & Norma’ the ordinary story of a couple who marry, have children, and the live version was sublimely delivered. Song writing of this level has always reminded me of Squeeze at their very best.
Other new tracks ‘Infernal Machines’ and ‘You’ll Never Work In This Town Again’ confirmed that The Divine Comedy are still very much at the top of their game, and of course an acoustic version of ‘A Lady Of A Certain Age’ was just another of the many highlights of the evening.
‘Indie Disco’ ramped up proceedings with the introduction of party hats (no expense spared!) and the uplifting ‘National Express’ of course had the entire crowd singing along.
I was particularly impressed with their live version of ‘Removal Company’ which unless I’m very much mistaken, used looping to great effect, as well as an orchestral/choral element for good measure.
One thing to mention before I go, if you are fortunate enough to catch this band live, DO NOT leave before the encore. ‘Your Daddy’s Car’, ‘Songs Of Love’ and ‘Tonight We Fly’ are the perfect end to a perfect evening.
The Divine Comedy like fine wine, seem to get better and better as far as I’m concerned, and we’re already looking forward to the next album and tour
· Queue Jumper
· Generation Sex
· Commuter Love
· Norman & Norma
· Come Home Billy Bird
· Infernal Machines
· You’ll Never Work In This Town Again
· I’m A Stranger Here
· A Lady Of A Certain Age
· Absolute Obsolete
· At The Indie Disco
· I Like
· National Express
· The Life And Soul Of The Party
· A Feather In Your Cap
· Philip & Steve’s Furniture Removal Company
· Absent Friends
· When The Working Day Is Done
· Your Daddys Car
· Songs Of Love
· Tonight We Fly