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演唱會評論 - Divine Comedy

Neil Hannon Is Back With His Comedy (an old review)
By Aris Pondaag & Charles Tai

On Sunday night, September 26th, 2004, the Divine Comedy were performing an entertaining set of comical yet emotional music in front of their scant audience at Sonar, Gastown. CJSF volunteers, Aris Pondaag and Charles Tai, were privileged to witness one of the most prominent song-writers out of UK with his company performing their last show of the North-American tour in support of the band’s latest album, Absent Friends.

With more than a decade of musical experience under their belt, the Divine Comedy, which currently comprise only a single member of the original line-up and a bunch of session players, have established themselves as one of a few bands around that still sticks to their original sounds and lyrics. Led by the charismatic singer, Neil Hannon, the Divine Comedy have produced more than half-dozen albums, in which some of them have spawned the band’s most essential hits to date. Tonight, the Divine Comedy are back after two years absent from North America, and with only represented by three musicians, the band are ready to show their worth.

The show kicks off at around 8.30 Pm to a somewhat unpacked crowd. The line up was Neil at keyboard accompanied by two other musicians (Tom and John) in charge of guitars and contra bass. The band appear in gracious mood, and even seem rather relief to reach the end of their journey in North America. They open the set with the album’s self-titled track, Absent Friends, which quickly gains the audience’s attention and sets the expectation for the listeners of what are coming. The band then launches on to a mixture of new and old materials.

Some of the highlights from the new album were Charmed Life, a song dedicated to his daughter, and Come Home Billy Boy, a track about a ‘bloke’ as Neil simply explained. The band also pretty much covered most materials from their older albums. The highlights were National Express, which (the petite crowd responded by dancing and singing along to it) was responded by people singing along and dancing. Tonight We Fly, arguably one of the best tracks ever released by Divine Comedy, from the album Promenade, was also done superbly to end the set.

In between songs, Neil tries to interact with the audience with his remarks, which often make the crowd giggles. Towards the end of the first set, Neil Hannon surprises the audience by covering a song by Queens of The Stone Age, No One Knows. The rendition is done uniquely with a stronger staccato feel to it. During the pause in-between the choruses, Neil Hannon jokingly sticks out a devil hand gesture to the crowd and immediately receives loud cheers.

Sunrise, a beautiful track from the album Fin De Siecle ends the encore, and sends the audience back home with wonder and satisfaction.

More comprehensive information about the band can be found at their personal Website:

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