Saturday, October 11, 2008

tears of a clown

As Domino Rally winds it's way to it's inevitable demise (the seemingly endless gaps between posts are never a good sign, are they?), take heart from the fact that I'm going to get through the list of songs that I intend to share with you before I pull the plug. Yes, despite appearances to the contrary, there is an element of planning in what I do here!

I recently delved into the the world of the comedy song, looking at the work of DJs, actors and the like, as well as yer dedicated comedy songwriters.

But what happens if you're one of these last but you wake up one day and think, "actually, I have deep thoughts that matter" and remove your clown shoes?

One such band was The Divine Comedy, who peddled a very British strain of kitchen-sink banter since forming in 1989. They were never strictly a comedy band but achieved success when Neil Hannon adopted the pose of a rakish dandy for Something for the Weekend in 1996 and released a series of quirkily comedic songs like Generation Sex and National Express. And, of course, Hannon wrote the theme tune and the genius My Lovely Horse for Father Ted.

However, in 2001 they released Regeneration, a definite move away from what had become their signature sound. Neil took his suit off, put on some baggy combats and stood in the street with his bandmates. Like a proper band.

The Divine Comedy - Love What You Do

They recorded Regeneration with Nigel Godrich, who since then has become a by-word for "Danger! Thom Yorke crossing!" Back then I knew him as the bloke who did the last Pavement album and my favourite Beck album, Mutations. He really does have a knack for recording synths and a way of setting the tone with a few well-placed textures, as evidenced on this track. Listen for the great wobbly sound that kicks in at 1.34.

The Divine Comedy - Eye Of The Needle

Blimey, has it got cold in here? It's not exactly "it's hard to get by when your arse is the size of a small country", is it?

Visit - The Divine Comedy
Buy - Regeneration

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