The Divine Comedy at the London Palladium
Founded in 1989 by only consistent member Neil Hannon, you could call The Divine Comedy a “dad pop” band. At the London Palladium, the group plays a catchy and very 90s set of hits and some new numbers. The lyrics cleverly capture ordinary, everyday moments and tell a story with comedy and empathy. The accordion (played by Ian Watson) is a fun addition and adds an almost steampunk element to the mix.
Hannon, dressed in a black suit and sunglasses, brings a friendly, informal atmosphere, as if he and the audience have known each other for a long time. The frontman drinks wine, uses a flower bouquet shaker as a prop, and at one point lies down on the stage just long enough for one to wonder what’s going on. He has a distinctive, satisfying voice, and the tune of many of these songs gets the dopamine flying around your brain.
The lights are frequently moved to show the audience to further create this feeling of intimacy. The spotlights are fun – sometimes slow-moving circles, other times strobe lights – and they help reflect the energy of the songs.
National Express gets everyone dancing and singing joyfully along and is great fun to watch. Norman and Nora is another highlight: the lyrics take you through a couple’s life, from early holidays to Majorca to older age, and you can tell that the band is really enjoying themselves during this track. Hannon has a great talent for holding notes for a ridiculous amount of time, which adds a memorable element to the evening.
This performance may be best suited for fans of The Divine Comedy, but even if you haven’t heard them before you will still have a pleasant evening and download National Express on Spotify later.
Photos: Virgine Viche
For further information and future events visit The Divine Comedy’s website here.
Watch the video for the single National Express here: