Gig Reviews

The Divine Comedy – Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Gig Review – 26-02-17

neil-hannon-bord-gais-dublin

The Divine Comedy – Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Gig Review – 26-02-17

Lisa O’Neill was the support on the night. She came on stage a little after eight and sang an A cappella version of ‘Galway Shawl’ to start the evening. The most impressive thing about it was it showed how fearless she is, to go out and perform to such a large auditorium in that manner without a quiver in her voice in any sense! For the rest of the set, she performed as part of a four/five piece, with guitars, double bass and drums. I’ve seen Lisa O’Neill a number of times over the years but never with a band and the full sound improved the experience. She has just toured Europe with the Divine Comedy and it must have been good exposure for the Cavan singer. She finished with a version of Run, Honey Run by John Martyn.

Neil Hannon cut quite a figure as he arrived on stage. Wearing a full Napoleon costume, he was ready to command the good ship Bord Gais, packed to the rafters! I witnessed several people begging for tickets at the box office, an unsavoury affair but gives you an idea of how sought after these tickets were. The band were a six piece on stage, with guitars, bass, drums, keyboard and often accordion. Neil Hannon opened with the nicely pompous ‘Sweden’ with lyrics proclaiming their many virtues and not mentioning Trump’s comments!

“Tall and strong and blonde and blue eyed
Pure and healthy, very wealthy” we are told by Hannon.

The reason for Hannon’s choice of clothing became obvious during the third song of the night, ‘Napoleon Complex’, a tale of a short man making up for his failings. A costume change took place after the Certainty of Chance, and he arrived as an English banker, complete with bowler hat and brolly. He then performed ‘A Complete Banker’, a cautionary tale of the banking crisis.
‘Our Mutual Friend’ may have been the highlight of the evening, as Neil disappeared into the audience to serenade one unsuspecting audience member, who did not fluff her lines when given the microphone briefly. He lay on the floor of the aisle and interacted with the audience members very well.
‘Funny Peculiar’ was a seated duet with support act Lisa O’Neill, with her country accent putting a new spin on it. As the end of the evening approached, the quantity of old classics started to increase. ‘A Lady of a Certain Age’ is a personal favourite of mine and worked well. It was during Songs of Love that Neil chose to unleash the Cat Organ onto the world, meow-ing with every tap of the keyboard. Once you have seen the Cat Organ, the only question can be why isn’t it used on every song? On the last song of the set, we were encouraged to stand and dance! The National Express is a song to get any crowd going.
The first encore featured some very early songs with Drinking Song and Tonight We Fly. He needed very little encouragement to come back for two more, with Your Daddy’s Car and Absent Friends. With 2016 claiming so many of our greatest artists, there needs to be new names to fill the voids. Hannon would be an excellent choice to fill the role of National Treasure!

Setlist

Sweden
How Can You Leave Me on My Own
Napoleon Complex
The Frog Princess
Generation Sex
Catherine the Great
Bad Ambassador
Alfie (Cilla Black cover)
The Pact
To the Rescue
The Certainty of Chance
The Complete Banker
Bang Goes the Knighthood
Generation Sex
Our Mutual Friend
Funny Peculiar
A Lady of a Certain Age
Songs of Love
Something for the Weekend
Becoming More Like Alfie
At the Indie Disco
I Like
National Express

Encore
Assume the Perpendicular
Drinking Song
Tonight We Fly

Your Daddy’s Car
Absent Friends

 

 

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Categories: Gig Reviews, Gigs, Header, Music

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