Irish News Of The World: Divine Delivery Of Cricket Tales

A 2009 review of the debut album featuring a chat with Neil and Thomas.

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RATED > MUSIC

DIVINE DELIVERY OF CRICKETING TALES

The idea of two Irish guys doing a concept album about cricket may put a few people on the back foot.

But Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash have delivered a rich and varied album - The Duckworth Lewis Method - that’s packed with potential hits.

The album is littered with humour, but it’s also the most sumptuous record Hannon has done since The Divine Comedy’s Fin De Siecle in 1997.

This regeneration has come from two supremely talented songwriters coming together for the first time to bring out the best in each other.

Neil said: “We started writing songs together to sell but nobody wanted them (laughs), so we came up with the idea in the pub. We’ve both been cricket fans for 20 years.”

Thomas said: “Neither of us had written with anyone before, and with someone like Neil it was an honour. He made me up my game. When I heard his ideas I just thought “Oh, s***, I have to come up with something that good.”

Thomas has more than succeeded. DLM is diverse - there’s the glam rock of Sweet Spot, the Noel Cowardesque ditty Jiggery Pokery and epic tunes Meeting Mr Miandad and Mason On The Boundary, which features the voice of The IT Crowd’s Matt Berry.

Even The tail-enders are top notch.

Empire

The whole idea is a bit like a cross between two Kinks’ albums, The Village Green Preservation Society (1968) and Arthur (1969), about the sunset of the British Empire.

By coincidence, DLM are on Dublin label 1969 records.

Thomas said: “The Kinks are in my DNA as they are for Neil, too, but in a less obvious way.”

So how do they expect the record - made by a duo from Fermanagh (Neil) and South Dublin (Thomas) - to be received in England?

Neil said: “They really love it. Even before we had done any promo they were coming after us.

“We were even interviewed by BBC Radio 4 at the Sussex v Surrey game at the Oval.”

The single, Age Of Revolution, out on June 26, is a strange mix of styles like nothing else on the album.

Neil said: “Neither of us would have done that on our own. It just happened.”

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