SPIN: Mike Gatting Meets Noel Coward

June 2009: SPIN Magazine's take on the debut Duckworth Lewis album.


Mike Gatting Meets Noel Coward - The Divine Comedy's New Cricket Pop Masterpiece

Devotees of the SPIN podcast will know that cricket’s alliance with pop has, in recent years, extended only so far as the Mark Butcher Band. But now the Butcher Band have a run for their money, as the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon releases a new album, themed entirely around cricket. Hannon has collaborated with Tom Walsh of fellow (but less well-known) sprightly Dublin popsters Pugwash on a project called ‘The Duckworth Lewis Method.’ And it is rather good: 12 genuinely good tunes that just happen to be about surreal cricketing topics.

There’s a song from the point of view of Mike Gatting as he faces up to Shane Warne’s Ball of the Century (’Jiggery Pokery’); there’s a song about going on the hippy trail to Pakistan in a Camper Van with the express intent of meeting Javed Miandad (’Meeting Mr Miandad’); while ‘The Age of Revolution’ seems to cover former Empire countries beating England at their own game and the upsurge of pyjama cricket: “Always denied entry by the English gentry/now we’re driving Bentleys and playing Twenty20.”

In the wrong hands this could all be dismal songs-from-the-shows fare, but this is more like Vic Reeves sings The Kinks while dressed as Noel Coward. An air of timeless, if slightly Edwardian, summer pop pervades. It’s kind of ridiculous – but in a good way.

SPIN Magazine - Unknown