The Divine Comedy performing The Best of The Divine Comedy Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Wednesday 25th May 2022.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Neil Hannon, the front man who is The Divine Comedy, took to the stage at the Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday night, after his five band members, looking cool in a suit and his trademark sunglasses.

Delivering a set list that was crammed with familiar and a few obscure songs from his career that has spanned more than three decades, he opened with the touching, soaring Absent Friends; a song dedicated to those lost and missed during the past couple of years which saw the accordion take centre stage.

Hannon has a real warmth and likeability about him as he told the crowd that they were just going to play the hits, and play the hits they did. Relaxed in the capable hands of his outstanding band, they embarked upon a comprehensive tour of a back catalogue full of treasures.

There was the dance floor filler, At The Indie Disco, Becoming More Like Alfie with its nostalgic charm and the lovely Everybody Knows (Except You) that had the crowd singing and swaying. New song The Best Mistakes was simply beautiful and slotted in perfectly alongside the older material such as The Certainty Of Chance which was clearly another winner.

There was also the gorgeous To The Rescue, and the crowd pleasing Generation Sex before a quite magnificent Gin Soaked Boy served as an excellent way to close the first set.

After the interval, things were raised up a notch with A Lady Of A Certain Age before a rapturously received Songs Of Love (better known as the theme from Father Ted) had the crowd on their feet. Entertaining throughout, Hannon continued his theatrical storytelling with Norman And Norma and Your Daddy’s Car.

By the time they reached the hilarious How Can You Leave Me On My Own? the crowd were on their feet , turning the event into a true celebration of song writing, ready for the inevitable final gallop through Something For The Weekend, I Like and National Express.

For the encore there were the immaculately performed versions of Perfect Love Song and Tonight We Fly which sent the crowd home happy.

Having delivered a set list of hits that never let up in quality from the first song to the last, there really is nobody in British music that does this sort of thing as well as Hannon, and on Wednesday night he showed that he is the master of his class.