After last year’s eccentric, brilliant Duckworth Lewis Method collaboration with Thomas Walsh – the tracks Jiggery Pokery about Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ dismissal of Mike Gatting in the 1993 Ashes Test at Old Trafford, Mason on the Boundary and The Night Watchman are sublime – Neil Hannon returns to the pavilion with his new Divine Comedy album Bang Goes the Knighthood.
Hannon’s beautifully crafted songs take a canter though modern life. His themes catch the spirit of the age; the credit crunch (The Complete Banker), the establishment figure with a guilty secret (Bang Goes the Knighthood), studenty nostalgia (At the Indie Disco), yuppie aspiration (Assume the Perpendicular).
Other tracks explore the isolation and pain of the modern. The Lost Art of Conversation explores how the pace and pressure of the day-to-day is eroding our ability to use our imaginations to interact with one another. It takes time, patience to look into life more deeply. Slow down and absorb the world around you.He’s a clever chap is Mr Hannon. He even challenges us to have a go at his craft in Can You Stand Upon One Leg. With a knowing wink he asks us to try to write a witty song and hold a high note for as long as he can. As if what he has achieved with this album is as easy as that. If it were we’d all be doing it.