Photo Credit James Edmond
Not the best of nights to be walking the streets of Glasgow, as the rain continued to fall all around the city, tonight fans of The Divine Comedy were off to an Office party in the Cities Old Fruitmarket in Merchant City.
The Old Fruitmarket was ready and waiting with Neil Hannon’s The Divine Comedy stage turned in to an office type scene with desk, office clock, computer and chair and office doors at the ready for the band to take to the stage. Before this the opening band Man and The Echo from Warrington England, got a warm welcome from the Glasgow audience, the band fronted by Gaz Roberts and Joe Forshaw, played through a short set filled with passion and energy with their Indie Art Pop style. Gaz with his likeable charm was interacting with the audience between songs as the audience went on its travels through the world of Man and The Echo, foot tapping and great response from the Glasgow audience, the band played through a great number of songs, varying styles slightly The band played its recent release “A Capable Man”, this seemed to have a few in the audience singing along to. Just when the band had captured the moment of the Glasgow crowd it was time to end there set. I think the feeling was mutual between the audience and the band the party was just getting going with the Glasgow audience enjoying what was a great set of songs from the band. This is a band well worth catching, on their own without the time restraints as a supporting band.
As the stage as cleared of Man and The Echo’s instruments, you could see The Divine Comedy office scene in all its glory, the band currently touring their latest album “Office Politics” brought the show to Old Fruitmarket Glasgow to perform songs from the album and delve into the bands back catalogue,
The band emerged onto the stage one by one through an office door that was constructed to the rear of the stage between the drum kit and bass amp. The atmosphere was building as the eagerly awaiting crowd welcomed the band, before front man Neil Hannon opened the door slightly and teased the Glasgow audience before sticking his leg out the door, saying “How do you like the Suit?”, Neil came on stage with his pink suit on, and states its “A bit Showaddywaddy, but I like It!
The opening notes of “Europop”, had the place celebrating the return of their idols, the venue filled to capacity for the show had sold out many weeks in advance. The average age was around 35+ in the audience spanning the bands history. The set was a mix of style from the previous albums the funk of “Office Politics”. Neil delighted the crowd with the opening, it was time to play with the photographers gathered around the front of the stage with moving from one side to another, then sitting to the stage right and pointing and posing for the group gathered in front, during “Queuejumper”, from “Office Politics” album.
It was a good mix of old and new with highlight’s coming from “Norman and Norma”, “Commuter Love” and “Come Home Billy Bird”, before the band played their new single “Infernal Machines”, that sent the audience to another level. The Divine Comedy party hit fever pitch when the celebration went in to overdrive with the excellent “At the Indie Disco”. Neil knows how to work his crowd with his in your face entertainment and performed fan favourites including “Something for the Weekend”, “The Life and Soul of the Party”, “Opportunity Knox” before closing the set with a brilliant version of “When the working day is Done”, before leaving the stage through the exit door to a tremendous applause, this was not the end, this was time to do some over time in the office.
Neil and the boys did not disappoint, returning through the door, to a rounding applause from the Glasgow audience , they burst into “Songs of Love”, before they delighted the fans with a brilliant version of “National Express” time was running out and it was nearly time for them to leave the stage on this brilliant night of entertainment from Neil Hannon and the boys as they played their final song “Time We Fly”, this would have been better titled time flies by, it has been a whirlwind night of music from the fantastic The Divine Comedy. It was time to take the Nation Express and head home with a simile on your face …