Too Divine Doctor

Monday, 15 January 2007

Remeber how I got all excited over Neil Hannon on the Who OST? The thought of my favourite skinny geeky boys in suits being connected was almost too much for me…

Paul Cornell emailed me today to point out Love Don’t Roam, the song from the Runaway Bride, is available to buy on download sites, which means – under the new singles charts rules – that it could make the UK Top 40. Leaving aside the wonders of getting a Who song into the Top 40, this would also return Hannon to it, which can be no bad thing. And for 79p, or thereabouts, you get the rather fabulous bossa stylings of the song as well.

Doubtless in the future it will become a standard at fan weddings.

Divine Doctor

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Now, as we’re running a little ahead of schedule, there’s just time for one extra item…

And I started to walk
Pretty soon I will run
And I’ll be running back to you

There’s been confirmation of the Doctor Who Soundtrack CD release. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how delicious the song was, it includes Song for Ten from last year’s Christmas Invasion. The one that plays during the wardrobe scene and reaches a crescendo as the Doctor smiles at Rose, all modded-up and geektastic. The one that borrows the wall of sound for one brief interlude. Obviously, this is the track that non-OST types will be ripping as quick as possible, possibly for use in fanvids on YouTube. That’s not the best thing.

The best thing is that it’s been rerecorded for the OST…by Neil Hannon.

Back in the pre-Xmas excitement, back when all we knew was that Tennant was using his Casanova accent, I developed an odd mental image. I’d been listening to The Divine Comedy’s Casanova more than a girl should and slowly the two skinny geeky boys merged in my mind until I was imagining the tenth Doctor to be a mash up of Tennant’s Casanova and Neil Hannon’s. The suit helped, obviously.

The Doctor Who offices are stealing bits of my brain again.

Tonight We Fly

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Fate doesn’t hang on a wrong or right choice,
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice,
So sing while you have time, let the sun shine down from above
And fill you with songs of love
Songs of Love, The Divine Comedy

Yeah, I know I’ve quoted it before, but it does remain one of my absolute favourite Divine Comedy songs. We went to the Roundhouse on Thursday night to see them live. The support act were musically competent, but suffered from being a checklist of clichés. The Divine Comedy were, of course, excellent. Hannon is the sort of artist who easily gathers up the audience and plays it like a dream, from his teasing threaten to strip to bringing on a brass section for two songs in the encore. The highlight was The Plough, from Victory for the Comic Muse, where he told a life story in the time it took to smoke a cigarette.

We then spent the Friday afternoon at Kew Gardens, nipping into the Temperate House at one point to warm up from the chilly autumn air:
Autumn Colour informal lake island
Pagoda The Temperate house Time Forgot
[all images here]
We tried to get tickets for Late at the Tate but were too, er, late.

Then to Brizzol for the weekend, and PPH‘s birthday. The SS Great Britain is, indeed, an excellent museum. There’s been a conscious effort to remove the barriers between visitor and objects. The route is defined a little, in that you start with the rusting hull, then visit a dockside exhibition which goes backwards through time, before stepping onto the restored mid-Victorian deck of the ship and investing its various quarters. But within that journey back through time, you are given freedom: you can try to steer using a working wheel and pulleys, or wander through the ship in no order. There’s an active encouragement to try the doors in the salons, and a turning engine at its heart. And this is before I mention the glass sea… Wonderful. Highly recommended.

sing while you have time

Sunday, 1 May 2005

The grouch is, rather obviously, not an mp3 blog. But my recent obsession with the Rufus Wainwright track Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk made me dig into my CD stack and pull out the album Casanova by The Divine Comedy. I don’t know the specific genre name for the sort of darkly lush lyrical stuff is (and I’d put The Magnetic Fields into the same genre) but it is one of my favourites.

So, in a rare burst of mp3 blog-ism, here’s the most obvious and lovely track from Casanova:
The Divine Comedy – Songs of Love

(buy the album via amazon.co.uk)

Anyone not familiar with the Divine Comedy but familiar with British sitcoms might recognise it as, rather implausibly, the theme to Father Ted although I have long since managed to disentangle the two in my mind. Anyone who was as enthralled by the recent Casanova drama might recognise something of the lyrics (Hannon describes the album as “inspired by the writings of the eighteenth century Venetian gambler, eroticist and spy”). Oh yes.

Fate doesn’t hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice
So sing while you have time
Let the sun shine down from above
And fill you with songs of love.

It made me wonder to what – if any – extent the album may have influenced the production. The album takes elements of Casanova and reworks them as refractions of modern life. Now I know something more about Casanova than “he climbed over the Doge’s palace roof” the thematic unity of the album is much clearer. If you own a copy and have seen the drama, I throughly recommend a relisten.


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