Audio: ‘The Nightwatchman’
One of my favourite musicians is Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. It’s been a while since he last released any new material, but it seems we can expect a couple of albums from him this year: a new Divine Comedy record later, and first this — a concept album about cricket, made with his friend Thomas Walsh (of a band called Pugwash, whom I know nothing about, but will have to look up, if the present album is anything to go by).
Of course, the concern with any album of this nature is that it’s going to be a novelty, or only of interest to fans of the subject matter. Well, there’s no danger of that with The Duckworth Lewis Method. Which is not to say that the album pays lip-service to being about cricket (some, though by no means all, of the songs go into minute detail about the sport), or that it lacks a sense of humour (it certainly doesn’t) — just that it was a made by a pair whose ears fro a good tune are clearly as great as their love of cricket.
What of the actual songs, then? They’re (perhaps surprisingly) quite a diverse bunch. There’s the terribly civilised ‘Gentlemen and Players’, about the Victorian game; and the tongue-twisting ‘Jiggery Pokery’, about Shane Warne in the 1993 Ashes. There’s ‘The Age of Revolution’, a funky number celebrating the spread of cricket around the world; and the gentle ballad ‘Flatten the Hay’, where Walsh recalls playing cricket in his childhood.
All in all, The Duckworth Lewis Method is a lovely set of songs that deserves a listen, whether you’re into cricket or not.
Video: ‘The Age of Revolution’ (live)