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The Divine Comedy

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Biography

Dublin, Ireland (1989 – present)

The Divine Comedy is a baroque pop band now based in Dublin, Ireland, fronted by Neil Hannon.

Neil Hannon, Originally from Derry, has been the only ever-present member of the band, being its founder in 1989 when he was joined by John McCullagh and Kevin Traynor. Their first album, the heavily R.E.M.-influenced and now-deleted Fanfare for the Comic Muse, enjoyed little success though. A couple of equally unsuccessful EPs - Timewatch (1991); Europop (1992) - were to follow, with newly-recruited member John Allen handling lead vocals on some tracks. After the commercial failure of the latter EP, this line-up soon fell apart.

Hannon, however, was not deterred in his efforts and re-appeared in 1993 with Liberation. Featuring a fairly diverse musical outlook that goes from the tongue-in-cheek synth pop of Europop(nearly unrecognisable from the previously-released version) to the classical stylings of Timewatching.

Indeed, it was only some minor success in France that really enabled Hannon to proceed to his second effort Promenade. Released in 1994, this was heavily driven by classical influences, with Michael Nyman’s stylings clearly an influence. Hannon himself acknowledged this when he apparently sent a copy of his new album to the composer, jokingly asking him not to sue. Essentially a concept album about a day spent by two lovers, it also received similar critical acclaim to that which Liberation was afforded. Commercial success, though, was not forthcoming.

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