I’m a bit late with this since the gig was last Wednesday, but didn’t seem to have the time or energy to write until now.
Neil Hannon was brilliant at An Grianan Theatre. It was a lovely relaxed gig with a great audience. The venue seemed to be very full, which is a good sign for his first performance there. He performed a great mixture of old and new songs, including ‘songs of love’ (the theme tune to Father Ted encase anyone doesn’t know) which was class! It was interesting to hear acoustic versions of songs I am used to hearing with orchestration and a full band. Neil isn’t an amazing guitarist, but he admits that himself. His piano playing is very impressive though, and his voice is amazing and can definitely hold a note! He is very witty and charming, and had the audience laughing almost every time he spoke. At one point he proceeded to show us the contents of his bag (a towel, a boarding pass, twix and some other random stuff) just for no reason! I deliberately didn’t look at reviews or set lists of previous gigs, so got a great surprise when he performed his fantastic version of ‘time to pretend’ by MGMT. You could hear the words clearly in his version and it brought a whole new meaning to the song.
I contacted Neil Hannon’s PR people to see if I could interview him for my show. They told me that it should be no problem but that they’d get back to me closer to the time. I’ve heard this before from other PR people so didn’t get my hopes up. Just as well, because even though I reminded them about it I got no reply. I wish people would just say something’s not possible instead of saying it might be and then not contacting you again. I would have completely understood if they’d contacted to say it couldn’t happen. That would have been better than nothing. I did bring my plextalk recorder and mic just encase!
It was strange going to a gig with no humans and only O.J, and if it was a noisy gig that I couldn’t bring him too, I definitely wouldn’t have gone on my own. Having him there made me feel completely relaxed, even though he slept through the entire thing. He moved his head on top of my foot during the third song ‘everybody knows…) but didn’t move an inch apart from that. He didn’t even flinch during the loooong note at the end of ‘can you stand upon one leg’ (have a listen to the song and you’ll know what I mean!) Lots of people saw him and came up to chat, which is always helpful when I don’t know anyone. I did meet two friends who I didn’t know were going, and we had a drink in the theatre with their friends after, since the gig was over earlier than the film my parents went to see in the cinema. One of the bar staff came over to pet O.J (his harness was off John :)) and my friends kept an eye out for Neil, but we had no luck. The cover of the new Divine Comedy album shows him in a bath with a dog who apparently looks like O.J. Maybe its just as well they didn’t meet up. That might have been very strange!
Apart from the gig, we had a quiet week. The tragic road accident between Buncrana and Clonmany last Sunday night is still hard to believe and make sense of, and people in our town have had a tough week. Regardless of whether you knew the men or not, it has been on everybody’s mind since. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the families who are left behind.
My granny stayed with us for five days so we had a busy house. The dogs loved sitting beside her to get petted and they were great company for each other. Its amazing how gentle they were around her, while getting excited and playful around everyone else.
I will hopefully have a nice walk and some playtime with O.J tomorrow, before he takes sick leave for a few weeks on Monday. I am off work until 3rd August because they want someone to work up hours and I have to work extra for them in September. It works out perfect while O.J is recovering, because I’ll be able to look after him until the stiches come out.