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It’s usually deemed the height of bad manners for journalists to leave their mobile phones on during interviews, but when my Blackberry starts ringing as I’m sitting down to talk to the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, it’s something of an ice-breaker.He recognises the ring tone straight away as Ann Dudley’s theme from the early-1990s TV serialisation of Jeeves and Wooster featuring Stephen Fry as PG Wodehouses’s ingenious valet.Cathy was born in Dublin, and grew up in Monkstown. She was signed by Parlophone's Regal Recordings after a batch of home-recorded demos caused a bit of a stir, and played her first live date shortly thereafter.Spirited away to a studio in Wales, she set to work on her debut album with producer Ben Hillier, who'd previously worked with Elbow and Blur.But the plural possessive has always been misleading: Hannon, give or take a co-composer here or a backing band there, is the Divine Comedy.
At any rate, most of these comparisons fell by the wayside with time, as Cathy managed to wriggle out of the indie-rock role that Parlophone had given her.
She'd never felt comfortable making her voice heard in label discussions, and found that her debut was "very much other people's idea of what I should sound like." She found it difficult to perform the songs with confidence, and began to yearn for more independence.
She took her time to make the follow-up, and made it on her terms.
Named for the Hannon-penned tune, the Rescue re-homes and rehabilitates mistreated and neglected horses in the Dublin and Leinster area.
My Lovely Horse has been Davey’s passion project (she delayed recording a new album until she felt it was on solid enough footing) and Hannon’s pride in her work is obvious.