Sep 23 2016

Foreverland News, Later with Jools Holland & Tour Dates!!

So as I’m sure you’re all aware the brand new album from The Divine Comedy Foreverland is very much out now and we’ve been busy travelling round promoting the release.


It climbed up to number 7 in the official UK album charts in it’s first week of release, plus it was number 3 in Ireland and 14 in France! Very exciting indeed…

We played on Chris Evans and Dermot O’Leary’s BBC radio 2 shows, then dashed off to Paris for an unplugged gig for PIAS plus a few days of television and radio spots before returning to the UK in time to play on Later… with Jools Holland.


You can stream the whole unplugged PIAS Paris show here on the ARTE website. Not sure how long it’ll stay live so have a look while you can!

The Later… Live! show aired on Tuesday but the full Later… show is on tonight at 11.05pm on BBC2!!

I’ve been playing all these unplugged shows on my little Kala ukulele bass which has been great fun. It’s been getting a lot of attention over the last few weeks. You’ll see it in action on Jools later tonight through my new Aguilar rig. Sounds fantastic…


The tour starts on 7th October and tickets are selling out fast so you better get on the case boys and girls. See you out there!

October 2016

  • 7th Aberystwyth Arts Centre Aberystwyth, UK
  • 8th TramShed Cardiff, UK
  • 9th St George’s Bristol, UK
  • 11th City Varieties Music Hall Leeds, UK
  • 12th Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, UK
  • 14th St George’s Hall Liverpool, UK
  • 15th The Foundry Sheffield, UK
  • 16th The Baths Hall Scunthorpe, UK
  • 17th Sage One Newcastle, UK
  • 19th Leamington Assembly Leamington Spa, UK
  • 20th Junction Cambridge, UK
  • 21st Quarterhouse Folkestone, UK
  • 22nd Open Norwich, UK
  • 24th Town Hall Birmingham, UK
  • 25th De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill On Sea, UK
  • 27th Stereolux Nantes, France
  • 28th La Sirène La Rochelle, France
  • 29th BIME Festival Bilbao, Spain
  • 30th Atabal Biarritz, France

November 2016

  • 2nd Le Radiant Lyon, France
  • 3rd MC2 Grenoble, France
  • 4th La Coopérative de Mai Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 6th Le Bikini Toulouse, France
  • 7th Paloma Nîmes, France
  • 8th Le Silo Marseille, France
  • 10th Dijon Theatre Dijon, France
  • 12th La Cartonnerie Reims, France
  • 13th L’Autre Canal Nancy, France
  • 14th Théâtre Sebastopol Lille, France
  • 16th Le Cargö Caen, France
  • 17th Le 106 Rouen, France

January 2017

  • 24th Les Folies BergèreParis, France
  • 25th Les Folies Bergère Paris, France
  • 27th den Atelier Luxembourg-City, Luxembourg
  • 28th La Laiterie Strasbourg, France
  • 30th Cirque Royal Brussels, Belgium

February 2017

  • 1st Théâtre Fémina Bordeaux, France
  • 3rd Theatro Circo Braga, Portugal
  • 4th Teatro Tivoli Lisbon, Portugal
  • 5th Teatro Alameda Seville, Spain
  • 7th Teatro Nuevo Apolo Madrid, Spain
  • 8th Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, Spain
  • 10th Teatro Grande Brescia, Italy
  • 11th Théâtre de l’Octogone Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 13th Heimathafen Neukölln Berlin, Germany
  • 14th Vega Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 15th Cirkus Skandiascenen Stockholm, Sweden
  • 16th Cosmopolite Oslo, Norway
  • 18th Mojo Club Hamburg, Germany
  • 19th Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 21st London Palladium London, UK
  • 22th London Palladium London, UK
  • 23rd London Palladium London, UK
  • 25th Albert Hall Manchester, UK
  • 26th Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dublin, Ireland


Jul 1 2013

The Duckworth Lewis Method Are Go!

We’re almost ready for take off folks…

Sticky Wickets Cover

The brand new album from The Duckworth Lewis Method is out today!! If you can find a record shop still standing (!) go out right now and grab yourself a copy. The band has a sparkly new website which looks fantastic and they put out a video for the first single It’s Just Not Cricket. It looks a bit like this…

Neil and Thomas has been busy doing a whole bunch of radio interviews. The best way to keep up with all their adventures is via Twitter I find, it gets updated regularly. Although wait until we’re on tour folks…

So our fist show is on Monday at Lord’s, then we’re at the Nottingham Playhouse on Tuesday. We’ll be playing at Electric Picnic in August and then the big tour starts at the end of September. here’s some dates for you…

  • Friday 20th September @ St. George’s Church, Brighton
  • Saturday 21st @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire
  • Tuesday 24th Oran Mor, Glasgow
  • Wednesday 25th The Sage, Gateshead
  • Thursday 26th Academy 2, Manchester
  • Friday 27th Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
  • Saturday 28th St Georges Hall, Bristol
  • Sunday 29th Glee Club, Birmingham

So there you go folks. We’re coming to a town near you in the very near future. Time to book some tickets I’d say. It’s going to be rather special. I’ve even bought a new hat for the occasion. See you there…

Sep 14 2010

Duke Special at the Shanghai World Expo 2010

Hello folks,

As many of you will already know from my last post, I’ve just got back from a week in Shanghai at the 2010 World Expo with Duke Special. The Duke was invited to play three shows at the UK Pavilion last week and we jumped at the chance. This was the first time any of us had been to China and to be honest the reality of the situation didn’t really hit any of us until we were being driven from the airport to our hotel in Shanghai and Richie turned around exclaiming “We’re in China!!”.

The expedition began on the Friday night at Electric Picnic in Ireland. We were headlining the Cosby stage. Annoyingly, we were on at the same time as Roxy Music, The Eels and Public Image Ltd, but it didn’t seem to matter in the end as we had a huge crowd waiting for us when we went on stage. We had a surprise cover lined up for the show and we were joined by the marvelous Mr Phil Jupitus for Ian Dury’s Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll (I’ve linked to a YouTube video here, the quality is a bit ropey, but you get the idea). We did have some time to wander round the site this time. Managed to catch a bit of Hurts and Laura Marling’s set, but unfortunately didn’t have time to see Jonsi (although did see him wandering around backstage, which was almost as much excitement as I can take… until John Lydon turned up!). The show was great fun and afterwards we drove back to Dublin to catch our epic flight the following day.

Eleven hours later we rocked up in Shanghai! The first thing that struck me like a house-brick in the face was the climate. It was generally between 31-33 degrees, with 85% humidity. Now, as many of you know, I don’t really do hot. I’m a hat and scarf kinda chap. We soon learnt that the mornings were a time to hide away rather than venture outside and that most people were wandering round like wet rags too; it wasn’t just us.

We did get a lot of attention walking around the streets of Shanghai. The Duke’s  dreads and my piercings were a particular fascination for the locals, but it was Richie and Phil who kept getting stopped in the street to have their picture taken with Chinese tourists. It was absolutely hilarious, especially in the Yu Gardens where we became a little attraction for about ten minutes in one of the squares…

Shanghai is utterly immense. It has a population of over 20 million people (four times that of the whole of Scotland!). Looking around from our base in downtown Shanghai, there are skyscrapers for as far as you can see in every direction. The city really comes alive at nighttime when the temperature drops a little (although not by much!) and the streets really fill up. The driving out there is incredible. Imagine driving around the West end on a Friday night, then speed it all up four or five times! Brilliant. The taxi drivers all honk their horns constantly; not a sign of road rage but instead to warn other drivers that they’re about to cut them up! Genius, if a little hair-raising at times. Definitely better than Alton Towers…

It was really strange having no access to Twitter or Facebook for the duration. I had a look at my website from a Chinese computer and noticed big gaps where Vimeo and YouTube videos had been blocked, my Twitter feed had been removed and any Facebook links turned up blank. As you’ll know I use Twitter literally all the time to stay in touch and not having that connection was pretty bizarre. I guess it was the one reminder that China is still a communist state. In fact, this very blog post will probably not come up in China. Hmm…

Back to the story…

The actual Expo site sits alongside the river and is almost like Disney World. To date they have received over 51 million visitors. Each country hosts it’s own Pavilion, with a vast range of architectural oddities: showcasing local food, art and entertainment, business, design and culture. The UK Pavilion was to be our home for three nights. Boasting an enormous fibre optic light installation on top of an extraordinary building, we were essentially playing on the roof. This will give you some idea…

The organisers really had no idea what the reaction would be from the Chinese audiences. There had been other acts on in some of the other Pavilions and we had several troupes of street performers working the area in front of the stage in the afternoon. Street performance and busking is banned in China so they went down a storm with big crowds gathering around them taking pictures and getting involved in the acts. When we took to the stage we were met with a big crowd sitting politely on the floor. This is what the organisers expected. They clapped politely after the first few songs. But by the end of the set the Duke had them jumping up and down rushing to the front of the stage, singing along (in a foreign language!) and screaming! Oh yes indeed folks, we definitely won them over big time! The Pavilion staff were bowled over with the crowd’s reaction and said they’d rarely seen anything like it from  a Chinese audience. Well, that’s the Duke for you…

We had plenty of time on the Shanghai trip to have a good look around during the day. We visited a few tourist-tastic areas. Amongst the first was The Bund (see above) alongside the Huangpu river, which looks out on the famous Pudong financial district. It’s a big tourist destination and great for photos! We also went down to the Yu Gardens to see some of the more traditional Chinese architecture.

We had such a great time in Shanghai. Great food, lovely people, great city! Big thanks to Tania, Bin-Bin and James at the UK Pavilion for looking after us so well. I promised Katy I’d take lots of photos whilst I was away and now have a big blog surplus, so here they are in no particular order in clickable gallery form. Enjoy!

And for those of you waiting with baited breath for news of my CD release, fear not. The Mandala CD will definitely be ready at the beginning of next week, if not the end of this week. The packaging looks stunning and I can’t wait to see them in the flesh. I shall of course post here to let you all know when it’s ready. Until then, you can still of course buy the digital version on my music page.

Until next time…