Gigs, gigs, gigs. There was a time, ooh about 30 years ago, when I’d be out at gigs two or three times a week. Lockdown aside, I can count on one hand the number of music gigs, as opposed to spoken word events, I’ve been to in the past couple of years.

Last night I saw The Divine Comedy with a dear pal who’s been unwell. In fact, I wondered if I’d be going on me tod but no, we got to meet and catch up in the City Tavern pub before heading to The City Hall. Our night was off to a cracking start!

I’m ashamed to say we walked into the stalls as support act Ren Harvieu started her final song. She was terrific and I will go and investigate her sound.

I’ve blogged about Neil Hannon before because I love his songs. I got into The Divine Comedy around the time of Liberation and it’s one of my fave albums of all time. You can read my blog in praise of that album here

Last night I was part of a happy audience singing along to a set showcasing the latest album: Charmed Life- The Best of The Divine Comedy. It was life-affirming to join in a collective “Whoooo!” at the start of Something for the Weekend but something was wrong. Neil had to make an announcement.

For the first time in the band’s 40 date tour they were informed on stage that 02 City Hall staff would pull the plug on the gig unless punters returned to their seats from the aisles.

Neil handled the situation well and we did what we were told to do before twisting and jiving and clapping along to The National Express. Was it me or did the audience put more effort into the words “your arse is the size of a small country”? I for one was directing it at O2-see-what-you-can-and-can’t-do-at-one-of-your-venues.

Neil is a terrific songwriter but last night reminded me about his astonishing voice. Check out his version of Frankie’s The Power of Love, the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind and this version of Songs of Love, performed on an RTE tribute show for Dermot Morgan.

Last night was also Eurovision finale. There was one tease from Neil but no, the band did not play My Lovely Horse.

Thanks to my pal , I got home in time to watch the last half hour of Eurovision. The show’s always been political and it was fitting that people power voted Ukraine into the top spot.

And today it’s the mournful melody and the positive pounding beat of Kalush Orchestra’s Stefania that’s in my head along with memories of the divine voice of Neil Hannon.