Release Date: Jul 6, 2009
Record label: 1969 Records
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
There has never been a whole album dedicated to cricket for the same reason there has never been a whole album dedicated to utility bills or Anchor butter: choose a motif so essentially everyday, stretch it over a dozen tracks, and you risk producing tiresome parody. But Neil Hannon, in his daytime guise as frontman of the Divine Comedy, never fears musicalising the mundane (1998's National Express was about coaches, 1999's The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count dealt with hayfever) and - coinciding with the Ashes - dares to dedicate a whole album to the sport in collaboration with Pugwash's Thomas Walsh. Together they are the Duckworth Lewis Method, a term borrowed from an obscure cricketing equation that determines the winner of a match interrupted by rain.
Aconcept album about cricket from Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy has the potential to be so arch as to be unlistenable. Credit, then, to Hannon and his partner on this project, Thomas Walsh, for making one of the summer's most delightful albums. Those with no interest in the game will be largely baffled by the lyrics - "'Twas the first Test of the Ashes series 1993/ Australia had only managed 289 and we ...
It is now, certifiably, summer in England – and what is more both summery and English than cricket? There can almost surely be nothing. Wimbledon, perhaps, but that's now over. The sound of leather against willow, leather against Brian Close – all of those time-aged, tired and tested clichés. It is then a little bit of a surprise that the first cricketing concept album has been written, produced and devised by two Irishmen, the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon – who was and still is a man of hidden depths – and Pugwash's Thomas Walsh, under the name The Duckworth Lewis Method.