Love the way cricket brings out people’s most eccentric traits? Then love this.
It is, of course, amazing that Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy has formed a band named after an obscure cricket rule. It’s even more amazing that both their self-titled 2009 album and this, the follow-up, are actually about cricket. Take ‘The Umpire’, which ruminates on technology threatening the livelihood of cricket umpires. Or ‘Third Man’ (featuring Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry bloody Potter), on which Hannon and his bandmate Thomas Walsh giggle about how luxurious it is to while away an afternoon in the most pointless fielding position of all. It’s mostly soft-rock plus strings and piano, apart from ‘Line And Length’, which dabbles in INXS-style electro-pop. Easy listening, as it should be. ‘Sticky Wickets’ lands just before an Ashes series, which is perfect timing, and they’ve even got Stephen Fry reciting a poem on ‘Judd’s Paradox’. Love the way cricket brings out people’s most eccentric traits? Then love this.