Watch The Divine Comedy’s live session here

Virgin Radio

4 Feb 2022, 08:00

The Divine Comedy. Credit: Virgin Radio

The Divine Comedy. Credit: Virgin Radio

The band joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about their new album, and to play an amazing live session from the top of the tower!

The new record, Charmed Life - The Best Of The Divine Comedy, is out today (4th February). It contains hit singles and fan favourites compiled by frontman Neil Hannon, and includes their brand new song, The Best Mistakes. Neil started writing the single in around 2007 and didn’t return to it until this compilation album. Of the song’s meaning, Neil told Chris: “We’ve all done silly things from time to time, but there is no time, or point to dwelling on them. That’s what the song’s about.”

Neil signed his first record deal in 1990 when he was 20 years old and has released 12 albums since as the only constant member of The Divine Comedy. When considering his career, the artist said: “It sounds boring, but I really have just done my thing all the way through and at some points there has been a lull, and at other points there has been a little bit of more appreciation. And I seemed to get over a bit of a rocky patch in the middle to attain some kind of equilibrium, where people just thought, ‘Well, he’s not going away, so we might as well just put up with him!’"  

When Chris asked if Neil ever suffered from insecurities or worries, the musician responded: “It’s not something I suffered from a lot. I mean, in the early days, I just suffered from enormous ego and massive self-belief!

"I don’t think I’d still be here if I hadn’t had this unquestioning faith that I was a genius! But then when you realise that you’re not really, you sort of find out who you really are, and that’s good too.”

During their session, Neil and the band played an amazing cover of Talking Heads classic Road to Nowhere, taken from the band’s 1985 album Little Creatures.

The band also performed their hit single National Express, taken from their sixth studio album, 1998’s Fin de Siècle. It reached number 8 on the UK singles chart.

Speaking more about The Divine Comedy's success, Neil said: “We made some very sort of weird little intellectual records before we had the hits, and then Casanova, the third album, I kind of moderately designed it to suit the time, because I liked a lot of the same sort of influences as other bands of the Britpop era.”

Naming some of those influences, he added: “A lot of people were revisiting things like The Kinks, and a lot of easy-listening stuff, the Burt Bacharach stuff, and all of the great soundtracks... John Barry, Ennio Morricone, I love all that.”

The band’s live set also included To The Rescue, taken from The Divine Comedy’s eleventh studio album Foreverland released in 2016. 

They will be hitting the road soon, starting in Europe in March, and then hitting the UK in April. When Chris asked how their gig fitness was, Neil joked: “We found out yesterday, it’s not great. When we were rehearsing, after about two hours I really wanted to go to the pub!” 

He added: “We’re building ourselves up. By the time we hit San Sebastian, we’ll be on at least 75 percent! 

“By the time we get to the UK and Ireland, we will be fit… to drop!”

Charmed Life - The Best Of The Divine Comedy is out today. For tickets to the band's tour our, visit

For more great live sessions and interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.