The Duckworth Lewis Method at The Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos
The Duckworth Lewis Method played a fully seated show at The Olympia Theatre tonight, November 27th 2013, with support from another Irish band, The Statics.
On first glance one might think there was an amateur dramatics light opera about to take place onstage at the Olympia. A flurry of men in Panama hats and cricket clothing, a tiny troubadour and a rotund Dickensian undertaker pace pensively in front of their instruments. Little did we know what musical adventures we were about to encounter.
The Duckworth Lewis Method are a pop topped combination of Neil Hannon from the acclaimed Divine Comedy and Tom Walsh from the lush melodic band Pugwash. These two appear to be the polar opposites of each other. Hannon the son of a Protestant Minister in Northern Ireland, Walsh the son of a catholic Dub. One’s big , one’s small. Yet their talents combine seamlessly into a witty, whimsical, luxurious, bizarre and melodic parody of life, based on the musical microcosms of Cricket.
They started with “Sticky Wickets“, the title track from their current album, an eclectic little rock tinged bass lined anthem with ELO flavoured vocals. Announcing themselves ironically as “Status Quo“, Hannon hints at the banter that’s about to follow. It’s hard to know if it’s a comedy or concert, which to be fair is very entertaining. After “The Age of Revolution“ a bluesy jazzy quaint little tale of Cricket pop, Hannon & Walsh handle some hecklers and hat jokes onstage. Traditional Dublin slaggin’ ensues throughout the gig. Everything from the good aul’ Ronnie Drew “Dublin. My Dublin“, 98 FM radio ads, to 1970’s crappy Granny Mc Greedy’s badly flavoured crisps. A childhood taste sensation that still haunts Walsh. In the middle of all this there’s lush harmonies in with Indian hints in “Boom Boom Afridi“, “In The Middle“ a lesson learned in life, not just Cricket. Nick Seymour from Crowded House is in the audience, having contributed to the album. He gets a comedic mention as well. As Neill gets taunted for eating a whole sea bream only minutes before stagetime, Walsh & Hannon launch into an impromptu “Don’t Bream It’s Over” in Seymour’s honour. Rising harmonies and harpsichord in “Gentlemen and Players“ please the people, only before Hannon is sweet talked into a rendition of “My Lovely Horse” from Father Ted. A lament to old fashioned standards of yesteryear is called “The Umpire“, sweetly packaged melodies delivering this sad tale of umpire and referee isolation. Very Divine Comedy if I may say so. “Out On The Boundary “ next. Very Pugwash. Lush and a little bit Pet Sounds.
“Line and Length“, obviously a Cricket term, is next. A strange concoction of a spoken voice over by Hannon on a bass line reminiscent of The Art of Noise “ from the 80’s with few stylistic chords from Robert Palmer thrown in. It’s brilliant if not bizarre.
“The Laughing Cavaliers” makes everyone grin. A choir of enthusiastic Cricketers do chorus and backing for what can only be described as the Monty Python moment. All we need is Pimms at this point, with our melodramatic am dram jolly tune of laughing camaraderie. Jokes about of Hat Sex from Tom and guitar player Tosh onstage, slaggin’ the French, Harry Potter and tour bus scrabble wars are almost as entertaining as the tunes. “Jiggery Pokery”, bit of a talking opera and more jokes about Drimnagh, “Nudging and Nurdling“ whatever that means, is a crowd pleaser as are many more that we don’t have time to mention. The finale to this wonderful evening is the chirpy and poppy “Meeting Mr. Miandad“, a story of exotic travels to Pakistan in a VW Campervan. Happy harmonies and fluffy vocals National Express style. I don’t know much about cricket. Except the music is brilliant.
Review by Ciara Sheahan
Photos by Tudor Marian