Week 8: 19th – 25th Feb. Mixed bag edition.

The Divine Comedy at the Palladium… twice

You all know this anyway, but Neil Hannon is just an extraordinary songwriter. First, he absolutely one of the wisest writers – working in any genre or medium – that I know of. Tracks like Songs of Love and Love What You Do aren’t just great songs, they’re songs to live by:

Fate doesn’t hang on a wrong or right choice

Fortune depends on the tone of your voice


Exercise your freedom

Exorcise those demons

Not content with being a superlative lyricist, he also wrings musical beauty out of every line, both vocally (and he’s a stunning singer) and in the gorgeous surging orchestrations of the likes of Our Mutual Friend and To The Rescue (and In Pursuit of Happiness, and A Lady of a Certain Age, and Tonight We Fly and and and…). And on top of all that, he’s a funny and generous live performer who always seems so happy to make an audience happy.

So that, ladies and gents, is why I saw him and the band not once but twice this week, delighting in every bonkers line of Bad Ambassador, and every joy-filled moment of I Like. As the kids say: YAAAASSSS.

Pls Like: Episodes 1-3 

In its online-first incarnation, BBC Three has produced some properly excellent factual stuff (Life and Death Row and American High School especially), but at the moment it’s doing a particularly fine job of giving of providing a platform for talented comedy writers and performers. I wrote about the astonishingly good Uncle a few weeks back, Witless has just had its third series confirmed, and now stand-up Liam Williams has written and stars in Pls Like. Skewering both vloggers and his own (character’s) pretentiousness, these 15 minute episodes are debuting in their natural home of YouTube and I would absolutely recommend taking a look. Properly funny, and with spot-on visuals, it also has a great turn from Tim Key as the vloggers’ monstrous agent.

Six Seasons and a Live Show at the Vaults Festival

Any show taking its title from Community is likely to get my attention; chuck in Tom Bell at the helm, William Andrews involved (both ACMS alumni and insanely talented), and an improv take on convention panel talks (of which I have some audiencebased experience) and I am very much invested.

Taking audience suggestions for TV series that were never made, this show ended up (by audience applause, I have to slightly apologetically report) based around that surprise hit ’30 Days of Apples’. Kudos to Katy Schutte especially for wrangling a really great near-apocalyptic premise from the title, and to the rest of the panel for making things turn so damn weird. Masses of fun, and hopefully more shows to come.