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One of the first songs to appear fully formed on Office Politics – in the process, shining the anglepoise on the space where many more would follow – was .
Featuring guest turns from singer-songwriter (and Neil’s partner) Cathy Davey, Chris Difford (Squeeze) and Thomas Walsh (Pugwash, The Duckworth Lewis Method) the song zones in on the idea that “we’re all living in this zero-hours world, where your identity is no longer bound up with your lifetime vocation, because there are no lifetime vocations any more! , the murky Latin syncopations of – a song which took shape on the morning Hannon awoke to the news that Donald Trump was the new American President.
If you’ve been wondering exactly where Cathy Davey has been for the past few years, the answer can be found within 30 seconds of pulling into her driveway.
A pack of friendly dogs accompanies her to the front door. She is holding freshly laid eggs from the chickens and a number of horses roam on the land surrounding her 300-year-old farmhouse an hour outside of Dublin.
Office Politics comes three years after Foreverland, an album which saw Neil Hannon and his rejuvenated band of co-travellers enjoy their highest ever chart placing (UK #7, Mojo Top 50 albums 2016).We are introduced to Penelope the pig, who promptly rolls over for a belly rub.If – her extended family of animals is no coincidence.“I had two phrases written down in my notebook,” explains Neil, “One was ‘synthesiser service centre’ and the other was ‘super summer sale’.So obviously, I joined them together and the rest took care of itself.” On the album’s other “ad break” moment, Neil imagines what Philip Glass and Steve Reich might come up with if tasked with the job of creating a theme tune for a sit-com called .
Along with Office Politics, he’s been working with Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews on their musical adaptation of Father Ted – the classic Channel 4 sitcom for which Hannon’s was used as the theme music.