Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 16:05 UK

Will cricket album hit a six at song awards?

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Neil Hannon is seen at the Ivor Novello Awards Nomination launch at the Ivy Club in London
Hannon is about to release his 10th Divine Comedy studio album

One of the more left-field nominees in this year's Ivor Novello Awards is the cricket concept album The Duckworth Lewis Method.

A concept album... about cricket?

"It was just a drunken gag," admits Neil Hannon, best known for his pop band The Divine Comedy.

"But then strange things started to happen and it actually materialised."

The Duckworth Lewis Method is a side project of Hannon and Thomas Walsh, of Irish band Pugwash.

The duo released the album in July 2009 just ahead of The Ashes series.

Hannon says of his Ivor nomination for best album: "I'm absolutely stunned. We had a good innings (if you'll pardon the pun).

"Last year was amazing - we went to a lot of cool places, got to see a lot of cricket. And we sold quite a few records - which doesn't usually happen to me!"

'Grimy whites'

Hannon is speaking in central London after a 13-hour trip from Dublin - due to the volcano flight chaos.

"Usually it's an hour on the plane," says Hannon, who looks unruffled by his extended journey.

"I got to Holyhead and it was like Dunkirk - police everywhere, thousands of people, it was every man for himself."

So how does he rate his album against fellow nominees Paolo Nutini's Sunny Side Up and grime star Dizzee Rascal's Tongue N' Cheek?

"I don't fancy our chances to be honest. But that's not a big deal, just to be nominated is astounding.

"I like Paolo's music, obviously Dizzee's stuff is not my scene. But I know that he can talk extremely fast on records, so that can't be bad.

"Maybe he likes cricket, maybe we can do a collaboration. And I'll wear grimy whites..."

He winces at his own joke. "Oh, that's terrible - sorry."

Bond song

With a new Divine Comedy album out in May, Hannon is also mulling the next Duckworth Lewis Method project.

"We've thought about football but it's too tribal and its too narky - there's so much argument provoked by football.

"Cricket seems to be a game where you can truly admire and applaud the team that you're trying to beat.

"Thomas and I will definitely write together again but in what way and with what big idea, I really don't know."

The talk turns to James Bond theme tunes, amid the news that the next 007 film has been suspended "indefinitely".

Hannon reveals he has previously submitted a Bond theme.

"I was given the heads up on one of them and I wrote a song for it, but I was a week too late!"

And then Hannon has to leave - keen not to be late for the next stage of his marathon journey across Europe.



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