The Divine Comedy

It is only a few weeks ago that American actor John Malkovich delivered a prestigious one-man performance (not counting a thirty piece orchestra and two sopranos) to fulfil a twenty year held ambition to play at Jameos Del Agua, having seen the incredible theatre in a huge underground cave whilst under construction. The theatre is now, of course, a fabled venue, where we have seen symphony orchestras play, heard wonderful chamber music and even seen the musical biography in play-format of Cesar Manrique, the artist who envisioned the theatre and who remains, thirty years after his death, the stuff of legend here on the island.

The performance by Malkovich was frantic, frenetic and fantastic and you can still find my confused and confusing review in our archives of what was purporting to be a reading of his autobiography but was actually a reading from, and comment upon, the autobiography of a German serial killer !

Malkovich called the evening The Infernal Comedy, which had me drawing comparisons to Dante’s Inferno, of course, and I also referenced a music group that pop up regularly on my playlists.

The Divine Comedy last year released their second Best Of album, called The Charmed Life. Two best of albums should not make you think of a couple of collections of chart hits,….they have delivered only a few, well, one maybe, of those, but their songs are all socially perceptive and take a somewhat wry look at themselves and the world.

Amazingly I never had the chance to see them in the UK but in November I am hoping to see them here on Lanzarote as part of a new arts and culture festival. That in itself is great news for an island that in January will see the start of the The Canary Islands International Classical Annual Musical Festival that brings fantastic acts to tour the eight islands.

This new festival, meantime, in called Canari, and will see the Divine Comedy and support groups play on Lanzarote and our near-neighbour island, La Graciosa, the eighth island to be inducted into The Canary Islands a few years ago.

Like many festivals held on the islands, Canari promises to bring ´experiences linked with music, the landscape, food and heritage.´ It is certainly our experience on the island, having lived here now for eight years or so, that these festivals enhance our life-style, but there is no doubt oin my mind that the island life-style mutually enhances these festivals. The festival will be staged at a variety of venues on both islands, with Lanzarote holding events at La Geria, Salinas de Janubio, Arrecife and San Bartolome. I’m pretty sure that news will make its way to our editor, to include in his what’s on listings so keep your eye on Lanzarote Information and What’s On Lanzarote.

The Divine Comedy will surely be the headline act of the series and they are likely to attract a huge audience. They already had a large niche following of their own before that one hit I referred to earlier, National Express, in 1999, and the music they later composed for the Father Ted sitcom swelled those numbers

It is fantastic to hear that the line-up for this festival also includes Spanish artist Maika Makovski, garage rockers The Parrots and the popular indie group Zürych, who hail from Lanzarote,

If any further reference is needed to persuade readers that this promises to offer a spectacular November is the reassurance that the festival is being organised by the same team who deliver the annual Sonidos Liquidos Festival in the earlier months of the summer. Canari Festival will offer similar dining and wine-tasting experiences.

I will, naturally, deliver as many reviews as possible form the various performances, and I will be definitely purchasing a copy of Charmed Life, another best of collection from The Diving Comedy this Indy rock-band formed in Northern Ireland in 1989. The track-list on this album contains Norman and Norma, so I will be prepared to sign your copies should you wish to approach me. I don’t think the song is really about me but as my name is Norman, which for some reason Google Translate translates to Norma, I think I can stake my claim.

Tickets opened for sale on 29th September at 30 euros at The Canari, and watch this space and our What’s On Lanzarote pages for any further news and our reviews.