Neil Hannon’s new show has started on BBC Radio Ulster


On The Divine Comedy’s Liberation in 1993, Neil Hannon included not one, but two tracks referencing Europe. ‘Europop’ and ‘Europe by Train’ set us up for a stellar 30-year career – both tracks capturing Neil’s love not just for travel – but the musical magic found in every corner of his continent. prefer.

In this brand new series for BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds, Neil, born in Fermanagh, will visit six countries or regions of Europe to discover – through a mixture of the obvious and the obscure – the influence that their music and their creativity have had on the rest of the world.

In the first episode, Neil imagines himself jumping on his scooter to travel around Italy, the birthplace of the iconic poem that gave his band its name. He knew all about opera and crooners – but what about Italo, the godfather of disco and all those iconic soundtracks?

In this episode and beyond, there will be tracks that listeners probably already knew and others that will leave listeners wondering – where have you been all my life? And, in a time when travel has been restricted, this show encourages escapism; music working with our imagination to take us on hour-long adventures across the continent. Neil helps set the scene, sharing anecdotes of many happy European tours – and vacations – in virtually every European country. Apart from Iceland, he is frustrated that he has never been to Iceland…

Neil says: “I have always been fascinated and strongly influenced by European music. I’ve often wondered why documentaries and such tend to focus on music from the US, UK or even Ireland.

“You rarely hear about the amazing music from, say, Barcelona, ​​Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, or the lesser-known elements of French, German and Italian pop. help fix that with this show and have a lot of fun doing it.

Europop – A Grand Tour: The Neil Hannon Show starts on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds on Sunday 6 February at 4pm. The series is produced by David O’Reilly for BBC Northern Ireland.


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