Neil Hannon is one of the most creative, critically acclaimed and respected songwriters working today.

He produced some of the 1990’s most unusual mainstream pop records, with a truly distinctive singing style; and with his band The Divine Comedy, he produced ten albums which spawned a number of hits, including ‘National Express,’ ‘Something For The Weekend,’ and ‘Becoming More Like Alfie.’

The prolific Neil has also produced TV theme songs for the huge sitcoms Father Ted and The IT Crowd, has written songs for blockbusting movies like Amélie, and has collaborated with the likes of Air, Tom Jones and Robbie Williams.

With all this incredible experience, Neil was an obvious choice to ask to visit BIMM Dublin and hold a workshop to share his enviable knowledge with our students.

Ever the raconteur, Neil’s opening remarks were: “I thought I might just write a song. Is that cool? Just to prove it can be done.”

And with that, we were off: a fascinating glimpse into the working processes of an immediately recognisable songwriter.

The workshop was nearly two hours long and by the end of it, as promised, Neil wrote a song.

To help demonstrate how he worked, he brought along notebooks from the 1990s, and he was brave enough to share the contents with us!

He discussed the contents with the group, whittling the idea down to the part that seemed best for a song — and then spent the remaining time writing it with the students.

Neil’s insight was invaluable, and he talked us through the whole process, passing on nuggets of information, saying: “It’s so important to get the song right before you even contemplate arrangement.”

The song was called The Adventurous Type, which was a perfect name for a fabulously educational and unique day in BIMM Dublin!

POSTED ON: January 21, 2015
  • Dublin, Songwriting