- 16 Apr 01
How was it for you? The assembled Hot Press writers offer their own opinions on 1994 over the next five pages.
THIS THING has to be said, as long as I have got breath left in me. Neil Hannon is the most cherishable living Irishman, and anyone who remains Promenade-less is a fucking eejit. I’m not joking.
The Divine Comedy is, as his name suggests, God-given: no matter how distressing your circumstances, a single sweet blast of ‘Geronimo’ will soothe, lift and thrill you, and remind you of the essential sort-of-OK-ness, really, of your everyday existence. Album of the year and one half of the gig of the year: if I had a medal (I almost did once – I wuz robbed in the sack race in Senior Infants), I would pin it to the chest of this man pronto.
Kristin Hersh, incidentally, played the other half of the gig of the year, and was as entrancing as several very proficient hypnotists. Hips and Makers, too, is as gorgeous and graceful a record as there is. “Close your eyes,” she sings, and you do, with dreamy contentment.
AMC disappointed a little this year. REM disappointed mightily. Monster was a big, flat, self-satisfied flop of an album, a victory for the yes-men I thought they didn’t employ. Stipe the Straightforwardly Sexy doesn’t work, and even the much lauded ‘Let Me In’ wasn’t nearly as touching a memorial as the letters to our tribute issue. Read Aoife and Séan Kelly’s contribution again, and your heart breaks again.
I’d especially like to thank the Beastie Boys, for managing to keep a semblance of a smile flickering on my face while living six to a small, smelly, slightly maggot-infested room in the dank dry void that is Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in early summer. And Dave Couse, for “On the days I made you laugh/I thought I was halfways there/Now it seems that halfways is nowhere,” from ‘The Comedy Is Over’.
Also, thank you Revelino for being both great and from Ballinteer, that random aggregation of housing estates that I fondly call home sweet home, which for a few heady weeks in October/November was the unlikely centre of the rock’n’roll universe. Not forgetting Pavement, Warren G, Mark Lanegan, Magnetic Fields, Palace Brothers, Pet Lamb, In Motion, Snoop, Dinosaur Jr, Pulp, Ace Of Base, Sunbear, Dustin, Beck, Ash and the rest of the Northern Explosion, Underworld, dEUS, µ-ZIQ, Johnny Cash, Soon and the Counting Crows, for keeping us sighing, swooning, laughing, dancing and finally living, just like we pay them so well, or in some cases so dismally, to do.
Next year, Tindersticks will come. West Ham United will win the FA Cup. I will be a Fourth Med, and as of April will be roaming free around the corridors of St. Vincent’s Hospital, so if you’re planning on being at all ill, between now and March would be a good time. A House will have a proper, say Top Ten, hit (no, really.) REM will play Slane, though if they rely too heavily on Monster then I fear that the most fun part will be the gargantuan piss-up that’s taking place in my good friend Mairéad’s home in Dunshaughlin the night before – yes, of course you’re all invited.
And, finally, Neil Hannon will, I have no doubt, continue to be completely brilliant and the Stone Roses probably won’t release the follow-up to Second Coming. Good to see some things never change.