Wednesday, 12 May 2004

Vintage Post: Eurovision 2004

United Kingdom (James Fox) - Hold On To Our Love 
- I would not vote for this song even if I could. 
- This mans face offends me
- But he has met my future wife, Alex Parks.

'The Image of You' 
Anjeza Shahini
– This is the lowest budget music video I’ve ever seen. Check out those white shirted dancers. It makes early Kate Bush videos look professional and over produced.
– It’s a decent pop tune, chirpy, positive, and with a nice modulation to the chorus. 
– Its one of the better entries, apart from rhyming “crazy” with “hazy” without any regard for the meaning of those words. 

Jugarem a Estimar-nos
Marta Roure
– Upbeat, breezy pop, with prominent shots of the Andorran countryside. This is what I like to see in a Eurovision video. Well, that and pretty people. 
– The singer looks like a younger Sarah-Jessica Parker. Make of that what you will. 
– I’d be singing along if I could figure out what language I would be singing in. Its nice.

Austria (Tie Break) - 'Du Bist/You Are' 
– piss poor boy band 
– meaningless pop ballad
– say no more
– German: not the language of lurve

Belarus (Alexandra & Konstantin) - Muy Galileo 
– A song about a romantic attachment to Galileo Galilei?
– Set in some sort of feudal never-europe in which they have apparently invented hair bleach before the telescope and Galileo appears to be either King Arthur or the Sherriff of Nottingham. 
– Can’t tell you what the song is actually about as it’s in some Russian yodelling dialect, and there is no handy lyrics sheet. Damn.

Belgium (Xandee) – 1 Life
– – Oh my god, 2 Unlimited walk the earth again
– screechy euro-dance cheese in English
– a message of world peace
– it seems we have one life and we have to live it together. Someone call Kofi Annan and tell him the Belgians have the answer!

Bosnia-Herzegovina wouldn’t let me look at their intriguingly titled song “In The Disco”. I feel cheated. 

So now I’m listening to:

Croatia (Ivan Mikulic) – Dajes Mi Krila 
– - the ballad that ate Eurovision
– I have no idea what this is about, but it appears to be a heartfelt tale of a boy’s devotion to his dog. Or not. 
– Dizzying camera work is preventing me from having a good look at the lad, who is straining for the high notes with the patented boy-band Christ pose. 
– Its alright, I suppose.

Cyprus (Lisa Andreas) – Stronger Every Minute
– slow starting ballad from a girl who looks like an ex-soap actress. 
– Moody black and white video, nice enough voice, slightly boring song. Potential winner written all over it.

Denmark (Tomas Thordarson) - 'Shame On You' 
– apparently Tomas is the first openly gay Eurovision entrant. He is wearing a fetching flat-cap and baggy waistcoat in his video, which appears to be set in that gay steelworks that Homer Simpson took Bart to. 
– They seem to be having a marvellous disco in that steelworks. 
– The traditional Danish “flamenco/tango/whatever” pop style is evident in this song. What does Danish traditional music sound like anyway? 
– I think this could win, provided the more conservative nations don’t realise that young Tomas is a homosexual. Although they all voted for Dana International, which proves something, though I don’t quite know what.

Estonia (Neiokoso) - 'Tii'
– arty girl band sings threatening choral dance thing
– these girls appear to be singing in a folk chant style over a pleasant enough generic Ibiza beat. I’m approving somewhat. 
– Video is set in a car park, girls dressed up nicely in pagan style gymslip things. George Dawes on drums. Nice. 

'It Takes Two To Tango' 
Jari Sillanpaa
– More traditional Scandinavian music, eh?
– Its actually quite good in a sort of camp, kitschy way. Jari is a little like a Finnish Tom Jones. Imagine that if you will. 
– His dancers are time-travelling refugees from a 1970’s Top of the Pops performance. Scary.
– Oh my god. Beware the Eurovision key-change at the end. It turned my stomach.

'A Chaque Pas/Every Step''
Jonata Cerrada
– A young man who only missed out on being in Westlife because he was French wanders past arguing couples, smirking at them. What a bastard.
– I think some people might fancy this boy. He is looking moody and wearing a nice jumper. Although his incongruous eyebrow piercing ruins it a little.
– The song is a generic ballad, by the way. Its in French.

FYR Macedonia
'Angel Si Ti/Life Is' 
Tose Proeski
– Wooo. Middle Eastern euro pop. My favourite kind. 
– An overweight bloke is singing, wearing a red vinyl jerkin. I kid you not. He is surrounded by overdressed and bored looking models. 
– I think he’s meant to be the devil. He has a satanic beard, you see.

'Can't Wait Until Tonight' 
– This is quite good actually. It’s lazy Sunday afternoon acoustic shagging soul type music. They would play it in a coffee shop while all the couples hold hands and stare into each others eyes. 
– If Will Young was singing this, I would proclaim it to be a work of genius on a par with “Leave Right Now”
– As it is, its just quite good. Max is blond and slightly balding and perched on a stool. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
– I think this is a possible winner

'Shake It' 
Sakis Rouvas
– A dude in a white muscle shirt is booty dancing with two brunettes. The music sounds like cut-price Timberlake stuff. Like a karaoke version, possibly.
– He is inviting us to shake it. I can see his dancer’s knickers. Saucy. He has the slickest hip swing I’ve ever seen. 
– They are implying that they are having a threesome. I don’t think so, somehow. 

Jonsi/Jón Jósep Snæbjörnsson
– Aw. I thought this was going to be pounding electro-rock from the intro. Its another generic ballad. Sounds a bit Lloyd-Webber-ish, if you like that kind of thing.
– And it’s another Westlife escapee. They’ve supplied me with a lyric sheet. I kind of wish they hadn’t. It’s twaddle!
– He wants us to blend with his blue. That sounds kinda dirty. 

'If The World Stops Turning' 
Chris Doran
– “But what about the Irish?” I hear you cry. Fret no more, for they have churned out another generic ballad. 
– The singer has very small eyes and his backing singers remind me a little of Kraftwerk. Except they’ve now started moving and I can see where the mighty Franz got their dance tuition for the Matinee video. Oh dear.
– I cannot listen to any more generic ballads. My ears are bleeding. Bring on the kitsch!!!!

'Le'ha'amin/To Believe'
David D'Or
– Impassioned man in black coat delivers throaty and semi-operatic ode to roman gladiators, or something. 
– Oh no, it’s another one about world peace and self-belief. My mistake. 
– There is a cellist dressed in very scanty rags. I don’t quite get this one. It’s gone well over my head.

''Dziesma par laimi'/'Song About Happiness'' 
Formins & Kleins
– Am glad they tell me what this one is about, for I would not have guessed.
– We appear to be looking at an aging Latvian folk-rock band. I love folk-rock. Titter ye not. 
– I like this. Shoot me, for Eurovision has eroded my brain!

'What Happened To Your Love?’
Linars ir Simona
– Where is Lithuania? Are they in the right place to make Spanish sounding music? I didn’t think so, somehow. But make Mediterranean pop they do, and its really quite good
– Apart from the mariachi trumpets, that is. If it was a UK pop tune, there’d a clunky synth playing that line and the song would be so much better. 

'On Again... Off Again' 
Julie & Ludwig
– Yes! The kitsch is back! Sparky lady sings duet with semi-operatic bloke. Result!
– It’s like the mega-mix of a 1st act love duet from a particularly twee musical. 
– They are flying now, as dolphins leap around them and the operatic bits get ridiculous. 
– I love this song. I’m going to hell. But Julie and Ludwig have just been beamed up by the moon. Lovely.

'Notre Planete/Our Planet'
– I didn’t even know Monaco were eligible for this crazy competition. But here they are with an eco-dance-ballad. 
– It’s pleasant. If I heard it in a bar on holiday I’d sip my cocktail (quad rum Zombie, please) and carry on without really hearing it. 
– She goes “oooahhh-oooaaaaah-oooooaaahhh-uh-uh” which is inspiration straight from the Muses, in my opinion.
– She’s also the best looking contestant so far. She’s rather lovely, but dressed a bit odd.

'Without You' 
– A capella harmony intro! Curly haired guitarist! Floppy haired singer! Huge goddamn eyebrows!
– A little like that Extreme “More Than Words” song, but cheesier and generally less good. 
– But I like it, in a Eurovision-y type way. They enunciate their words in a way which pleases me, and it’s not a generic ballad. It’s good. 
– Middle eight is enhanced by unseen string quartet. I’d listen to this voluntarily. If the singer promises never to wear that wet-look black shirt ever again. 

Knuts Anders (Sorum)
– I desperately wanted this to be the guy from World Idol, who also has a song called High (or something) but it turns out its someone else. 
– He has very strange dance moves, and the song has passed through my ears without hitting a single brain cell. It’s pretty generic.
– He wants to “bring me high”. I do not know what he means by this. Worrying.

'Love Song'
Blue Cafe
– Once again, a cold and somewhat bleak North European country is represented by a sunny, accordion laced song about being warm, dancing in the streets and having an improbable haircut.
– I quite like it, however. The lady singing has an unusual voice as well as Karen O hair. 
– Oh yeah! Mambo breakdown! Get in there, you Polish Spanish community!

'Foi Magia/It Was Magic’
– Indescribably random euro-dance which belongs back in the 90s. 
– Contains a “hhheeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrr!” which Kevin Rowland of Dexy’s Midnight Runners would be proud of.
– The singer is wearing a terrible fuschia, green and yellow dress. It looks like a bad swimming costume and a tablecloth. 

'I Admit' 
Sanda Ladosi
– More fake Timberlake backing tracks. The video set looks like it was built for a band of four or five, but only two have turned up. That’s a shame.
– I think she’s singing about orgasms. I don’t know what she’s admitting. I’m a bit lost, to be honest.
– Ah, she admits she “feels wild sometimes”. Its alright love, you’ll be ok after a cup of tea and a quick game of Countdown.

'Believe Me' 
Julia Savicheva
– Oooh. Pretty little Avril-a-like, totally ripping off that Texas song “Summer Sonn”. I am aware that I shouldn’t have known that, but I’m here doing a Eurovision preview when I should be revising. Go figure.
– Did Tatu do Eurovision last year? I think I may have been too drunk to watch it then.
– It’s alright, I suppose. Stock dance beat, gently wah-ing guitars, sulky looking bird pretending to play acoustic guitar on her expensive PRS electric. Did I ever mention how much I hate those guitars? Well I just did. 

Serbia & Montenegro
'Lane Moje/My Sweetheart'
Zeljkp Joksimoviae
– Oooh. Some form of traditional wooden flute. Video contains women making feather pillows out of huge stacks of feathers. I’m not making this up. 
– Singing bloke looks regretful, while in background some sort of dignified lady is being bathed by about 8 women. Is this going to turn into porn at all?
– Folk violin wails away and a swan looks puzzled.
– They dress the lady in the bath and spin her round in a dance studio. 
– I have no idea what is going on here. This song is not going to work without its puzzling video, its far too bland, even with the sudden militaristic drums. 
– Its seems the bathing lady was to be married. Fiiiiine.

'Stay Forever' 
– We have a bouncy 90s pop song that could have been done by Eternal, perhaps. 
– The lady singer has a very annoying honking singing voice, and is wearing a very small dress. Playing Sonny to her Cher is a bloke with a potato shaped nose and bad hair which makes him look an awful lot like Sonny Bono. Weird.
– I’m bored of this song now. Next!

'Para llenarme de ti'/'To Be Filled By You' 
– “To be filled by you”? Really? Ooh-err missus. 
– It doesn’t look like I can watch this one. Damn and blast!!!! I wanted to hear this pervy ode to prostate gland stimulation!
– Later: It let me watch it. 
– The Spanish entry is latin-influenced pop, quelle surprise. The singer has a bad red shirt open and is wearing cream slacks. I’m not kidding. 
– Still, he appears to be pulling the ladies, especially when he puts his chest away and runs through the desert. 
– Do they have deserts in Spain? I don’t think they do.Anyway, it’s a boring song and I can’t believe I was upset to miss out on it.

'Det Gor Ont (It Hurts)'
Lena Philipsson
– After the last one, I’m still think I’m thinking about anal penetration, so its probably best my RealPlayer is sulking.
– I’m watching Mexican UFO footage instead. It looks fairly convincing. 
– Video feeds are back. And now I’m watching some camp dance-pop sung by a fun looking lass in a white dress, white boots and white lace gloves. 
– Oh! And she does groovy moves with her mic stand. Can I have her? Please?
– She is definitely singing about bottom sex though. Naughty girl. Did I mention I like this song? And it also teaches me how to tell any possible Swedish lovers I ever have that “It Hurts”. I love Eurovision. 

Piero Esteriore & the Music Stars
– We’re nearly done now. It’s ridiculously late – I’ve been doing this for one of my allotted revision hours.
– Oh Jesus lordy Christ. It’s the lost Black Lace song. This is beyond kitsch, beyond camp, beyond awful. 
– I can’t watch anymore. He is on about being taught philosophy, clapping ones hands and having a wonderful time. Jeez.

'For Real'
– Oh! It’s the Turkish Busted! Except these boys are a middle-eastern influenced ska band. Imagine that, if you will. 
– The odd combination works for me. The singer’s accent reminds me of someone. It might be someone from the Barnsley band circuit, in fact, so odd and mangled is the English language. 
– It wouldn’t sound that out of place on Zane Lowe’s radio show. I look forwards to its play listing on the Kerrang music television channel. Possibly my favourite so far. 

'Diki Tantsi/Wild Dances' 
– The title intrigued me, and I think I was right to get excited about this one. It’s a sort of thudding Genghis Kahn techno thing, with someone doing bad things to a brass section. Wild Dances indeed.
– The timpani crash, the dancers yell “Hey!” and it reminds me intensely of that song that Holly Valance covered and turned into Kiss Kiss. 
– I like this one, this one can stay. Plus, the dancers are all dressed like Cavegirl. Never let it be said that I am shallow. It takes someone very deep indeed to admit to this level of shallowness.