Friday, May 9, 2014

Eurovision: 5 from Recent Years


As you're all no doubt aware, the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place in Copenhagen tomorrow. I haven't been watching the semi-finals (frankly, I'd rather not know what to expect on the night) and so, in lieu of any comment on this year's entrants, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite Eurosongs from the last few years...

L'Amour à la française by Les Fatals Picards (France, 2007)

The Song: A swooning pop number sung in a deliberately daft French accent. The chorus is epic and amazing.

The Spectacle: Their performance in Helsinki wasn't heavy on set-pieces, but who needs props and fireworks when you've got a Richard O'Brien lookalike hurling himself around the stage like his life is in danger?

OPA! by George Alkaios & Friends (Greece, 2010)

The Song: A thumping, faintly tribal piece that could have come straight out of Stomp. Interesting musical use of mobile phone noises, too.

The Spectacle: Again, heavily inspired by Stomp. The jumbo-sized drums that light up when hit are my personal highlight.

Love in Rewind by Dino Merlin (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2011)

The Song: Nonsense arithmetic ("one to a hundred/multiplied by you") set to a pleasantly Balkan backing track.

The Spectacle: Dino Merlin waves enthusiastically at his guitar strings while his lady friend slaps at a piano in the background. In the hilariously bad miming stakes, it's up there with Nirvana's infamous appearance on Top of the Pops. But he looks so happy to be there...!

Angel in Disguise by Musiqq (Latvia, 2011)

The Song: A proper Europop banger, this one. The chorus will be circling around in your head for days after watching that video. Unfortunately, Musiqq didn't qualify for the 2011 final, but I couldn't bring myself to omit a tune like this.

The Spectacle: Not much to speak of, although the backing choir seem to be enjoying themselves. I  do deeply cherish the moment when the guy with glasses abandons all pretence of playing the guitar and gets up to do a rap instead.

Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi (Finland, 2006)

The Song: Lordi pulled a very clever trick back in 2006. Hard Rock Hallelujah is a big cheesy pop song at its core, but they dressed it up with so many heavy metal tropes that it seemed like a major departure from the Eurovision template. We all felt like we'd been given a taste of proper Scandinavian black metal, even if the tune itself was one of the biggest earworms of 2006.

The Spectacle: Lordi's victory photograph  from that fateful night in Athens says it all, really:



What are *your* favourite Eurovision songs of all time? Will you be tuning in tomorrow night, or are you one of those cold-hearted people who steer clear of the whole shenanigan?

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