Tuesday 31 December 2013

Hungary 2014 - Lil "C" - Break-Up

Last year's terrific Hungarian entry was a bit of anomaly for its national selection process. Usually the best you can hope for are a couple of pneumatic disco dollies and a handful of sombre blokes in shiny suits.

So we have absolutely no idea how this terrific little piece of stripped back, low slung krunk has managed to make the A Dal shortlist! What chain of events could possibly have led to this happening? But I'll tell you what... I'm so very glad it did!

While one suspects that it's doomed for an early exit, I can't wait to see how the C-man carries this minimal gem off on stage. Are going to have the bored looking girls lazily swaying their hips? I should hope so!

My song of the year so far - but probably nobody else's...

*************************STOP PRESS*********************************

Turns out it was too good to be true! By a weird fluke of coincidence it tuns out there's a completely different Lil C doing a completely different song called Break Up in Hungary this year! What are the chances of that happening? Boo!

The real Break Up is a serviceable-yet-dull spot of Euro R'n'B that is still refreshingly un-Hungarian, but, well, not a quarter of the song that I originally thought it was.

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Latvia 2014 - Aarzemnieki - Cake To Bake

The Latvian process in recent times has been significant for the rise in cloyingly cheesy lyrics, and knuckle-gnawingly appalling rhymes. But this year's selection takes the biscuit - or the cake, as it seems in this instance.

Listen to the words of this and you'll shrivel like a slug under salt with pure unabashed embarrassment. But hold hard - it's not even got the worst lyric in the contest... but I've not found a video clip for the other one yet!

Stranger still, this is being offered up as a genuine contender for the boat to Copenhagen. One senses this will be a difficult year.

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Monday 30 December 2013

Albania 2014 - Xhejsi Jorgaqi - Ëndërrat Janë Ëndërra

The Albanian selection was a surprisingly straight-laced affair, with very little worthy of Apocalypse note.

But I was rather taken with Ms Jorgaqi here for two reasons. The first is her frankly terrifying eyebrows, and the second that the show's director was clearly terrified of them too, and after a couple of early head shots, does as much as he can not to frighten the nans of the nation with that considerable scowl.

You've never seen so many long shots from the back of the hall! And heck, from about halfway through even the portly guitarist gets more face time than her!

There's a bit of an intro on this clip, but the fun starts bang on the minute mark. See how far you can get through without hiding behind the sofa!

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Sunday 29 December 2013

Finland 2014 - Miau - God And Drug

There's always something to love in the Finnish selection process, and I'm glad to see that they haven't let us down this season. Yes, Miau might look like they're a made up electroclash band straight out of central casting, but their track record suggested that they might offer up some joys, and they most certainly have.

And that title isn't going to endear itself to the more fragile fanboy, either. Good work, girls!

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Lithuania 2014 - Aleksandra Metalnikova - Wild Dances

So Lithuania appear to be doing some manner of Pro-Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes, whereby many of their biggest pop artists slightly humiliate themselves by singing popular Eurovision songs of the past in pretty much a straight on karaoke treatment.

Up to now there's been no clever remouldings or interestingly sparse arrangements, although even we weren't expecting quite so literal a version of Ruslana's Wild Dances.

It's all a bit car boot. Bring back the usual Lithuanian first round mentalists - they were much more fun!

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Saturday 21 December 2013

Ukraine 2014 - Maria Yaremchuk - Tick Tock

We have our first actual selected song for Copenhagen 2014 after Ukraine hosted this season's first national final in their usual curious mid afternoon slot. And what a song. No, it's not especially good, but it seems like a distillation of every Eurovision-by-numbers tune of the last fifteen years.

How many things can you think of that rhyme with Tick and Tock? The one that springs to mind is very appropriate...

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Friday 20 December 2013

Kemerovo 2013 - Çıldız Tannakeşeva - Şoriya'nın Unu (from Turkvision)

Turkey, somewhat churlishly, pulled out of this year's Eurovision, partly because it had the hump after a couple of years of disappointing results, but also because it had the concept of Turkvision up its sleeve.

Ostensibly a project to unite the Turkic world in song, the show gathered artists from many well known countries with significant Turkic populations, and some smaller regions and oblasts from around Europe and Asia (although funnily enough, it was mainly the larger countries who made it through to the final on the SMS vote).

It was as much a fascinating geography lesson as much as a singing show, and despite being of variable quality there were some real gems on show, not least this fascinating piece from the West Siberian Oblast of Kemerovo - a song apparently about the quality of the local flour, but sounding more like a punch up down the petting zoo. If they ever had a wolf petting section.

Rather disappointingly it didn't make it through to Saturday's final, so take this chance to revel in five and a half truly hypnotic minutes.

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.