Sunday 30 September 2018

United Kingdom 2019 - Rainbow Orbit - (Un)Informed Opinion

The lambs to the UK slaughter are creeping out earlier than ever this year. It's almost as if they've realised that they're ultimately doomed and are cutting out the middle man in favour of early YouTube hits. But that doesn't mean that there's not still fun to be had.

Witness our old pals Rainbow Orbit. You'll probably remember them best for their song Genuine from a couple of years back where they pranced about in a parking garage in comedy onesies. Well this one's a more domestic affair, but it's every bit as bouncy and charming.

Over the top of some gloriously observed 80s elektro discow, our pal PJ and his mate muck about their kitchen and corridors, mainly filmed on a phone in portrait, with a wry yet thoughtful lyric stapled on roughly over the top. And again, as is their way, it's terrible and yet really enjoyable at the same time. It's songs like these that make the early months of on season thoroughly worthwhile!

Sunday 23 September 2018

United Kingdom 2019 - Dië Spanglë - Nul Point

At this time of year I always have a little hunt down the back passages of the internet to see who's embarking on the fruitless task of chancing their arm in the bottomless pit of OGAE-vote hopefuls for the UK. But I never imagined that the first mob I found would be people that I actually knew.

Dië Spanglë are a most excellent gnarly punk band from Penzance in Cornwall. And being from such a distant outpost, they do things entirely their own way, and a quick search on YouTube will uncover some crackingly creative home-produced videos. Unfortunately they've ploughed an over-familiar furrow with their Eurovisionistic exercises here.

Early stage selection panelists and early stage observers of the pre-qualification tournaments can tell you that there's absolutely dozens of songs of this nature crop up across the continent, and they never get even so much of a sniff at the coat tails of glory - even in Switzerland. So I'm sad to tell my old muckers that their chunky little attempt is likely to fall upon possibly the deafest ears in all showbiz.

However, if YOU just happen to be on one of the OGAE juries this year, dear reader, get a little bit of the mischief about you and notch this one up a higher score than you normally would. We all know that it's going nowhere, but it would be most entertaining if new Mr Greig gets this in his first emailing of potential songs this year. Gwan, do it for Apocalypse...

Thursday 20 September 2018

Switzerland 2019 - Tommaso Giacopini - Mi Hai Detto Ama

More from the Italian Swiss hopefuls - and this one has really got under my skin over the last few days. What starts off sounding a bit like a bit of bedroom-produced outsider hip hop slowly but surely ramps up the understated atmosphere, and by the end I was hanging off his every word - even though I didn't have the foggiest clue what any of the words actually meant.

His poignant high-pitched voice shared his pain perfectly, with the syllables coming in machine gun clumps under his edgy, skittish delivery - kind of like those talky songs about lost loves in youth that old boys do so well at Sanremo, only sped up a bit.

The best bits are where the minimal beats drop out, and he's left pouring out his poor heart with nothing but studio air surrounding him. And when the robotty voice comes in to briefly recalibrate the tone, it's almost a relief to rest him from his anguish for a moment.

This is clearly going nowhere - but who cares. This haunting little workout is going to stay with me for much longer than most of the songs that qualify for the final in May.

Friday 14 September 2018

Switzerland 2019 - Davide Buzzi - Mama

Well here we all are again. As soon as the leaves start going a bit musty, then sure as chips are potatoes the Swiss embark on their ultimately fruitless task to pick a Eurovision winner. Or qualifier even. And so it was that the Italian wing of Swiss telly revealed their short-list, and boy they're a bland bunch in the main, shy of the lad Sebalter's ominous return

But do you know what? I always hope that the first song I hear each year is going to be the one that works its way through to become the eventual winner. It's been a long held dream of mine, and I'm sure it's going to happen one day. But not this time.

Yep, Davide Buzzi's Mama is a ponderous old pub rock plodder, with some ludicrous spoken bits, and his Brummie mate Judith Emeline shipped in to do all the heavy lifting. I assumed that he was just some bar room chancer, but a little look into his background suggests that this gravel-voiced mumbler has got a reasonable track record in both music and the moving picture. But surely even that isn't going to drag this hackneyed throb onto an El Al jet to Tel Aviv.

Buckle up kids, one senses that it could be a long old year...