Tuesday 24 December 2019

Christmas 2019 - Srbuk - All I Want For Christmas is You

Well what a year that was! In some ways we'll miss it like a favourite old pair of shoes, and in another we can't wait to see the back of it. But we thought we'd better celebrate the festive season in our traditional style and drag out something unfeasible from the vaults to thank you all for your continued readership this Christmas, as our way of thanking you for sticking with all this nonsense.

And what says Christmas better than one of this years' artists miming to Maria - in Armenian!

But be sure to watch it through, because it chucks just about everything festive that you can imagine into the fray, and I'm sure that you can see a glittery kitchen sink somewhere in the background!

A Happy Christmas to you all, and may 2020 be the best Eurovision ever!

Sunday 22 December 2019

Albania 2020 - Eli Fara & Stresi - Bohemë

As we all settle down to enjoy the seasonal splendours that Festivali i Këngës 58 is going to offer us tonight, let's spare a thought for the highly unlucky eight that didn't make it to the final. Because this is where the true showbiz has been cast aside to fester sadly around the back of the bins at the Pallati i Kongreseve.

Take pity on the poor father and daughter act Nadia and Genc Tukiçi. He might be one of the most recognisable faces in Albanian music, and their stirring double-piano act may have top three'd at any Eurovision between 1983 and 1996, but this quaint old fashionedness, coupled with Nadia's somewhat reedy vocals may have put paid to their chances - which is a shame, as it's one of those songs that us slightly older fans keep a massive corner in our hearts for.

And also feel sorry for Kastro Zizo, owner of perhaps the finest facial hair we'll see all season, mumbling his way through a character song the like of which we rarely see at this contest any more, made all the better when a trumpeter in an unfeasible wig ambles on and starts to blast away.

We'll link both of these at the bottom here, because they both absolute gems of Albaniana.

But our favourite of those who fell at the final hurdle was the little beauty we've chosen to highlight at the top here.  Closely reminiscent of every Balkan wedding reception we've ever been to (which is just the one, to be fair, but stick with the analogy), this is the point at about 2:47am when the bride's slightly racy Auntie gets up to warble with the band, and the slightly spivvy lad at the bar, all wrapped up in his big winter coat who was just about to leave, decides to get up and join in with a most ill-considered rap bit.

But somehow they managed to charm everyone (except for the judges, obv) with their chalk and cheese presentation, and you kind of get the feeling that there may have been an awkward breakfast scene the following morning...

All three songs will be sad losses to a final that's just a bit generic, and one that could either end up as a predictable coronation of Princess Elvana - or a near riot when something else deigns to beat her.

But it's songs like these three that keep up going through the dark winter nights - Happy FiKmas to you all!

Nadia & Genc Tukiçi - Ju Flet Tirana

Kastro Zizo - Asaj

Monday 9 December 2019

Estonia 2020 - Viinerid - Kapa Kohi-LA

Whatever has happened to our once beautiful Eesti Laul? It used to be that the first reveal of the Laulish runners and riders was like a dream pop mix tape slipped into your pocket by some impossibly impish pixie girl at a party in the woods. And then the Puhh happened and it all got delightfully batshit and noisy for a couple of years. But over the last few seasons it's got increasingly beige in hue, and now we've finally been offered a slate of songs that's as bland and unpalatable as watery mash.

So thank heavens, just about, for Viinerid. In any normal year they'd have probably slipped down the back of our attention sofa, flanked as they would have been by classy pop and unhinged noodlings. But this year they're just about the best that we've got amongst a field of sad bois, sulky girls and terrible pub bands, so we'd better enjoy them with relish!

Actually, relish is rather an appropriate term, as the band's name is the local description for a Vienna Sausage, and their video consists mainly of said meaty tubes having a right old sing song. And we're told that the song's name is a play on the name of the tiny town of Kapa Kohlia, whose railway station is so lightly used that it's become the local byword for back of beyond. So as a small town operation ourselves we can only identify with these plucky village heroes, however lightweight their effort may be.

One has to hope that this is going to be an absolute belter live. Please let it be. Please let it.


It wasn't.