When I was seventeen, I went on an international youth conference to Israel. I will always remember getting into the strangest of conversations with a small group of Israeli students on that October night. Of the many things we might have discussed in that Jerusalem campsite, we settled on one topic; The Eurovision Song Contest.
As discussed in earlier blogs, I had a fair grounding in all things Eurovision but my knowledge paled into insignificance compared to these geeks. Bearing in mind that the contest had happened six months earlier, I found it a little unsettling that campfire companions knew the words and the melody to the UK entry that had spectacularly bombed back home. Even more disturbing was the fact that they were able to give me a note perfect rendition of that years entry from Belgium, something that the Belgium entrant on the night had been unable to do.
I hadn’t stumbled into the Eurovision branch of Israeli Youth either. Such knowledge was widespread and expected amongst your typical teenager. Often on Easter Sundays since (seeing as the main action took place in that neck of the woods), whilst others are munching away at their chocolate eggs, I ponder the much more important questions of the day – do the youth of Israel still hold the Eurovision Song Contest in such high regard or has the subsequent emergence of Dana International dampened their collective enthusiam?
But I’m waffling again. Today is all about songs 19 to 27 in the 2014 Eurovision rundown. There are some classics here and appropriately we begin with:-
19. Israel – Mei Finegold – Same Heart
Strangely, this does sound very similar to Heart, the 80’s ‘rock’ legends. I think Mei probably needs to book an appointment in with a medical practitioner pronto. Opening with ‘You fill me up with poisoned love’ (not healthy), she then tells us, with an air of disappointment that ‘we don’t beat from the same heart‘ (normal, quite healthy). File under poodle rock.
20. Iceland – Pollaponk – No Prejudice
Yes, yes, yes. Cartoon, bubblegum pop punk with a lyric that captures the naive spirit of Eurovision perfectly. Pollaponk instruct us that we should ‘do away with prejudice, cross this problem off our list’. It simply doesn’t matter to Pollaponk if ‘Perhaps you’re thinner, or one who likes your dinner‘. When the funky guitar kicks in after two minutes, I am a convert to their version of equalities. Bonkers and brilliant. Will probably get nil points.
21. Italy – Emma – La Mia Citta
We’re back into poodle rock territory. This opens with the guitar riff from Billy Idol’s White Wedding. I bet that Emma is draped over the back of a motorbike adorned in a studded leather jacket in the video to this one. Her long, permed black hair will be blowing in the wind machine. Probably chosen by the Mafia.
22. Lithuania – Vilija – Attention
This is a bit dancey, a bit rocky and a bit souly. It’s also a lot shit. Vilija demands for our ‘Attention – a little bit‘. I’m sorry, you are making impossible demands on me there.
23. Latvia – Aarzemnieki – Cake To Bake
The Latvians have given us an earworm. Singalong folk music on an acoustic guitar that builds into a chorus of mates singing about the delights and difficulties of baking a cake. Aarzemnieki (tip – change your name to something simpler like Abba?) tells us that he’s a master of doing difficult things such as finding Atlantis, talking to a unicorn and moonwalking on a Milky Way (don’t try this at home – your chocolate will squash) yet he doesn’t know how to bake a cake. Enter his hippie friends who think it’s a ‘piece of cake‘ to build a cake. And we all got stoned together. Eurovision heaven.
24. Moldova – Cristina Scarlat – Wild Soul
Another one to file under poodle rock. I am sure that in real life Cristina is a lovely person but when she sings lines like ‘I have no feelings of mercy‘ and ‘What am I? Am I human‘, I think the wise thing to do is to pass on by in an orderly fashion. Best not to rubberneck as we do.
25. Montenegro – Sergej – Moj Svijet
Bonus points for Sergej for singing in a language that I don’t understand. And not resorting to ‘poodle rock’. This is a classy ballad with some form of pipe-based instrument leading the way. It invokes images of Tolkien and faraway lands. I bet Sergej looks like a hobbit.
26. Macedonia – Tijana – To The Sky
More soft dance rock here. ‘Where do we go now? To the stars?’ queries Tijana. Since you’re asking, I reckon getting the first flight back to Macedonia is a better bet.
27. Malta – Firelight – Coming Home
Already we’re at the end of today’s offering and it’s time to open your Easter bag of Maltesers. I’m not sure what to make of this one. Acoustic guitars, harmonicas and a Europop beat. I think Firelight are trying to inhabit that unhappy space somewhere between Mumford and Sons and Ellie Goulding. It can only possibly end in tears. It does.
Again today, the two videos pick themselves. Let’s all share Pollaponks vision with less enlightened friends whilst joining Aarzemnieki around the Aga in their stable?