I’ll be heading to Groningen in the Netherlands in less than two weeks. Knowing this, I probably should have taken it a bit easier over Christmas.
Eurosonic Noorderslag has been a festival I’ve wanted to do for some time now. There’s something particularly attractive about the idea. Whilst others are finding ways to get fit and limit their expanding waistlines, I’ll be partying with festival bookers, up and coming bands and writers just like me in Holland.
This is apparently where the festival industry goes to do their summer deals. I’ll be doing my utmost to unearth the best rumours for eFestivals.
But, I’ll be honest. The scale of it all feels a tad overwhelming. 350 bands or so promoting their wares over a few days during which I’ll have to get my bearings in a strange city. It could be carnage if I had no plan.
What better way to begin 2015 than with something brand new? Sonic Breakfast is delighted to be able to officially premiere the new video from those favourites of Danish Americana, Workers In Songs.
It’s possible that those who over-indulged last night might want to tactically delay before pressing play; if the sight of more alcohol could send you over the edge of queasiness then I post this with a word of warning. The video for ‘Sorry Marie’ charts a day in a life of excess for Workers In Songs as they stumble around Roskilde on a pub crawl; vomit, urination, fruit machines and party-poppers, this has it all. Few would doubt that here are a band well versed in those drinking days.
They might well be experts in excess but that contrasts with the core message of the song. This is a break-up tune; an apology from man to woman that he’s not able to do relationships in the way she wants. “I’m sorry Marie, I just can’t be the man you want me to be“, sings Morten Krogh in his anguished holler that I’ve previously observed “comes from an exasperated and elevated place of despair. He might have found no solace in the bottle of bourbon but that doesn’t matter because he’s now gurgling with bleach.”
Crouched over the basin of a toilet, his blond beard tainted with specks of sick, Morten has now graduated to new levels of despair. Bleach gurgling was so yesterday.
Morten, himself, explains it slightly less graphically. “As a band we really like to play with contradicting elements, whether it’s in our songwriting, album covers, music videos, or the expression in our live shows. That’s why we decided to go on a raucous pub marathon through Roskilde city. That has been combined with a mainly melancholic song about an ended relationship and newfound freedom. It is the clash between the two expressions we find interesting. A bunch of fools with a beer in their hand spend 12-14 hours in pubs around Roskilde city – combined with a frustrated song about a relationship that broke”.
There’s little more to say but to urge you to press play if you think your constitution can handle it. Press ‘play’ to begin 2015, to relive last nights excesses and to resolve to deal with your flaws differently this year.
Sonic Breakfast wishes you the very best of NYD’s.
I love the Eurovision Song Contest. I realise that such amour sets me apart from a bulk of my friends. But I can’t help myself. Bucks Fizz made my mind up on this and then Bardo pushed me one step further into what has been a lifelong appreciation of the quirks, the drama, the politics and the utter spectacle.
In recent years, I have hosted Eurovision food parties (complete with bags of Maltesers for the entry from Malta). I have insisted that birthday parties and camping trips have had a healthy gap in their schedules so that I can enjoy the contest. If this is hopeless and sad then I am guilty as charged. Diggi Loo Diggi Ley.
Imagine my delighted squeal, when this week i was sent an advance copy of this year’s Eurovision double CD. This years contest is coming from Copenhagen. Across two semi finals and a final in May, 37 countries are taking part in the extravaganza. And over the next four days of this Easter break, I’m going to give you my views on their entries. Clearly, a considerable part of the Eurovision charm derives from the stage performances and I won’t be seeing this but each day I’ll post videos to two of the more extreme visions of Euro unity – just to whet appetites for next month.
So, without further ado, “let’s get this show on the road… ”
1. Albania – Hersi – One Night’s Anger
A pleasant enough start to proceedings here. A folky start with a sweet female vocal from Hersi gives way to a faux rock climax. I can almost forgive the naff guitar solo plonked in the middle. ‘Keep calm and think twice‘, sings Hersi and I wonder if I might actually be a bit mad.
2. Armenia – Aram – Not Alone
An excrutiatingly dull piano led ballad from the Armenians in which a little bird is encouraged not to cry. It almost goes into a dubstep rock thing towards the end. This isn’t a winner in my book – which probably means it stands a great chance.
3. Austria – Conchita Wurst – Rise Like A Phoenix
This is epic, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good. It’s straight out of a Sean Connery era James Bond soundtrack. I’m not sure if Conchita is male or female based upon this vocal performance. Shirley Bassey will no doubt be envious she wasn’t born in Vienna.
4. Azerbaijan – Dilara Kazimova – Start A Fire
Four tunes in and already I’m losing the will to live. What is it with all of these piano led ballads? Where’s the quirkiness and the bizarre? This tune would struggle to even make an album of Coldplay B sides. Again, this probably gives it a chance of winning.
5. Belgium – Axel Hirsoux – Mother
More piano. Axel’s ‘coming home‘ because he’s ‘broken hearted’ and now he’s singing a frankly eerie love song to his Mum. Think Norman Bates humming a tune from The Phantom Of The Opera in a shower and you probably get the picture. Hilariously creepy.
6. Belarus – Teo – Cheesecake
Here we go. This is more like it. From an initial ‘Yeah Baby‘ through to mention of Patrick Swayze, this grooves along to a chorus that states, ‘I’m trying to be your sweet cheesecake‘. Pure nonsense. It also has an annoying duck like Kazoo sound. Fun but appalling.
7. Switzerland – Sebalter – Hunter Of Stars
Whistling over the top of banjo’s. Upbeat fiddles and handclaps. What we have here is a sub-standard Mumford & Sons – and I think Mumford & Sons are shit. ‘I am the hunter, you are the prey. Tonight I’m going to eat you up‘, sings Sebalter and I’m almost won over by the songs cannibalistic urges.
8. Germany – Elaiza – Is It Right?
A poppy oompah tune. It is very much not right. But, it’s a completely inoffensive three minutes and thus will probably do quite well. Enough said.
9. Denmark – Basim – Cliche Love Song
Clearly, Denmark aren’t keen to host the Eurovision again next year. Basim proceeds to spew cliches in an upbeat pop number that references ‘Katy Perry‘ and ‘putting your hands up‘. They’ll be dancing in the aisles of the sanitorium to this one.
And already, we’re a quarter of the way there. Tomorrow, I’ll give my comments on Ruth Lorenzo’s Spanish entry and tell all about my brief meeting with her in a Leicester car park. And I’ll also be looking at the UK entry from Leicestershire based, Molly. People from Leicestershire always do well in Eurovision (just ask old Engelbert) so I’m expecting great things.
The two videos for today very much pick themselves. Be astounded by the sinister entry from Belgium and giggle at Belarus’ cheesy cake.