Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Kacey Musgraves 'Merry Go Round'

I've now got the Later Live... performance. Thanks to @WhisperingBob. This is better - something about the Jools studio and just the two people maybe.

And here's the other one.

Super performance on Later Live... with Jools Holland tonight. As soon as I can find that video I'll add it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well done, Denmark, Eurovision Winners 2013

Well that was fun! Eurovision seems to come and go so quickly. After weeks of video clips of national selection shows and rehearsals the actual week seems to fly by.

Denmark led (almost) from the start with just Ukraine and Azerbaijan with any real chance of stopping them taking the show to Copehagen in 2014. Theirs was a professional and confident performance with no gimmicks, unlike the pretty Ukraine girl who had to be carried on stage by some huge guy or the Azerbaijan fellow with an alter ago trapped in a box and some girl with a ridiculously long red dress train doing nothing that seemed relevant to the song.

The Romanian weird opera and Moldavian silly mountain dress may have got them a little attention but not a lot.

Norway and Russia scored consistently and the Top 5 remained those five virtually all the time. It was good to see Malta and Hungary getting good support. For a while it looked as though Malta might even break through!

Sadly, Ireland were bottom and that was not deserved although they voice was a bit tinny and repetitive. Spain and Lithuania joined Finland close to the bottom which was what the betting odds predicted for the first two but not Finland. Spain's performance was not strong and seemed a little nervous, disappointing. Lithuania put on a good track but no-one voted for it.

Bonnie Tyler got UK into about 19th place and earned more points than many had expected but still failed to make much impresssion. Germany's Cascada, however, failed more so and the copy of Loreen's track from last year was not a good idea.

I didn't win thousands but do seem to have got predictions for the Top 5 about right again this year and the winning song deserved its place. Well done, Denmark.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My tweets thoughout Eurovision tonight

I think I would prefer this with the Graham Norton turned off and @R2KenBruce instead

Moldova government are watching this and really hoping they don't win as it would cost more than their total defence budget #Eurovision

There goes the first of many white dresses tonight #Eurovision

Some acts are getting more applause for carrying their flag than they'll get for their performance #Eurovision

OK Can we get going now? #Eurovision

France has a great track and powerful performance near the end but unlikely to appeal across Europe. Watch the hands. #Eurovision

This is great. Watch the eyebrows. #Lithuania #Eurovision

I want #Lithuania in the Top 10! Because of my shoes... #Eurovision

#Moldova #Eurovision This is the one with the very silly dress. Quite a good song but, oh dear, that dress

Yes. #Finland First modern tune. Looks good, sounds bonkers. #Eurovision as it should be :) Oh Oh Ding Dong

#Finland's Krista actually quite frightens me #Eurovision

#Spain. My Favourite entry for #Eurovision. Great song. No-one else seems to like it though :\

Love the yellow dress too. #Spain #Eurovison Pity it was a nervous performance.

#Azerbaijan pretty much want to win again #Eurovision Cute boy #1 tonight

Oops, that was #Belgium. Comments the same though

#Estonia with an impressive white dress and a song that you feel sure you've heard before #Eurovision

#Estonia definitely nicking a bit from a previous Denmark tune. Needs a wind machine #Eurovision

#Belarus have a good old 90s #Eurovision entry. And that dress is shorter than in rehearsals.

What on earth at the #Belarus guys wearing? #Eurovision

She in the blue mini will have done a lot for the #Belarus vote

#Malta Yes! We like Jeremy in IT. My tip for an outside chance. Hope it makes Top 10. #Eurovision

I do think the #Malta guy does smile a bit too much though. #Eurovision
#Finland currently have the shortest odds of those who have performed.That'll change now. #Eurovision

#Russia really want to win #Eurovision and trying so hard this year. Excellent singer but it's a little predicatble and not catchy

I need a visa so I shall be very nice about the #Russia song #Eurovision

Cascada for #Germany. Sounds so much like Loreen but not as good. #Eurovision Bit of excitement at least, though.

#Germany are 80-1. Extraordinary. Russia 18-1 #Eurovision.

#Armenia. This is awful, despite the Black Sabbath link. #Eurovision

Armenian government hoping this doesn't win as not enough room to paark all the Russian dignitaries' tanks #Eurovision

#Netherlands #Eurovision entry could be a surprise Top 5

earplugs at the ready for #Romania #Eurovision

There's more nude female #Romania dancers too #Eurovision

OK I lied about the nude female dancers #Romania #Eurovision

Here we go. It's the #UK entry for #Eurovision. I lose money if this wins,

God, she's certainly trying. #UK #Eurovision

UK are now 280-1 on Betfair. #Eurovision

Cute boy #3 for #Sweden. Good song. In fact great song but crap performance #Eurovision

#Sweden recovering and putting a lot in to this #Eurovision. Best entry so far but still 120-1.

Andrew Hill ‏@JudgeNo5

Yes. Hungary's entry is cool. #Eurovision Jeremy without IT. The whistle does it. Top 5 please.

Hungary are at 300-1 if you think this can win #Eurovision

Denmark. This is the one that will win. Excellent track. #Eurovision

Almost another white dress #Eurovision #Denmark

This is the first one I have actually sung along with #Denmark

Bit worried about the golden shower. Bit triumphalist #Eurovision

Iceland have a big ballad. As it is the only ballad they'll get quite a few votes. Also vaguely catchy so possible Top 5 #Eurovision

Cute boy #4 #Azerbaijan in a box and Top 5. They really want to win too. #Eurovision

#Azerbaijan entry reminds me of Davy Jones and a Locker, RIP Davy, #Eurovision

This is horrible. I'm going for a pee. #Greece #Eurovision

#Ukraine another white dress for #Eurovision. Good song. Probably Top 5 again.

You do have to wonder what the big fellow was all about? #Ukraine #Eurovision

Italy putting one of their best guys in #Eurovision. But just a bit boring.

Maybe #Italy should have had a gigantic woman to bring on the guy #Eurovision

Norway predicted to come 2nd in #Eurovision.

That was white dress #5 by the way. She'll do well. #Norway #Eurovision

Oh. Georgia. All a bit too sugary. And white dress #6. This gets worse each time you hear it. Top 10 tonight though #Eurovision

Georgia giving themselves a golden shower too. Rubbish coreography, #Eurovision but they'll still do well

Ireland could surprise people with this. Cute boy #5. Commercial track. Bit tinny but an alternative to Denmark and Norway #Eurovision

Phew Ireland finished just in time. It was getting boring. #Eurovision

So who will break the Denmark Norway Ukraine Russia 1 - 4 group? Bookies say no-one else even close #Eurovision

Friday, May 17, 2013

The finalists

It all happens Saturday night and here are my very brief thoughts on the chances of the 20 who have made it through to - and the 6 automatically qualifying for - the Finals.

{The numbers are the amounts you could win for betting 1 for each act to win.}

Armenia 760
A dreadful noise. 70s style rock and moustaches, no chance. Goodbye. Who the hell voted them in??

Azerbaijan 19
They want to win again so there's a cute guy and a box and this will appeal to gay voters as well as straight. A possible winner and certain Top 10, probably Top 5.

Belarus 390
Cheerful Eurocrap which would do better if it wasn't for the fact that several countries don't like Belarus much at the moment. Normally Top 5 but may struggle to reach Top 10 this time.

Belgium 450
Another cute boy. Cute song. Instantly forgettable though. Stick to making chocolate, folks.

Denmark 1.8
This is the year they either win or come close to winning yet again with an excellent song. We could be in Copenhagen in 2014.

Estonia 590
Beautiful girl in a big white dress. Some fine moments in this song and it might just inspire voters across the board and get enough 6s and 7s to stand a chance. Possible Top 5.

Finland 65
Yes, this is great fun. It's the Oh Oh Ding Dong song. If the ESC2013 voters are in a fun mood then this is a potential winner. Definite Top 5. One of very few that will be internationally successful this summer.

France 290
As one of the automatic entries in the Final, few have seen this yet. Quite a dramatic performance and not what you tend to associate with France. A passionate girl in a black dress will suprise the audience, I think, and deliver a stunning performance but not, I fear, get many votes. It's good - just not Eurovision.

Georgia 44
The more I hear this the worse it gets. First time you think Yes, this could win. Second time. Er... Third time God this is pathetic. So it stands a chance then and should be Top 10.

Germany 60
Another country going straight in but everyone will have heard of Cascada. Glorious is a poor copy of last year's winning song. It is catchy and, if voters are prepared to forgive the copy or were asleep last year, it could make Top 10. It's not going to win, though, Much depends on how she performs - she has been a bit dodgy in rehearsals and looking old.

Greece 48
How on earth this can have got through is beyond me. Who wants to see old Greek men in kilts? Oh. You do. OK. Total rubbish. And don't talk to me about alcohol please. (That's another story).

Hungary 300
Quirky. Odd. Lovely. I'd love to see this win. It won't but it's a cool little track and will make Top 10 at least.

Iceland 300
I am surprised this made it through to the final. It is, though, one of only very few big ballads so if the voters like big ballads and beards then this guy will do OK. I think it'll be a right hand side of the table job though.

Ireland 60
Another of the cute boys this year. Cheesey smile, song and performance. Just what Euro voters like. I don't but it'll do quite well.

Italy 36
Italy like to be different in their entries and this is another quality entry but not one that will win. Expect to see it getting consistent mid-range support, though and to be a Top 10 contender.

Lithuania 560
This is Mr Eyebrows, singing about his shoes. Don't ask! I love this and predicted it would do well a long time ago. he is gathering quite a following and is charming in interview. Hey, Lithuania have nothing to lose, although putting on ESC2014 could cost them their year's defence budget. I'm going to say this will be Top 10, possibly a surprise winner.

Malta 210
Another great entry! Cheery, smiley singer and happy band behind him who just seem to have fun with this clever little song about Jeremy in IT. It's Top 10 for me.

Moldova 260
This is the one with the stupid dress. She has to stay fixed in position all through the song which doesn't exactly help put it across as well as some movement or interpretation might but no, someone somewhere decided that the dress should grow and grow and have all kinds of strange lighting effects which makes you wonder what she must have eaten the night before. A passionate performance that voters will remember and so vote for. Top 10. Just.

Netherlands 38
Some song about Birds by an ageing folk singer. It's pleasant enough and might even have won in 1972. 2013? I don't see it happening somehow.

Norway 10
Second favourite during much of the run-up to the Final so you'd expect this to have something that made it so highly recommended to betting people. Despite two or three viewings, I don't see anything that makes it Top 10, never mind winning. The girl is talented and experienced and, yes, she does have the almost obligatory white dress (very long and very tight version which doesn't exactly compliment her body) so maybe that's why.

Romania 200
If bizarre yodelling opera soprano from a bloke is your scene then you'll enjoy Romania. I'd rather go and make some coffee. He'll probably do really well.

Russia 18
A nice, straight, no gimmicks ballad from Big Red. They really have tried everything over the years and seem to be permanently fourth. A good performance from an excellent girl singer, popular in her country and well-known in the surrounding nations too. This has to stand a chance of getting us to Moscow in 2014. But it won't. They'll be 4th again.

Spain 720
I adore this song. No-one else seems to as it is almost the least fancied of them all (barring Armenia). Why? It's a cool song, great theme, pretty girl who was married to a racing driver. It is very slow to start and get going, though, which may explain why no-one seems to be interested in it. Maybe she will surprise us all on the night when we have to see it all and realise how good the second half is. I'll win nearly £2000 if Spain win. Vote Espana!!

Sweden 100
Because Sweden have an automatic entry to the Final so haven't had to perform few people have heard their entry. It's actually very good. Yet another cute guy. (2013 is definitely The Year Of The Cute Eurovision Guy). If I were gay I would be delighted. This will be Top 5. It may even surprise us all and give Sweden a second win and they can keep all the Malmo logos til next year.

Ukraine 15
We know that Ukraine will be in the Top 5. They always are. Or nearly there. Another good quality entry, not as commercial as last year or as sexy as some previous years but good enough to make them third favourite this year. That implies a 3rd position but I have a feeling Mr Eyebrows and The Jeremy Song, plus several others will steal votes this year. And Denmark and Estonia have the sexier white dresses.

United Kingdom 130
And then there's my own good old England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and probably The Channel Islands too (I can never remember if they're part of UK or just Great Britain). We've dug out Bonnie Tyler from what most of us had thought was well-deserved and, frankly quite welcome, retirement. It's a well-written song and she'll perform better than our ridiculously badly planned effort last year but it's a right hand side of the table job, I'm afraid. Just thank God there's Armenia to take the bottom slot.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Mr Bojangles

One of my all time favourites. I need to get hold of a decent quality copy of this.

Monday, April 22, 2013

All the UK Eurovision Entries

BBC have gathered every entry from UK in Eurovision since 1957, with clips available on their site at this link. That'll keep some people occupied for a while. Great resource. And who remembered Matt Munro??

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Update on the Eurovision front runners

Belarus and Ireland seem to be going out of favour with punters this week, with odds widening considerably. In contrast, little San Marino and UK are attracting some heavier betting and, for this stage of the competition, showing comparatively short odds. Denmark, however, remain, clear favourites still and have dropped further to under 6-4.

I must be completely wrong about Spain who remain at a crazy 300+

We may need to check out little San Marino, though. I don't think they've made it through the semis before. Perhaps people are feeling sympathetic. It could well also be the year that Moscow finally grabs hold of this competition and shows Europe just what it can do with the show in 2014.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Eurovision: The Top 20

In no particular order - as they appear on the Eurovision site except for Spain which I am getting quite addicted to. If bare feet and sheet dresses are good enough to make Denmark favourites then Spain must have a chance too!





















Friday, April 05, 2013

Eurovision 2013: The 39 Steps...

Quite a mixed bag this year - more so than in previous years although thankfully there seem to be no deliberate joke acts this year. There may be one or two that look like joke acts - Greece springs to mind - but I don't think anyone meant to come across that way.

There are a lot of very intense, serious people this year but no-one as intense as Albania 2012 with its unfathomable video of the kid with the chalk going round the room.

I'm beginning to get some favourites but so far only one stands out for me - and it's currently a 360-1 shot so I must have missed something or have been incredibly prescient! Thereagain - I did get Finland several years back!

OK, here goes: I'll do this in alphabetical order for no reason in particular, although it does give me more time to think of something to say about the UK entry.

This is not particularly good rock. Terrible lead singer. Just awful. Going nowhere.

Some fine ideas about the Lonely Planet but a lousy song and awful performance. No chance.

All I wrote was 'boring'. I guess that sums it up.

This is loud and the big foot-tapping number for 2013. It's easy to sing along to and there's a fairly good looking girl too singing about sunshine. One for the 'play again' list.

Something reasonably modern but not a memorable track at all - more like something you might find on an album or a B side. Ok but that's about it, really.

Bagpipes and some modern but traditional stuff. There's not a lot of this type this year so it could do well. Lots of drums as the track builds and reminiscent of the Ukraine winner. Another one to play again.

Blokes singing and looking smart but in pain. This could appeal and is one of the best ballads for people who like this sort of thing.

A slightly pointless ballad and nothing like as fun as last year's entry. Well sung but it lacks anything special or that we can grab and remember to make it hit the top 10.

This is the favourite with the bookies. A catchy number. The girl is intriguing - wearing a strangely unattractive grey sheet and no shoes, with what look like very short and bent legs. Maybe it was my screen. Odd, though, and I'm not yet convinced this is the winner. Denmark deserve a decent result after losing out big time last year and before that having a really good track trumped. It's certainly one for the 'play again' pile and we'll see how it goes from there.

This has possibilities. It does go on a bit but will appeal to the nice ballad brigade. And it has that special note in which always gets some votes.

The oh oh ding dong bit let this down a bit but otherwise this was a very commercial number and could do well. It may not be for Eurovision but it is fun and well-performed could get some youth votes. Worth a play again.

Really French. You could tell right from the start. This is an interesting track, sung well, but it has no chance.

A very sincere duet - a couple of slightly older people doing the singing. There's a direct pinched bit of A Moment Like This from Denmark! It could go down well on the night but needs to move along a bit quicker. It has quite a few of the ingredients to win. It's also a bit boring so much depends on the presentation.

The recorded version sounds pretty good but the live video performance could have been a lot better. This woman is looking old and not moving well, sounding breathless. This is one of the few really commercial tracks in the whole competition this year and has to be in with a chance. I just wish it wasn't so obviously following in Loreen's footsteps, and a bit lamely so. If Cascada can somehow roll back the years and bring this song to life then it has a chance - but only a slim one.

Sometimes Greece come out with some really commercial stuff but this year I have no idea what they're doing. This is a weird folk thing about alcohol being free. Fast and probably fun but pretty damn pointless and I don't see it doing well at all. But it is Greece and they always do reasonably well.

A strange but quite appealing number. Hungary are good at that sort of thing. Quietly sung - with a nice whistle here and there. It would have been nice to know what it was all about and I feel it is missing a hook to grab the voters on the night.

Strong ballad, well sung. Just boring.

Ryan Dolan looks like he's been lifted from a boy band. Decent singer. Quite a heavy disco number, pulling down the Loreen thing again but a bit late, I fear. Excellent track in places but so are most of the others doing this electro-beat big ballad numbers this year.

So heavy and traditional - complete with phlegm consonants in this big ballad. Quite tiresome to listen to unless you're Israeli.

The ESC site track is hugely over the allotted 3 minutes. It takes a long time to build and get under way. In fact, at one point I was wondering whether it ever would. Finally it does and is quite impressive. Much depends on what they leave out on the night. I do like the way Italy comes up with some interesting tracks each year.

This country often try hard to be different and had a cool ballad last year that took several people by surprise. I don't know what to make of this one, though. It's one of those unknowns. Fun but is that enough? I doubt it.

The guy has amazing eyebrows! They have a life of their own. Nice soft rock number - Jesus and Mary Chain and quite commercial - even hypnotic. I like it. It ends well too. Unlikely to win but definitely on the play again list.

What's going on? Some bloke starts with a 90s style song and then his mum appears in totally different style. I give up. This is rubbish. Maybe that's why it's 770-1 at the bookmakers.

Great fun track about Jeremy. Cheerful group but I'm not sure how the track will transfer to stage. It kinda needs the video for the story.

Not a good song. Fancy electronic dress but the girl seems fixed to the floor in the video. Too much going on but nothing really happening.

Terrible track. Loud. This is going nowhere.

This is a strange song. Well sung but I have no idea what anyone will make of it and I can't imagine many voting for it. It has a sort of gentle rhythm but much depends on how she presents on the night. This is an odd one, quite fancied but I don't yet know why. Play again, I guess.

Another big modern Eurobeat number. This will have to grow on me - a sort of compulsory play again as, clearly some observers think it has a good chance, currently placed a clear 2nd favourite. So far, I don't get it.

Very serious stuff. Opera in jeans. One guy singing both the low and very high notes. It might have been better had they split that between him and a woman. Talented but bizarre. It'll get some votes but not mine.

So what's Big Red offering us this year? No grannies, thank Heaven. This is a long way from Ta'tu as well. It's almost something quite normal - lots of 'all together' and peace-loving stuff with big chord changes thrown in for good measure. Not the sort of thing you can imagine Putin approving at all. The video is well overdone but that doesn't matter. I can see Big Red being in the Top Few again this year.

San Marino
Serious stuff. One of few so it could collect much-needed votes for this little country to participate in the main competition at last. It has a key change too. I wouldn't get too excited, though.

Three girls make a group. One I would not wish to meet on a dark night. This is an aggressive number as Euro women used to be. It could do well - if they can get their act together on the night. A play again.

Good pipes to start and an almost Irish-sounding intro - always a good move. Nice girl singing rather than shouting. This is a good song and if she performs as cheerfully on the night she'll win over a lot of hearts and votes too. Great. One of the few I actually do want to play again. My tip for the top.

Nice young guy with a well-written, commercial track. This could get a lot of youthful support but his vocal is a bit strained in places and I'm not sure where it's going mid-way. It ends oddly, too. I don't see Sweden getting the double. But play again.

I don't understand this country's attitude to music these days. Another failed effort at a track anyone would want to play.

This is a country seldom far from the top in this competition. This year the beautiful Zlata brings us Gravity which is an odd mix of timing and difficult to sing along to. I'm not sure how this will do but I wouldn't be surprised to see it on the left hand side of the board at least.

United Kingdom
We have some extraordinary talent and lead music development and sales all over the world but what do we do for Eurovision? Last year we dug up Engelbert Humperdinck on some foolish belief that Europe liked a ballad and he had a strong following over there. He had one here too. In 1966. Now we move forward a few years and they've tightened the skin on Bonnie Tyler's face and squeezed her back into black leather. The video is fairly kind to her, mostly in profile, and the song is well-written and suits her. But it is so frustrating when we have so many current and good people! I didn't think Engelbert would have come last - although his performance was poor - so I don't know what to predict for Bonnie Tyler this year. I think she should be capable of a decent performance and that should lift her out of the bottom zone. There is no clear outstanding track this year so votes ought to be better spread and that will help UK's chances. It won't get them a top spot, though. But at least not bottom either.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Possibly one of the best live performances of all time...

Twist And Shout as performed to conclude BBC2's celebration of The Beatles' Please Please Me album 50 years ago.

This is one of my favourites of all time - an extraordinary live performance. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Bonnie Tyler to represent UK for Eurovision 2013.

Pleasant enough track but I fear she'll be Lost in, er, Malmo. What is it with whoever decides these things? One look at the charts across Europe is enough to show what people are most likely to vote for internationally and, whilst this won't do as badly as our recent efforts, it's not a winner.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Eurovision 2013 Denmark and Germany Early Favourites

Good commercial number again for Denmark. They're consistently coming out with great songs - last year the live performance let them down a bit so they'll be hoping Emelie de Forest gets it right on the night in May. With a name like that she has to make the left hand side of the scoreboard, at least.

Her strongest competition so far looks like being Cascada, though, one of twelve acts competing to represent Germany - to be decided 14 February -  if the voters are still in a 'Euphoria' type of mood.

Once again, absolutely no real news leaking out as to the UK entry - other than Girls Aloud and an involvement by Will.i.am. Now, that would be good! Which is why it's pretty unlikely.

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