Thursday, February 15, 2018

FYR Macedonia. Dress to win.

The Federal Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have not done terribly well so far in Eurovision. This year a band called Eye Cue will represent them and it is a pity that this isn't the song. It's a great driving number, probably stuck in the 1990s in almost all respects but I like it anyway.

If the girl wears that dress then we may not need to worry too much about the song.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Albania bring driving guitars, drums and tattoos to Eurovision

Eugent Bushpepa's band is not going to win any beauty contests but this entry is not to be overlooked. A great driving number, with constant guitar rhythm pushing the track along. It's not typical Eurovision fare but is a little dated and that's maybe why it appeals to me!

It is a quality performance by what seem to be experienced people and has is a bit of an anthem too. No idea what it's all about and the heavily tattooed Eugent is clearly determined to get some kind of mood across so it does rise above the banal la la la euro-tat that it may have to compete with.

Not a winner but a strong entry from Albania.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

SuRie wins over the audience as UK's Eurovision entry

Many commentators were surprised by the selection of SuRie as the UK's entry for Eurovision 2018. The bookies' favourite, by some considerable margin had been Asanda. That's the difference between recorded and live performances, though. Asanda was dreadful. She was out of breath and missed more notes than she hit and on occasions seemed to lose the plot completely in a very poor live effort.

Jaz Ellington came across well but still didn't manage to capture the audience or panel's attention as much as many had expected.

My own favourites, Goldstone, were extremely confident and professional, delivering a faultless performance of a catchy number but it was a catchy number from any time between 1973 and 1993 and really not 2018 material. I quickly covered what I could see would be losses on that bet and sank the required amount in to SuRie who was rapidly taking over the favourite spot.

SuRie has to thank the audience for much of her victory. They were remarkably supportive and anyone would have thought that she had arranged for the venue to be filled with only her fans. They started clapping enthusiastically from just a few beats in which didn't happen with any one else at all. A few tried with Asanda but soon gave up. SuRie really did appeal to everyone. I can only guess that she had done well during rehearsals and somehow managed to get through to people earlier as all this could not have come about purely during the live show we saw.

She has good experience of the Eurovision scene and even stage too, having worked with the Belgian entries over a couple of previous years. That is useful as we have seen many otherwise competent acts fail when they try to do the real thing in front of millions.

The song itself is OK, anthemic in places but certainly the beat will get people going along and the lyrics seem to have an appeal too. She has a slightly android look which suits Eurovision but I am not sure I like the robotic dance moves. By that I don't mean she is doing a 1970s Kelly Marie but seems to have a rigid and well-rehearsed set of moves which she will stick to come what may. This makes her slightly less likeable in my view but when she does appear to relax and acknowledge that there are others around then the ice breaks and you get what it is that the crowd are cheering for.

If she can weave the same magic on the big stage then maybe she will do better than I had previously expected at my first review. To a large extent now, Eurovision voters go for personality and some relationship that can develop between them and the artist. It appears that SuRie has that quality and I wish her well.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Spain go for the romantic vote. Touching.

Spain have a touching and floating ballad from Alfred and Amaia who clearly have a romantic relationship and can, therefore, perform this splendidly.

There is a feeling that Spain have taken a leaf out of Portugal's book by selecting such a classic type of song with the focus on pure vocals. Indeed, one hardly notices the backing track.

Viewers will not be able to avoid sensing the love here and that's absolutely sure to give Spain lots of points. Enough to win? Too early to tell as, after a while, I imagine this could fade into just another very nice couple singing a nice song.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

French start the Eurovision entries for 2018

France have a good entry with Mercy by Madame Monsieur. A gentle number that never quite gets going but has something about it that I think will appeal to the Eurovoters.

First entry I've heard. I have to say that, on first hearing, this seems better than any of our six but maybe one of them will improve with time.

Friday, January 26, 2018

If Little Mix could do the Goldstone song then we'd stand a chance.

After listening again to all six entries for the United Kingdom's Eurovision effort this year, I am a bit disappointed that there isn't a stand-out track that just says we can win with this.

I can see that a lot of effort has gone into the writing and attempts made to tick the Eurovision boxes but each just leaves me feeling that I may well not remember much about it a few minutes later.

Second time around it is Goldstone who seem to have the best Euro tune, despite my being harsh after the first play. I guess I had expected a lot better from thenext five as they went first.

Close by is Asanda. The song isn't great but it is pretty 2018 as Eurovision 2018 goes at any rate. She looks like she could have bags of personality which voters will like and she could appeal more than the tune which need be no bad thing.

Reya don't do anything for me and of the two blokes I'd give Jaz the edge, despite Liam looking so good and being able to pull a pile of votes in just be looking into the camera. SuRie has the experience and reliability so may be in with a chance, although I am not sure she will come across to the UK voters as well as she needs to, being maybe a bit bland.

So, I said before I heard any of the tracks that it would be Asanda and, strangely, that may well still be the case. If Little Mix could do the Goldstone song then we'd be in with a chance. So if Goldstone can really impress on the night when we vote for our entry they could steal it.

SuRie doesn't exactly whip up a Storm but is reliable.

SuRie is competent. Not a step or note seems to go wrong. This is a catchy number but just a touch boring. It is Euro style which I suppose is good but it does seem a bit dated. After the first listen I think she could get us to the left hand side of the scoreboard but that's about it.

That, in itself, would be an improvement on several recent years but it isn't good enough or standing out to grab voters' attention as it needs to.

this girl is very experienced on stage. She has been to Eurovision as both a backing singer and to arrange lighting for Belgium last year which was all very good. You feel you can trust her to put on a good show but I just can't see anything particularly inspirational here.

It'll be a close-run thing this year for the British choice.

Jaz has the name and a chance but needs more practice.

Jaz Ellington has a cool name for sure and his is one of the more real songs in the group we have to choose from. You get the impression he means what he is singing about and that can make a big difference sometimes. Not always in Eurovision, though. Laura White is one of the contributors and she has talent. The singer's good too, although he won't be the sort of chap you'll expect to see dancing across the stage!

As a follow-up to Portugal last year, this is probably the best, being a nice song which I can getting a lot of respect amongst the Euro voters.

However, at about 1 minute in there's an unholy clash between his notes and the background instruments which seems like an error but I can't believe it really is. It just sounds wrong and there are a few moments when his voice really isn't as solid in the lower scale as it will need to be. It was like he was nervous which doesn't bode well.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Liam's Astronaut wouldn't score nought. But not a great deal more either.

With three tracks now published and none holding out much hope for the UK in this year's Eurovision, the pressure is starting to build as we listen to the last three.

The fourth release is Astronaut by Liam Tamne, a name you have to make a distinct effort with the lips to get right. A one-tine Voice UK contender, apparently, although not anyone I remember but he did get congratulated by Kate Bush for his efforts, we're told.

If we want a good-looking bloke for our entry then this is our only chance. He does seem very photogenic which ought to ensure that we get a few votes along the way, although I am not sure Liam's looks beat Asanda's visual personality.

So, the song. It's a gentler number than those that have gone before with a definite Ed Sheeran influence. He is No 1 everywhere at the moment so why They didn't choose Ed as out entry I don't know. Liam has that Ed sound, though, and the song could have been a Sheeran number at a pinch. Lots of falsetto make it a little more interesting but it is all rather innocuous and neither one thing nor another. It just ends in a slightly 'what shall we do now' way as many seem to be doing. I suppose it could be OK but if it were to be our entry then I wouldn't expect it to make Top 10.

Reya ends badly and might as well not have started.

Reya's track Crazy never seems to make any impression at all, despite the energy and effort that she and others seem to have put into this.

The top notes seem a stretch for her and I hope that isn't autotune that provides a familiar tinny timbre to some notes. I get tired of her missing the d of mind and we hear on my myn instead which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't repeated so damn often.

This struck me as a very tedious number, repetitive but not at all catchy and certainly no winner. It also has a horrible ending.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Asanda's track is missing something that Eurovision needs.

I had high hopes for this one. Asanda is talented, appearing in Bugsy Malone on stage and doing well in Britain's Got talent at the age of 11, five years ago.

This is certainly a different entry for UK. Up-to-date for sure but, despite all that is going on in the track, it is missing something. after it has finished you really do not find yourself humming along or remembering anything at all. It has an annoying brass break and the slow bit really does not not work for Eurovision.

I had predicted (just on the cool girl image and youthful vibe around her, plus the fact that she's familiar with the territory, this would be our choice but I was wrong.

Goldstone probably won't feel the Eurovision love

As soon as this starts I get the vision of three aggressive-sounding girls brandishing hair straighteners and wearing shiny black leather and not exactly encouraging lads to snuggle up to them on a Sunday morning in pink candlewick.

This is Goldstone's entry in the UK You Decide competition

Moderately catchy 'I feel the love' bit against a manic electronic background but then we get a 'Clap your hands' bit which is plain tedious and from the 80s.

They may be talented and lovely girls but this has no chance of winning Eurovision and I can't see it getting that many votes amongst Brits either.

Strangely, the song played a little earlier on Ken Bruce's Radio 2 programme when this was first released this morning had lyrics which could have been associated with another entry by a good-looking bloke - Astronaut - and I had been recording that. I'd even started to review it and reckoned it would do pretty well!
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