5) Iceland – Pollapönk singing ‘No Prejudice’
Pollapönk are a post punk quartet of former early years professionals. In this video they celebrate the twin themes of diversity and accepting people with speech problems in a frankly bonkers video which is a bit like the film ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World.”
Pollapönk sport beards you could lose a badger in and play instruments made out of cornflake packets, and I loved it. In general, I’m not a big fan of Eurosongs with messages in them, but I approve of this this one, and if you don’t you can ignore the message easily enough thanks to the sheer effervescence of it all. Hurrah for post punk popular combos. In a word: effervescent.
6) Albania – Hersi Matmuja singing ‘One Night’s Anger’
I have now watched this this video several times, and have concluded it makes no sense whatsoever. It starts with our heroine, Hersi, being washed up on the shore like the little mermaid having been given her legs. Sometimes she runs down the beach, sometimes she cycles, sometimes she pootles along on a horse, sometimes a paraglider nearly crashes on top of her. All of this frenzied activity is accompanied by a perfectly pleasant ballad with a somewhat rockier middle eight where she throws a bit of a strop for no discernable reason.
It may be a tribute to the Bodyform ads of the 1990s, it may just be a dark warning against eating mushrooms that don’t come from a reputable supermarket. Either way, its 50 shades of blah. In a word: Next!
Incidentally, for those with a strong sense of humour and stomach, here’s both the original Bodyform advert, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zebXDyYuYK0 and Bodyform’s wonderful response to a man called Richard who pointed out that not every lady wants to parachute whilst having her ladytime. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpy75q2DDow
7) Russia – The Tolmachevy Sisters singing ‘Shine’
Russia. The biggest country in the world, it has things on its mind even more weighty than the Winter Olympics or the Eurovision Song Contest. It has chosen to field the Tolmachevy Sisters, two identical twins, and the first act ever to graduate from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest to the adult one.
If Mattel made a Barbie remake of the Shining, the Tolmachevy Sisters would almost certainly play the twins. Whatever the rights and wherefores of the political environment the Tolmachevy Sisters find themselves in, this is a saccharin song, which I just don’t like very much.
In a word: sickly.
8) Azerbaijan – Dilara Kazimova singing ‘Start A Fire’
There are certain words which set the heart aflame. “Blood, sweat and tears,” “I have a dream,” “Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” “Let’s listen to the Azerbaijan entry to the Eurovision Song Contest” sadly does not have the same galvanising effect on the heart and sinews.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the film “City of Angels” starring Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage. That too has a good amount of moody hanging about on top of high buildings, backed by a soundtrack of varying quality, and a suitably tragic ending that you sort of guessed in the first few minutes of the film. The thing is, despite City of Angels lasting a full 114 minutes, it seems a great deal shorter than the gloomfest which is Dilara Kazimova’s “Start a Fire.” In a word, avoid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipQswujA5gw&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUKmWVFgawRdQBeexOP2U688
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