Search

Punk Rocker at the Eurovision

So the punk rock drummer for Hacksaw is also a journalist and author, and Roy Delaney's latest book about the hilarious happenings that go on at the Eurovision Song Contest is one you should definitely pick up. Roy is over in Turin now at the Eurovision, both promoting his excellent book and also writing about the event. As today is the big day, here's his latest update, with all you need to know about the runners and riders for tonight:


"So it's finally arrived. After months of me blathering on about a showbizzy singing show, the day is upon us, and all us Eurovision fans are pacing around Turin with an empty look in our eye like a bridegroom on the morning of a wedding.


Tonight at 8pm on BBC1 (check your local providers, internationalists), it'll all kick off, and despite there being rather a few more downtempo numbers than usual, there's still a lot of fun to be had.

So if you didn't follow my semi-final previews, or you're one of those strange once-a-year sorts, here's what you can expect to see tonight. Look away now if you don't want to know what happens.

The show itself has been a bit more ramshackle in execution than the two previous semis - but let's hope they iron that all out in today's final dress rehearsal. They're still having trouble getting some of the enormo props on and off stage, and some fool decided it would be a good idea to put put Australia and the UK next to each other in the draw. So expect the hosts to be aimlessly filling in in a panic between those two.

So what about the songs…?


Czech Reublic A likeable bit of gentle pop rave. When this qualified on Thursday it was always looking likely it would be the opener, and it's a great way to kick things off. It's going nowhere in the competition itself, but look at their little faces - they're just so please to be here!


Romania And unexpected qualifier draw in the cursed second slot means that it probably came tenth in its semi. However, it's another likeable dance number - this time with a more Latin flavour - and you'll be attempting to sing along to it by the end, despite not really knowing what the words are. Lots of thrusting in this one, too.


Portugal Probably the most beautifully nice song of the whole lot tonight. The gentle guitars of the intro will transport you to the backstreet bars of Lisbon alone. Absolutely lovely, but will probably get lost in all the noise.


Finland Well the good people of Europe decided they preferred someone that they'd heard of doing weak poppy nu metal the pure dirty glam of San Marino. Which is a darned shame. And that opening shot is still creepy as all heck, like some washed up child star waiting outside a school to lure autograph hunting mums. Still, we're lumbered with it now, so at least let's point and laugh for three minutes at the nonsense of it all.


Switzerland Marius looks like that one bloke your mate's mate invites onto a night out, but doesn't tell you he's coming until he arrives because no one else would have come if they'd known. The song's a slightly different take on the sadboi glut this year though, as it has an optimistic glimmer, so we reckon your Nan might vote for it. The crowds in the hall have loved it every night, quite inexplicably.


France Picture the scene. You're at some sketchy rave festival somewhere in the woods of Europe. It's 4am, and you've been thinking of getting back to the tent for a kip before the sun turns in into a furnace. But you're distracted by some unfamiliar beats coming out of a little glade you hadn't noticed before. It's this lot, and you end up staying for the next three hours, totally absorbed by their pounding sound and Breton language songs. This is what the French song is like, and it's flipping ace!


Norway You'll probably have already been made aware of this one, as everybody's kids seem to be all over it on TikTok. Two wolves mumble about eating bananas and grandmas like a car boot Ylvis to a cheap EDM beat. Will do alright, I reckon, but if it does scrape the win the last word that gets sung at Eurovision this year will be 'Keith', which is almost worth spending an expensive fortnight in Oslo for.


Armenia First of the enormo props means that there's going to be an awkward gap just before it. Sounds like a banking advert for teens, looks like one of those teens destroying her bedroom decor. She nearly messed up the big reveal at the end in her semi, so keep an eye out for that.


Italy An edgy and aggressive man-ballad duet that you'll start off thinking is a bit dull, but by the time the young lad skips off the piano you'll be hanging on its every beat. This pair are both pretty massive local stars in their own right, so expect huge ovations in the hall for this - especially as it's bloody great.


Spain Expect even more noise for this one - but mainly because the Spanish seem to have bought up half the seats in the house. This is mainly because they think they can win this year - mostly by following the blueprint of a song that came second four years ago. Lots of hair flicking and crotch thrusting, and not all that much song. The side bet is whether it can beat Spain's previous highest ever points tally of 125 - from 1973!


The Netherlands Nothing too exciting to report about this one. Troubled looking girl looks lonely until the killer singalong chorus kicks in. And that's about it.


Ukraine So this is the complicated one. The biggest favourite in years, but there's fear that its odds may have been bolstered by people second guessing them the win and chucking a few bob on. There's no doubt that the song would have been there or thereabouts before the badness, but that extra bit of goodwill might just help nudge it over the line. However, we've got to remember that half the vote is provided by professional juries, and also note that although they've been getting great receptions from the crowd before and after their performance, the audience have always gone a bit flat during the song. I still fancy it could nip this, but it's not as cut and dried as many people think.


Germany It would appear that we've reach that stage of post-culture where people make their trib acts cover two artists, and not just the one - in this case both Ed Sheeran and Eminem. Crushingly dull for most of the song, it suddenly gets a bit shouty and intense in the middle, before descending back to plod. Decent, but a contender for accidental bottom three.


Lithuania You'll spend most of the song wondering about her hair, I'll bet you!


Azerbaijan I've been watching this darned thing rehearse all bloody week and I still can't remember how it goes. Anonymity on a staircase.


Belgium This Timberlakealike groove is one of those songs that the juries love but the punters hate. So don't be surprised to see this scoring respectable points in the first half of the voting, only to be embarrassed by a crushingly low audience vote in the second bit. Which is always funny.


Greece So sparse that you'll wonder at first if they've made a mistake and forgotten to play the backing track. Then you'll wonder why all those broken chairs are scattered everywhere, before having some concern about the wisdom of singing a song about dying in a car crash at a time of great international strike. But once you've got past all that you'll realise that it's actually a pretty nice song, and could still be contending in the run in. Her frock can be a bit awkwardly seethrough on occasions, mind.


Iceland Probably the most contrived song of the whole lot, this bit of breezey light Americana looks like it was forged in a factory. But your real-music-wanker mate will rant on endlessly about how it was the most authentic and real thing there and that it should have beaten, well, everything it got beat by. Still, they're always swayed by hats and waistcoats alone, those people.


Moldova The ideological winner here. After the little guitary intro bit, the full on folk fiddle will kick in, and you'll be doing the train dance round your living room bellowing "Hey, ho, let's go! Folklore and rock'n'roll!" at the top of your lungs. It's bloody brilliant fun, and if anything's going to come from the middle of the pack to accidentally win this thing it's going to be this one. If you can still get 150/1 with the bookings it might be worth ten bob each way! Whoever actually wins, this will be the one you remember best.


Sweden Keep your eyes on this one, because this sweet-and-simple break up tune packs one heck of an emotional pop punch, and the way she sits on the floor and sings straight to your heart with her scratchy, broken voice will win you over immediately. If Ukraine don't manage to walk it, this is my tip for the less expected win - although she's currently third fave in the betting.


Australia Massive prop alert! Not only does Sheldon here have a massive big set of steps, he's also got a long cumbersome gown that he struggles not to drip up over when he serves his inspiring 'everyone can find their way in life' ballad. Oh, and the mask thing is symbolic of his not liking the way he looks. Hopefully the commentators will fill you in on that one.


UK I really don't know what to tell you about this one. We're second in the betting and I have a nosebleed - but I fear that's because it's not entirely shit and people have got a panic on and think we're going to win. For me this is a respectable mid-table kind of a song, so don't be too disappointed if it only makes it that far, as it'll be an achievement in itself. Sam himself is bloody brilliant, though, even if the Crystal Dome prop is a bit massive and pointless. We couldn't, could we? Plumb draw between two earnest man ballads, mind.


Poland A bit like Australia, only without the steps and a bit more rain. If you've not had a wee for a while all that splashing water will send you racing for the bog.


Serbia The surprise hit of the competition. A song about Serbia's elitist public health system shouldn't by rights be a floorfiller, but the gal's stern look and near perfect clap-along has made her the cult hero of this competition. It's a complicated, difficult song, but it's bloody brilliant all the same - even if she will scare all your pets!


Estonia A big old time country-and-western singalong. Like the soundtrack to the film Clint never made, it's got all the cinematic cliches and a great singalong chorus. Also watch out for the bit where he jumps across the pond. He's been getting more bold every time, so might just take the plunge tonight!


And that's it! Twenty-five songs of variable quality, and a whole lot of slow introspection. Not one of the more classic collections, but you've got to work with what you've got.


For intervals you've got last year's winners Måneskin doing a new one (if they turn up - the singer's done his leg in), Italy's first winner Gigliola Cinquetti being amazing, two of the hosts having a singalong, plus a big old medley set from Mika. It's not all sat together terribly well so far, so let's hope they polished that turd this arvo.


After that you'll get a lot of talking, and a voting process that you still don't entirely understand before we get to find out where Europe will be sending me on a jolly for a fortnight this time next year. (And in case you were wondering what happens if Ukraine win, South East Poland is the call at the moment, so hello Krakow!).


I'll be interested to know what your faves are on the night, so keep me posted! Eyes down for a full house!"


Roy's new book 'Worst Eurovision Ever' is available from Earth Island Books here.


138 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All