top of page

Eurovision - From The Ears of A Musician


Well, it’s been a while. Lots has been happening which I’m sure I’ll be able to share at some point - but for now, I’ve had lots of questions and requests for my opinions on this year’s Eurovision. This year was marred by so much going on outside the competition – I’m not going to delve into that except to say that music is political and always has been. It is a leading form of protest and gives people a voice. It brings people together but it also spreads messages to highlight injustice and inequality. It has been used as a form of protest for hundreds of years and always will be. Anyone trying to argue that music shouldn’t be political has no idea of the history of music and how it became such a fundamental part of human life. I have spent a lot of time studying the history of music as part of my degree and believe strongly in the importance of allowing people’s voices to be heard via the greatest method of communication to exist.

 

I have to start by saying I think the whole competition was really disappointing this year. Too-serious-music-types will scrunch their noses and say that Eurovision is silly and is ‘no longer about the music’, but that’s not true. Just because the staging has become more elaborate, people wear less clothes and the lighting is better doesn’t mean that good songs aren’t being written. Loreen’s 2023 winner ‘Tattoo’ is a fantastic song that was incredibly well produced and I listen to it regularly. However, this year there was a distinct lack of anything remotely special. I can only sing one song from the night, and that’s Croatia’s entry (which I loved – it was a much needed anthem in a sea of musical ambiguity). I noted that musically lots of the songs seemed to be written around a bass line or one short riff. The problem with that formula is that unless that riff is memorable, catchy and singable, the songs get lost. Case in point: our entry.

 

I don’t want to be someone who hates on musicians or performers, so I write the following with genuine respect for anyone who performs on Eurovision – it takes balls. However, our entry was not good. It was better than last year, but not by much. Olly Alexander gave a decent vocal performance, (his vocal runs were incredibly well done) but his singing has no conviction. The song was also boring. It had no climax, no build up, and the chorus was hardly distinguishable from the rest of the song. That comes from a trio of failures: the song was badly written, badly produced and badly performed. I can feel the grimaces - harsh but true.

The bells were also a strange production decision, it made it sound like a Christmas song – a bizarre choice to make for a europop competition in the middle of May. There’s so much more I could say but I don’t want to be too negative; it really was an improvement on last year.

 

Someone on Instagram asked me what I think we need to do to get another Top 5 result. Firstly, to everyone saying ‘we’ll never do well because everyone hates us’ - I agree that we are widely disliked as country and I know exactly why - but Sam Ryder proved that that can be overlooked in the instance of a good song, sung by a natural performer. We need someone who can capture a room, and that’s rare. Sam Ryder had it – he has an absolute ability to connect with people. You need someone who comes to life on stage; who has a love of performing and finds it easy. That’s where we've gone wrong time after time. Neither artist found performing naturally easy; it looked forced in both instances. Someone create a hologram of Freddie Mercury and we’ll be in with a shot.

Secondly, we have to stop writing second rate, boring songs. Whatever people say about Eurovision, there have been excellent songs in the last 10-15 years and they tend to do well.

I've included a link to the spotify playlist I've created with some of my favourites on. The only thing it's missing is Ireland's Father Ted entry 'My Lovely Horse'.


So @UK Eurovision Committee – I’ll write next year’s song and then I can eat my words. I’ll do it for a free stay at the Four Seasons in Geneva. I’ll even vocal coach the performer. Success isn’t guaranteed but a lack of Christmas bells is.

 

You can find a link to my favourite ever Eurovision songs here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0shAvorUwbhIfIseuoyY1k?si=c4985e2a18e04e4a

 

*I’ve specifically avoided talking about the details of why I think this year was such a lacklustre and disappointing show because this isn’t the space for those discussions. That being said, I will shout from the rooftops that music gives those without a voice one in a different form and it is of the utmost importance that that isn’t silenced.

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page