Last night I watched a truly European phenomenon on my telly box; The Eurovision Song Contest. This year, the competition was broadcast throughout the world for the first time, including China and the United States.
So now the whole world knows that the whole of Europe is absolutely crazy!
I am guilty because this competition, now in its 61st year, is an annual spectacle which is a mixture of pomp and utter madness. Some of the songs are absolutely crazy and, to be honest, absolutely dreadful.
Last night was no exception. I watched the show laughing my head off at the over the top theatrics and marvelled at how poor the continent’s taste in music actually is. Even the United Kingdom’s effort was dreadful and, quite rightly, finished a poor 24th out of 26 songs.
One or two, vaguely interested me but that is about it.
Even Australia had an entry. Why? I don’t know; they were guests last year for the 60th anniversary but why they were in it this year is beyond me. Not that I have anything against Australia – the country is not in Europe so therefore should not take part.
Worse, what amazes me is that all of the nations taking part have artists that can produce genuinely fine music in most genres – ourselves included. Yet we have to endure pop songs, weird songs and absolutely dreadful songs from all nations.
Yet, perversely, I am drawn to it because, in my opinion it is so bad that it is brilliant. Mrs PM and I watched the show picking our favourites (which was a massive struggle for me because they were all awful) only to be disappointed at the end when the rest of Europe (and Australia) voted a dreadful Ukrainian song as the winner.
I may sound like a dreadful bore and a man who criticizes music just for a rant but I can’t help it – and I am certain that most people think the same way (they just won’t admit it).
Anyway, I read a blog post recently that proposed a new slant on Eurovision by selecting Heavy Metal songs from each of the countries. The author is Big D at Assorted Thoughts From An Unsorted Mind and I have decided to plagiarise his idea, except for one subtle difference. I am going to pick songs from my own collection which may or may not be rock songs.
Without further ado, here is my alternative Eurovision Song Contest – limited to 10 songs, rather than the 26 of the original competition (my God – we’d be here all night!).
If you fancy it, take your pick and let me know your favourite. One thing I can guarantee you – there are no singing grannies from Russia, no bearded women from Austria and no bad songs!
I have a beautiful progressive rock song for you to start with from Poland. The band is called Riverside and the song is called Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching).
I really like Air, an electronic duo from France who produce very melodic relaxing pop songs. This beautiful song called Redhead Girl is typical of the band.
Within Temptation are one of two symphonic metal bands I like from Holland. Don’t be put off by the label “metal” because this song, Edge of the World, is a beautiful orchestral piece that would win Eurovision – of that I have no doubt.
If it’s Ireland it can only be Enya. Here is a beautiful relaxing song called Afer Ventus– which bizarrely is sung in Latin.
Livening things up a bit with the Swedish entry, we have The Hives. If at first you don’t succeed Try It Again.
You have almost certainly heard of A-ha. I was a big fan of the band because they wrote great pop songs. Minor Earth Major Sky is a later song after their early to mid-1980’s peak.
Nightwish are another symphonic metal band but veer into the realms of progressive rock by flirting with different styles. The Islander is a almost a folk song.
Gotye was born in Belgium but now lives in Australia so I am killing two birds with one stone with this song. You will have heard it before – a great pop song called Somebody That I Used To Know.
Mein Land is a fun song from German industrial band Rammstein, which believe it or not is not as heavy as their usual numbers. The video is a little naughty and turns into mayhem at the end. It would do well at Eurovision I think.
For the UK it has to be a song from my current favourite British artist, Steven Wilson. There are so many good songs but here is an upbeat song from his current album called Happiness III.
Over to you, dear reader.
If you feel like telling me which one you would vote for, feel free.
Alternatively, if you watched Eurovision this weekend - did you actually like any of the songs?
Personally I would vote for all of them because in my opinion, they are all better than anything Eurovision has offered (well since Abba and Lordi won it anyway).