Sunday 23 May 2021

The Alternative Eurovision Song Contest - 2021


Greetings from a wet South Manchester on a day where I usually answer a few silly questions. Today I am going to do something slightly different. 

Last night out of boredom Mrs PM and I watched the annual European tradition that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Part of me hopes that one day this nonsense will just cease to exist; that Europe collectively will see that this ridiculous spectacle is, at 65 years of age, something that should be retired. 

Sadly, it looks like it is going to go on forever. 

We watched with total disbelief as 26 acts, including one from my own country, performed mainly dreadful songs in a spectacular stage show, with an audience that was there despite Covid-19 restrictions. The whole thing lasted for about four hours and was won by an Italian rock song. 

The UK excelled itself this year by coming last.

All the way through I asked myself “Why are you watching this, Dave?” but I was strangely drawn to it. I just don’t know why. The standard of some of the songs is dreadful, both the writing, the style and the over-the-top stage production and costumes. 

Having slept on it, I think that I have managed to put my finger on why it appeals to people. 

(1) It is so ridiculous that people watch it just to laugh at the songs and the acts performing them. One year, for example, it was won by a bearded woman from Austria.

(2) People have Eurovision Parties where they invite people round to collectively mock the show and play games based on who is performing and also try to guess which of the dreadful songs is likely to win.

(3) Predicting which countries vote for which other countries is fun – for example eastern European countries all vote for each other and Greece always votes for Cyprus and vice versa.

(4) There are a lot of mad people in Europe.

Five years ago, I decided to host my own Eurovision Song Contest on this very blog. Oday I am doing the same. Please don’t panic; I am not going to showcase 26 dreadful songs. 

On the contrary – I am going to showcase 9 brilliant songs from all over Europe, including (incredibly) Israel who also take part, as they have done for quite a number of years now, even though they are not part of Europe.

So, without further ado, I present to you The Plastic Mancunian’s Alternative Eurovision Song Contest 2021. I hope you enjoy the songs.

Ireland – Enya – It’s in the Rain

Let’s kick off with a beautifully haunting song from the incredible Enya, representing Ireland. 

Israel – Blackfield – Blackfield

Blackfield is a band comprising Aviv Geffen from Israel and one of my favourite artists, Steven Wilson. This is a beautiful song.

Poland – Riverside – River Down Below

Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of Polish genius Marisuz Duda and his band Riverside. Here is another recent beautiful song from the band.

France – Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe V

Let’s step back in time to the 1970s for the French entry. This is a masterpiece from the great Jean Michel Jarre.

Norway - R√∂yksopp – The Girl and the Robot 

Here is a glorious bit of European dance music from Norway. I can take or leave dance music (mostly I choose to leave it) but I really like this song.

Finland – Nightwish – Slow Love Slow

Imagine you are in a smoke-filled jazz club; close your eyes and listen to this amazing song from Nightwish, a band who are normally purveyors of symphonic metal. This song is completely different from their normal fare – and real genre-crossing masterpiece. 

The Netherlands – The Gentle Storm – The Shores of India

Anneke van Giersbergen is one of my favourite female singers. She has a wonderful voice and here it is in full flow with a great song from The Gentle Storm.

Sweden – Opeth – Closure

One of my musical discoveries of last year is a Swedish prog rock outfit called Opeth who have been around for years. This is one of my favourite songs by the band.

UK – Steven Wilson – Follower

Of course the UK has to have an entry and I have selected one of my favourite songs from his latest album – a nice mix between dance and rock music.

And finally ...

I hope you enjoyed this little collection. They are far better had the 26 songs I had to endure last night. Trust me.


Dale Brown said...

I think I'd rather watch your version of the Eurovision Song Contest. We might even win that one.

I also think that next year we send The Macc Lads and get them to do a moonie at the songs end.

Kwizgiver said...

Nice songs--thank you for introducing me to new music!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

I would love the Macc Lads to be our entry. That would definitely make it worth watching.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

One day Eurovision will be made up of good songs.

I can dream, can't I?




Bev Sykes said...

the only time I had anything to do with the Eurovision Song fest was when we arrived in Ireland in 1994 and our host (my husband's cousin) was so excited about a little ditty called Riverdance. We bought a DVD..on which the number was recorded twice because it was so short!

I wonder whatever happened to that song....

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

I remember Riverdance and Michael Flatley from that year. It became a show and made him very famous.

It's still around I believe.