Midweek Eurovision

Tom Dice Well as usual I am behind with my theatrical posts but here we are on Semi Final 2 Day for this year’s Eurovision! Excitement tingles the spine, only tempered by the memory of the appalling BBC3 reception we suffered on Tuesday night, thus having to decamp to the inlaws to watch it and thereby missing the first four songs. This reception lark had better improve or else we will be driven back to the welcoming wallet I mean arms of Sky Heaven Help Us All.

Hera Bjork Tuesday night’s show was highly entertaining though. Tom for Belgium and Hera for Iceland were on excellent form and deservedly went through. Thea for Malta performed wonderfully well but the song is a snoozefest and she wasn’t helped by Big Bird. Similarly Poland’s song was destroyed by what frankly appeared to be Marcin’s overtures to a sexual assault on his poor backing dancer. And as for Russia… well I know it’s meant to be tongue in cheek humorous, but even after a friend explained it in great detail, I still don’t get the joke.

Jon LilygreenAnyway, really excited about tonight as we have Jon for Cyprus who lives in Wales and Niamh for Ireland who lives in Northern Ireland, thus we have at least two UK representatives tonight! I have to say I like both their songs very much and think they will do themselves proud, I will be very surprised if they don’t qualify – watch this space. Niamh Kavanagh “It’s for you” for Ireland is particularly satisfying. On the other hand when I try to think of “Life Could be Better in Spring” I realise I am actually remembering the Belgian song.

It kind of grieves me to say it but the Dutch entry is growing on me. Paula and Ovi Sieneke sings a daft song but the barrel organ background is strangely uplifting. I am also looking forward to seeing the Romanian dual piano go up in flames, whether Safura will trip down the stairs, what’s going to grow out of an Armenian apricot stone and wondering whether Marks will stock a range of Lithuanian underpants. Only in Eurovision!

UK Eurovision Preview Party Sunday May 2nd, Shadow Lounge, Soho

UK Eurovision Preview partySurnames removed to protect the innocent.

So Mrs Chrisparkle and I had a quick nap in our hotel room after seeing Shirley Valentine, and then a Marks and Spencer Chicken Salad (and I had a Pork Pie too) before meeting Michelle and going to the Shadow Lounge for the UK Preview Party. This is the third such event, in a smaller venue this time; while the first party had been a relative financial success (ie I think it didn’t make a loss) the second was not so successful and the prospects for a third looked in doubt; step in John and Paddy to come to the rescue.

Niamh KavanaghAt the front of the queue to get in, we met David, who was even earlier in the queue, and then a strange Welshman starting quizzing us about what we were going to see. He must be the real person on whom Gavin and Stacey’s Uncle Bryn is based. Then Niamh popped her head out of the front door and gave us a wave – I gave her a wave back – and unfortunately didn’t get to speak to her again (yes I was the only person to miss out on that pleasure, regrettably).

Jon LilygreenEventually we got in, and we spent the evening with (deep breath) Adam, Adam, Mark, Michael, Andy, Liam, Tiina, Tristan & his lady, Dean, Gerry, Paul, Rory, John, Richard, Chris, Juha, David and Andrew Schlagerboy, Mark, John, Robin, Monty, Nico, Franko, Iain, Jody, Adrian, Tom, Paul… there will be others, sorry if I have missed anyone.

Paula and Ovi First up was Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders, a band from Newport representing Cyprus, who got on famously with everyone and had a raw appeal, having and giving out lots of fun. Then we had Paula and Ovi from Romania, who suffered from bad microphonage unfortunately (but I still think their song is great!); Josh Dubovie Josh for the UK sang his song and it was the first time I had heard the new version, which I think is an improvement (although I still don’t like the end) – Josh is an excellent singer and comes across as a really nice guy; and finally Niamh for Ireland, who has rapidly become at least two nations’ favourite Eurovision singer and held us all in the palm of her hand. All the acts were introduced by Paddy in his own inimitable style.

A bit too crowded for Mrs C and I to venture on the dance floor but it was great to meet up with friends and enjoy the vibe. Less than three weeks to go before the first Semi Final!! Need to start preparing the party!