Czech Republic & Russia

Czech Republic

Friend of a friend by Lake Malawai

Can you feel it? !I am SO excited that I picked Czech Republic on a whim to review this year, because hipster indie pop bands that are dressed like The Wiggles are TOTALLY what I’m into right now.
Seriously, the base player in his red turtle neck looks exactly like Murray, who incidentally once came into the Sly Fox in Enmore whilst I was working once and told me he “really liked my popcorn”- if that’s not an innuendo, then I don’t know what is. Speaking of innuendos, Friend of a friend is full of them. Do you know what I mean? I particularly liked the part of the clip where the lead singer has a series of photos of him being manhandled into a police car, because it’s a metaphor for the youth of today being labelled as miscreant Millennials, which they probably are, right? The tune is catchy and annoyingly stuck in my head right now. The Czech Republic has been a part of Eurovision for the last 12 years, and have yet to win, but if any of the current judges are under the age of 25 then Lake Malawi might be in with a chance.
I give them 3 skinny leg jeans out of a possible 5.

Review by George Binns

Russia

Scream by Sergey Lazarev

WOOF, is there anything Sergey can’t do?! Racking up countless music and radio awards, adopting puppies, starting up a company that creates dog friendly pastries and cakes… and he can bloody sing! Like an angel! He gave me goosebumples. Scream is a beautiful song, and I can’t stop raving about his voice, it really is magic. The lyrics are a bit dodgy however, like most emo songs with beautiful melodies, it seems to be about loudly broadcasting feelings that you’re having, but lying about actually having them: “Tears won’t fall whilst my pride stands tall… but my eyes will be liars..”
I think we ALL can relate to that. I quite liked the video clip with the hero coming to rescue the princess troupe, and then dumping her on a small island covered in bryophytes (which he stomped all over, rude), but she was really quite pretty with glorious hair and didn’t say anything at all the whole clip, so why did he dump her there? I think men really should start addressing their feelings so we can all be supportive of them.
PS: a small child acts out killing a large dragon towards the end of the clip. Just in case that sort of thing upsets you.
SERGEY FOR THE WIN!

Review by George Binns

Czech Republic and Belgium

Czech RepublicMikolas Josef: Lie To Me

Welcome to the 21st Century, Czech Republic! So good to finally have you along! Mikolas is a renaissance man, he had good marks at school and could have studied at a prestigious UK college, he worked as an international model, and now, dressed as a librarian, is fighting for the Eurovision crown!

This peppy number is sure to impress, some cool jazz trumpet, an obscure reference to Marilyn Monroe and suspenders holding up Mikolas’s pants. The dancing is outsourced to a break dancing lad seemingly trapped in a cube. The lyrics were ravaged by google translate: But steady plenty these greedies wanna eat my spaghetti

All in all, I quite like this….definitely entry into the finales!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

 

BelgiumSennek: A Matter Of Time

 Belgium’s Sennek is a 100 percent the love child of Portishead and Tina Turner (Goldeneye)! She even participated in 007 In Concert.

I am a sucker for the musical pizzazz dished up by Bond – it is sassy and schmalzy all at the same time. Bond swept Conchita Wurst to certain Eurovision glory….and of course her marvellous beige frock was a winner in itself!

Europe might be stirred by Sennek, but not shaken!

 Review by Mariella Herberstein

Czech Republic and Georgia

Czech RepublicMy Turn, by Martina Bárta

Following a five year apathy-driven absence from the competition, the Czech Republic made their first ever finals appearance in 2016. This landed them a respectable (loosely speaking) 25th place, and the hopes of surpassing this effort now rest with the jazz sensibilities of Martina Bárta. Unfortunately this quasi-naked, touchy-feely, hair-centric piano ballad offers few surprises. The chorus does build to a reasonable hook, and it might be enough to squeeze through to a second final, though I don’t foresee a strong finish for the Czech Republic this year.  

Review by Tom White

GeorgiaKeep the Faith, by Tamara Gachechiladze

It’s difficult to get excited about an artist whose brief opens with the striking claim that she “…has taken part in a number of national and international festivals and creative events”. This lack of enthusiasm is not misplaced, and carries right through this year’s copyright-infringeriffic offering from Georgia. The central hook of ‘Keep the Faith’, along with much of the instrumentation, is lifted directly from Adele’s theme for ‘Skyfall’. That song did win an academy award, and it overlaid one of the best Bond films in years, so full points to Tamara for fine taste and sheer audacity if nothing else.

Review by Tom White

Czech Republic, Croatia, Belgium and Cyrpus

Czech Republic
CzechRepublic.png

I stand by Gabriela Gunčíková

eurovision_song_contest_2016_renelt_03072016_q9b1116_copy.jpg

The Czech Republic easily has one of the best videos in this year’s Eurovision round. Some cool stop-go motion, LED shenanigans and in the end, Gabrielle’s head pokes out of a sea of flowers. Not just any flowers, but flowers you’d give your mum for mother’s day – pink and purple daisies!

The song is less impressive, admittedly, it is well sung, but it has the ‘out of the can’ feel to it. The lyrics don’t help either…here is a taste: I’ve worn the path – I’ve hit the wall – I’m the one who rose and fall.

Would a key change have helped – no doubt!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

—————————-

Croatia
Croatia.png

Lighthouse by Nina Kraljić

nina_kraljic_0010.jpg

Nina is the Croatian equivalent of Bjork and I like it! She is clearly an extraterrestrial, marvelling at humanity, getting rained on and looking up time on a pocket watch. And I think the relationship with her hairdresser is not the best. So what if the song sounds a bit very much like the Cranberry’s ‘Linger’? It has a key change and all is forgiven! Definitely the finales for me!

 

Review by Mariella Herberstein

—————————-

Belgium
Belgium.png

What’s The Pressure by Laura Tesoro

laura_tesoro_eurosong_372.jpg

Disco is back – booyah!!! Laura’s  ‘What’s the pressure’ splices samplers from every great danceable song into a 3 minute sequence, starting with the baseline from ‘Another one bites the dust’. But never mind the plagiarism – I think this could actually work and stand out from a rather vanilla Eurovision field this year.

There are sequin sweatshirts, torn blue jeans and excellent curls! I am predicting the finals for Laura and her gang of disco larcenists!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

—————————-

Cyprus
Cyprus.png

Alter Ego by Minus One

m1_official_photograph.jpg

Look, I am trying to love Cyprus, but every year they are making it more and more difficult for me! Bearded men in black-hooded coats, howling with coyotes under high voltage electricity towers. I’d be surprised if anyone could fit more cliches into a single song:

  • Ill advised chin hair – check
  • Mysterious lady in a black dress – check
  • Cool car (Mustang) – check
  • Overly enthusiastic drummer – check
  • Non-sensical lyrics – check

Despite my misgivings, I have a sinking feeling that this one might slip through to the finales, mostly because the rest of the entries are so utterly boring….

Review by Mariella Herberstein