Friday, May 19, 2006


Ik Zie Een Head LouseIt's about time I did one of those "fascinating" family history posts I was banging on about a month or two ago. Well, there's only a bit of family history in this one but it's fairly timely.

For some reason my parents always regarded the annual Eurovision Song Contest as an important event. This was probably down to my parents not leading particularly interesting lives and also in part may be down to my dad being Yugoslavian. Watching Eurovision was the one time of year when there was, like a big melting pot of different countries from mainland Europe on the telly at once, and perhaps it reminded him of the big, happy melting pot of peoples who lived in mainland Europe. Ahem.

It didn't, however, explain why he decided to tape the 1974 contest for prosperity. I should explain to younger readers that this was the age before video taping - it was a sound only recording.

As it 'appens, this was of course the year Abba won - the year of David Vine's utterance "and .... OH! IT'S NAPOLEON!" as their conductor walked up to his podium dressed as the aforementioned short arse emperor.

It is difficult to believe that there was ever a time when Terry Wogan didn't "do" Eurovision, especially considering that the commentator was David Vine, a man who made an art out of being devoid of charisma. His profile on the BBC site claims that in his free time he likes "relaxing and being at home". Blimey, human dynamo that one. How does he do it all?

Anyway, on the tape my dad made you could hear him say "they're singing in a Croat dialect, that's not proper Yugoslav" about the country's Fairisle tank top-clad band, which annoyed him profoundly, being a bigoted old git who went on to worship Radovan Karadzic. I remember that the Daily Mirror's punter suggested that the Yugoslav song was "too way out" to win which proved correct.

Abba came tops, of course, with "golden couple" Agnetha and Bjorn both sporting satin knickerbockers of the kind that would encourage horribly inflamed red genitalia. Ouch!

In second place was Gigliola Cinquetti with the wonderful "Si" followed by the hirsute Mouth and Macneal's perky Ik Zie Een Ster and our own dear Olivia N. Bomb singing some drivel about the Sally Annie Band which she hated.

I'd love to say that I kept the tape for prosperity and still give it an annual airing, but I probably recorded over it with Generation X or Homicide by 999 or summat.

Anyway, this year's contest is held in Athens, and Mike off of Troubled Diva is the Man On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown at the event. He recommends Germany's country und western song. No doubt there will be some stout lass in a black frock from somewhere along the Med who will do a "qualidee" ballad that will be Terry Wogan's favourite, ugh.

Our own Daz Wiggerley And The Barely Legal Schoolgirls beat off stiff competition in the British preliminary competition from the likes of Toyah Battersby Off Coronation Street, the former bass player from Northern Uproar, that Welsh hairdresser from Big Brother and that bloke who looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp who used to be in He'ea'rs'ay.

You go Dazza!

The Fins seem to be represented by a death metal band.

That was at Brighton, wasn't it. I think Tel did the radio commentary that year. I seem to remember listening to it rather than watching it. Not sure about this year but yes, apparently the Finns are fielding a masked havey metal band. Could be a laugh.
My future ex husband first visited my parents on the night of Eurovision. Later, we went on honeymoon to ... yes... Yugoslavia.
I met your dad, he was the one eating yogurt and chips. They all were.
I'm gunning for the Fins. Lordi's peformance on the semi-finals last night left me gobstruck. Heavy metal in the Eurovision Song Contest - whatever next!
Richard - Brighton indeed. What I'm less sure about is whether it's spelt Fins or Finns. One of those ongoing problems.

Kaz - from what I remember of Yugoslave "cuisine" it seems to consist of about 30 courses of fried chicken, stuffed red peppers or greasy kebabs with salad. Oh, and the slivovic of course, which could probably be used as a standby if your car ran out of petrol.

Mr Very Very - welcome. I didn't see the semi-finals, only a promising little clip the other night. Hope those crazy Fins - Finns - don't go around desecrating Athens graveyards though.
Firstly, thanks for moving on from food, I just go bonkers and rant, sorry all.

Finns are ace; vodka and motorsport and mobile phones, that's a healthy mix. Death metal at Eurovision? I'm almost disappointed I'm missing it - when's the repeat?
I suppose technically its Fins otherwise we'll be getting the weather with us. Which isn't a bad thing, truth be told.

We holidayed once in different era Yugoslavia, 1972 I think. Quaint place called Porec and I remember having to drink the Marshall Tito version of Coke which probably made Panda Cola look exotic. I can't for the life of me remember the food but we did get back alive.
I'm going to sound like a bit of a nerd now. No change there, then.

Terry W's choice, as you correctly pointed out, is a soppy ballad. He favours either Greece or Ireland.

Ireland have Brian Kennedy performing their song. Brian is, of course, a proper singer and not some Eurowannabee. Ireland have a reputation to regain, which they won't.

Bosnia have a rather good ballady song with miserable lyrics that will come 4th.

Sweden have an enthusiastic gal with a not very memorable song that will nevertheless push all the Eurobuttons and come 3rd.

Somebody nobody expects anything from will come 2nd. Don't ask me. Probably Armenia or something, since the Eastern Europeans always gang together.

Finland will win. Because the one thing Eurovision voters all love is being conned, big-time. Death-metal, indeed. They're probably all a bunch of luvvies straight out of Helsinki's premier stage school. And they've even managed to get a few Greek MPs to come over all outraged about it, thus guaranteeing blanket media coverage in the crucial 24 hours before the event.

Daz Sampson is the only good song the UK have come up with since Katrina won it. Which must be almost a decade since. Unfortunately everyone hates us, probably with good reason, so the best he's going to manage is 5th.

Just as well the Americans are planning their own version of Eurovision. If they entered ours, they'd get nul points in perpetuity, despite having all the best songs.

That completes my second nerd download of the week. I'm quite exhausted and shall shortly pour myself a Bacardi Breezer or Pink Gin or sucklike similar slightly gay cocktail, on account of you have to be at least a bit camp to 'get down' properly on Eurovision night.
I'm surprised how badly I want to see someone who "looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp".
Krusty - don't know if there will be a repeat. Maybe the Finnish song will end up on Youtube? Anyway, I would like to visit Finland at some point ...

Richard - my dad always used to pronounce that place as Porridge, so I presume he was right. I've only been to the country once, to see relatives (I'm from a Serbian family that lived in Croatia - I'd be a bit hesitant about staying in the same area now, as you can imagine).

Mark - there is nothing wrong with nerdiness if you can cover Eurovision in depth and talk about who played slide guitar in the Allman Brothers Band.

I've only heard a few seconds of a few of the songs apart from Britain's one. The Ireland song I took an instant dislike to. Is that the bloke who did that George Best tribute thing?

Arabella - I always do my best to oblige: http://www.cwn.org.uk/hearsay/images/as-4-danny-w400.jpg

Unfortunately this was the only picture I could find and doesn't really convey Danny's full on bulldog chewing a wasp demeanour.
I was close. Clearly the Brits are more hated than ever. We really should get out of Iraq if we want to win Eurovision again.
When you listened to to the Fins closely they were no more death metal than Bon Jovi with a sore throat.

If we're going to win we should correctly devolve Scotland, Wales, Norn Iron, Channel Islands, Isles of Man, Wight, Sheppey, Portland Bill and Cornwall.

lbslojyk: Small volcanic island off the coast of Iceland shortly to claim UDI with a view to entering next year
Just thought of the obvious problem with that scheme: they all hate us. Lundy winners in 2011 then.

The UK song was quite dreadful. Was it the Lithuanians who did the vote for us won? Top tune. I think they had the right idea.
Oh - Cotes de Blaye talking. "The vote for us one"

Bed now.
Mark - too right. I haven't ever voted for a Scandinavian country on principle because of the Viking invasions.

Richard - I think the reason most people voted for the "Fins" is because they just wanted to see them walk back onto the stage to collect their award at the end. Mind you, I quite liked their use of the word "rockalypse".

On the day of Rockoning.
Oh. Turns out I was wrong about Lordi. Seems they've been around for ages, they're very big in Finland, and the Finnish Eurovision board actually approached them to be a possible participant.

They're still crap, of course. But it don't half make you wonder what might happen if the UK Eurovision board approached... Oh I dunno... For the sake of argument... Robbie Williams, perhaps.

He'd probably do it, too. Provided he chose the song.
Geoff - I am reminded of Def Leppard's "I suppose a rock's out of the question?". Ugh.

Mark - I wouldn't be surprised if Robbie Williams took the Eurovision offer up actually. His career is on the wane a bit these days, isn't it?

*sound of Surly Girl cursing loudly somewhere in the far, far east*
Nul points for the Roy Wood rig out in the photo. And what's he doing to the blonde bint? Checking for lice?


Lucien, oddly enough, I have written Ik Zee Een Head Louse which is visible if you hover the thumbnail over the picture. I was intending to write it as a subheading but then the main body of the text went belly up. What a nightmare!

Erm, yeah, Mouth and Macneal ... where ARE they now?
They're on all week at the Al Quaeda Tea Rooms, Oldham. Still some tickets left if you fancy it.

Sulphate sends hugs.


Oh bother. I'll be performing in a Barnehurst Amateur Dramatics production of Ray Clooney's Your Money Or Your Wife! every night next week.

Anyway, er, nish, clish, bangin' as they probably still say in Oldham.
Dear Betty,

Why can't we have a British Eurovision entry with a hope in hell of winning for a change??????

Or the Shadows, possibly?

Lovew on ya

Welcome, Robert. I think there are a few problems with this suggestion.

At his advanced age, Mr Ferry might not be up to all the promotional work that goes with representing these isles in the Eurovision Song Contest. Perhaps he should hand the baton on to his fox hunting twat of a son instead, who probably doesn't have anything better to do with his time anyway.

The song title would have to be changed to Song For Yooooorp, as the Americans are getting interested in the idea of Eurovision and there will be loads of businessmen from the US getting the best seats in the house. They would be confused by someone singing about Europe, but they certainly know what Yooooooorp means ("It's on the map somewhere").

I'd probably vote for it if he got back together with that Brian E.L.O. bloke, especially if they did that song where Mr Ferry is going on about growing potatoes by the score, which I like a lot. Mind you, you can't vote for your own country. Pity.
You have impeccable taste Betty. "If there is something", which has the 'growing potatoes by the score' line, would be an excellent Eurovision number - 7 minutes long, swerving violently from jaunty country rock to melancholy minor key trudge it would certainly bring an element of musical sophistication not seen in the competition since Dana's dazzling ode to the Universal consciousness - "All kinds of everything"....

And just think of all those votes from the good people of Irelande!

Love on ya,

Thrilling song, thrilling album. Being very old I can remember seeing them do Virginia Plain on TOTP for the first time. I was eight and it was definitely the weirdest thing I had seen in my life ... up until that point.
Is it memory playing tricks or did Ferry have one of those red and white checked tablecloths over the back of his pianner? The contrast with Eno's wire-spaghetti spewing synth was fabulous. I was about the same age and they just looked and sounded so otherwordly.

"Midnight blue casino floors..."

Love on ya,

Have just seen the performance on Youtube, and it was a turqoise and white tablecloth by the look of it, possibly from a greasy spoon caff.

I used to be freaked out by Brian Eno's appearance. He looked like an evil Russian tsar at that point.
All gone a bit quiet here.


Hah! Yeah, it used to be ever so busy but these days it's like a ghost town.

Mind you, not like those bloggers who only post once every seven months, are we, eh? ;)
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