Sunday, April 29, 2007

Do we need any excuse for some gratuitous pictures of Lee Mead? (Well no actually - we don't need any excuse at all!!)

Not since Darius in Pop Idol and Mathieu in Star Academy have I gone over the top and got totally fan-girly over a competitive-reality-show contestant. Here we go again !!
Bad news though as it looks as all the live show clips have been removed from YouTube: but at least we can still watch all the clips from the live shows at which is just as well, as I am regularly feeling the need to watch his absolutely stunning performance from Saturday night, over and over again. Still wishing I was that girl...

Idool 2007 Belgium: week 5

Thanks to good old YouTube I was able to put some music to the names in Idool 2007. And yes, there are some talented singers this year. First the boys - Andrei (I think he originally comes from Belarus) who is very subtle but can let rip when he needs to. Then there is Wim, who is, how shall I put it, a little unusual looking but what a singer. He has a lovely understated voice and will go far. Dean is this year's "rocker" and again should last a few more weeks. Esther and Elke are the two girls left and both are strong singers although Esther has the edge.
This week, Kim, the pretty dark haired girl from Limburg, was evicted. The competition is getting tough now and it's hard to predict who will go next.

Lee blog discovered!

Ah the good old internet. You want info, you got it. You want tons of Lee screencaps from "Any Dream Will Do" to drool over, then I have discovered the very place.

Joseph - Any Dream Will Do: Week 3

I am now addicted to this show!!
Double eviction this week, nothing whatsoever to do with the Grease live shows over on ITV (oh cynicism :( )
Seamus - "Start Me Up". The curse of being on first didn't upset the arrogant (don't mention his age) 35 year old too much. It was OK, but it didn't set the world on fire.
Lewis - "I Saw Her Standing There" - Too posh and artificial to be convincing. A backward step from the first couple of weeks.
Rob - "Pretty Woman" - aka Blokey-Builder Joseph. Not that there's anything wrong with him, he's competent enough but Joseph is not the show for him.
Antony - "Patience" - In the beginning it was reinvented as a show tune, but then it turned into a spectacular fall from grace as Chippendale-Joseph failed to hit the high notes.
Chris - "Tell Her About It" - Another very competent performance from Toothy-Joseph: enough to keep him safe for another week.
Ben - "Life Is A Rollercoaster" - Boyband-Joseph. Still more boyband than West End star, he did well enough but is still out of his depth for this type of show.
Daniel - "The Lady Is A Tramp" - Bad song choice Lord Webber, and the whole effect was a little smarmy for my tastes. Main contender to the unstoppable Lee: but a long way behind him tonight.

Lee - "I Don't Wanna Talk About It" - And now the masterclass from a true professional who performed with class, subtlety and vulnerability. I think I'm in love! Utterly fantastic, gave me goosebumps. How good does he look in that red shirt. HE IS JOSEPH SO GIVE HIM THE JOB NOW.
Keith - "Crocodile Rock" - He is not the worst and he has grasped the whole performance thing, but often at the expense of his vocals, yet "Tesco Boy" has sufficient charisma to guarantee a few more weeks.
Craig - "Signed Sealed Delivered" - He did OK, but as someone once said, "distinctly average". The problem with Fake Bake-Joseph is that he's, well, not Joseph.

And so to the first sing off. Craig vs Antony. Ant gives an overcooked rendition whilst Craig is clean and faultless. Out goes Antony and his intolerable g/f.

Sing off no. 2: Seamus vs Ben: Seamus out!! He couldn't leave however without alleging conspiracy theories and proclaiming during "Close Every Door" that "I have been promised a show of my own". Possibly a Leo Sayer/David Essex tribute show we presume.

So we have Lee, Daniel, Lewis, Rob, Keith, Chris, Craig, Ben. Who will go next?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

This Week's Playlist.

Chariots of Fire - BWO: Commercial and radio friendly pop from the one and only Alexander Bard. The video for this is now on "The Box".
All I Want Is You/Absolutely No Decorum - The Ark: From what is already a contender from my album of the year. They have produced yet another effortless collection of strong songs, and these are two of them.
Tokyo - Danny Saucedo: Swedish "Idol" finalist proving that his 15 minutes aren’t up yet.
Shine - Booty Luv: Will not have the longevity of "Boogie 2 Nite" but this is a fine dance effort, cheekily sampling Chic along the way.
Valerie - Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse: From an astonishing collection of cover versions, this one sees Amy jazzily stomping all over the Zutons’ hit. Say "Yes, yes, yes" to this.
Bones - The Killers: Took me a long time to get into this previous single but now I rather like it a lot.
Poison Arrow - ABC: One of those random play songs on my MP3 player which keeps coming back again!
Cupid’s Chokehold - Gym Class Heroes: Utterly daft sampling of Supertramp’s "Breakfast in America" which gets away with it.
Today/Throw It All Away - Zero 7: Jose Gonzalez and Sia work their magic.
Kiss The Bride - Christophe Willem: Not the Elton John song, but Nouvelle Star’s king of the geeks with a new English-language song from his excellent debut CD.

Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5: Very classy return to form, even if it does include an f-word; the video is nice and Adam looks very good in a suit indeed.

Stockholm Countdown: 9 days and counting!!

Yes it's 9 days till I'm off to Stockers and the excitement is going through the roof. I've wanted to go there for years and years so there's a lot of expectation. I'm sure we won't be disappointed. As the great philosopher Pink might have said - "I'm coming up so I'd better get this packing started" (!!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Tale of Three Brices

My attention was drawn briefly on Saturday night whilst visiting FNAC's website. Being at a very advanced stage of a bottle of Chilean Merlot, I began to hallucinate. Brice has an album out!! Ah, Brice, the wannabe Ben-from-Kyo from Star Academy 6, whom I actually quite liked. I didn't investigate any further until tonight, when my curiosity got the better of me. Back to FNAC, only to discover that Brice is not the Brice I thought he was, but another Brice entirely.
Fascinating Brice Fact Of The Day:
Neither of the above are to be confused with Jean Dujardin's grotesque but hugely popular comedy creation, the yellow-clad surfer Brice de Nice, whose film of the same name was a massive hit in France in 2005 and also gave the world "Le Casse de Brice" - an equally massive hit single.

Nouvelle Star Week 4: Au revoir Canelle

The theme this week was "French songs".
Julien, who is rapidly becoming France's answer to American Idol's Sanjaya, took on "Comme D'Habitude". Ugh. OK so it was the nearest he's been to singing in tune, but that's a long way from singing in tune...
Pierre sang the Serge Lama song "D'Aventures en Aventure", not one of my favourite songs but he always draws you in with that lovely voice and those big brown eyes...anyway, he was once again faultless tonight.
Raphaelle sang "Comme Ils Disent", another ballad, and gave yet another mature and commanding performance. She is clearly the best of the remaining females.
Canelle chose something much more modern - "Tous Ces Mots" by Nadiya, however her enthusiastic performance wasn't matched by some off-key and "pitchy" vocals.
Alex stayed in his comfort zone with "La Voix des Sages". Another good show, and he is probably my second favourite male contestant behind Pierre.
Gaetane gave a pleasant performance of Bruel's "Au Cafe des Delices" but she is still not standing out as one of the best contestants.
I am still puzzled at why Soma is still in this contest. Again he looked terrified on his version of Faudel's "Mon Pays" and was vocally dodgy.
Another contestant who should be long gone, Julie, slaughtered Calogero's "Si Seulement Je Pouvais Lui Manquer". Her days should be numbered very soon.
Tigane gave an interesting version of De Palmas' "J'en Reve Encore" but no-one can do as good a version as Gerald himself.

According to the recap on, the jury liked Alex, Raphaelle, Tigane and Julie tonight. Pierre, Gaetane and cult figure Julien all managed to escape the bottom two places, filled tonight by Canelle and Soma. The public chose Soma, and so Canelle, who was first to sing tonight, leaves the show. Eight contestants remain.

Countdown to Stockers: 12 days and counting!

Hej! As they say in Sverige. Yes I am finally trying to learn the basics of Swedish. In my case very basic indeed. OK so I think I can count to 100 and the phrase that most sums me up is "Min svenska ar inte sa bra" which is nothing to do with underwear but actually means "My Swedish is not that good"!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Countdown to Stockers: 2 weeks to go!!

Can't believe that two weeks from tomorrow, I'll be in the Swedish capital with my faithful travelling companion. Am I excited? AM I EXCITED!!!

The weather in Stockholm has been cold, then hot, then cold again but it's gonna get hotter and it's expected to go all the way up to 22 degrees later this week.

Bit of Politics..

EuropeCrazy doesn't do politics, but if we did we would say "Allez Segolene Royal". The people of my favourite country are choosing a president today and although that horrible Nicolas Sarkozy is favourite to win the thing, Ms Royal has managed to do the impossible and actually give the Socialists a chance of victory. It remains to be seen if she is all style and no substance, but then she wouldn't be the first leader to be like that....!

This week's playlist.

Stop Me - Mark Ronson: a stunning and soulful cover version of the Smiths’ "Stop Me If You Think..." Fully deserves its place at no.1 in the UK top 40.
Melodies En Sous-Sol - Calogero: Becoming one of the stand-out tracks on "Pomme C" which has picked up mixed reviews from critics and fans alike.
Elu Produit de L’Annee - Christophe Willem: A cracking piece of French pop from last year’s "Nouvelle Star".
Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5: Still liking this. Why is it not on the radio yet?
Our Velocity - Maximo Park: Knew this song for a while but didn’t know who it was. Now I know I can put it in the playlist.
I Love You Mi Vida - D’Nash: This is really growing on me now and I can’t get the tune out of my head.
This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy: Took me a long time to get into this one, it’s been around for months but I’m only getting into it.
Last Night - Brolle Jr: whatever happened to him? This is an old classic from the man considered not good enough to reach the Swedish Idol finals. A unique singer.

The Flemish half of Belgium is searching once more for its "Idool"

Koen and Kris Wauters have been very busy lately. Not only have they been making a new Clouseau album but they're back on VTM as Flemish TV's answer to Ant and Dec - presenting the third series of "Idool". Kim, Andrei, Wim, Elke, Esther and Dean are still in the competition whilst Brenda, Tom, Adil and Kira have been evicted. The last series of Idool was in 2004 and that was won by Joeri Fransen. Series 1, in 2003, produced many popular artists in Flanders although like many other talent shows the runners up became more popular than the winner. Peter Evrard won that year, but he hasn't been as successful as runner up Natalia. Wim Soutaer and Brahim have also been very successful.

The Wonders Of YouTube...

Found a mash-up of "Every Breath You Take" by the Police and the ubiquitous "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol on YouTube - now retitled "Every Car You Chase"!! It actually works quite well, I quite like these mash-up mixes from time to time.

Something considerably more disturbing is a new video of Stock Aitken Waterman's finest hour or low point, depending on your view - "I'd Rather Jack" by The Reynolds Girls. The only positive thing I can say is they've worn well. The girls, that is, not SAW....

The Eurovision Countdown begins here.

Three weeks from tonight, the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Helsinki and my favourites are changing by the day. One day it's Sweden, then it's Ukraine, then it's Germany, then it's Iceland, then it's Cyprus, then it's Russia and today it's Spain - they have a terrrible draw but I can't get enough of "I Love You Mi Vida".

If we at EuropeCrazy were partial to the evils of betting, we would put vast amounts of roubles on a Russian win for the very first time. Serebro (pictured above) - or as someone called them "Sugababeski" could see next year's Eurovision Song Contest being held in Russia for the very first time ever, thanks to the cheeky, contemporary and, um, Britney-tastic "Song Number One" which dares, possibly for the first time ever, to mention the words "Bad A**" in a Eurovision lyric. They will probably be rubbish on the night, but in preview form this is sounding unstoppable.

Joseph - Any Dream Will Do: Week 2

After the speedy dispatch of Chris last week it was onwards to week 2, with songs selected which allegedly would show off a bit of acting as well as vocal ability.
Needless to say it was a mixed bag and some fared better than others. Here’s what we thought:

Well done well done

Lee - can do no wrong for us. He’s professional, confident and looks very good. Very good indeed, especially in that red shirt! He’s Joseph and he’s our favourite so just give him the job now!!

Chris - never mind the teeth - he was very impressive vocally & on performance tonight.
Lewis - looks like the guy from Emmerdale who was on Soapstar Superstar. Still he freaks us out a little but he was good tonight and will go a long way in this competition.

Keith - or should we say Keith with the teeth. Did well tonight but we have reservations that he’s still too young for the role.
Rob - his blokey-builder image is not right for this part, but he’s doing well and will again go far.
Ben - despite odd choice of song - he’s too young for "All By Myself" he redeemed himself apart from a few bum notes.

Daniel - He is very good, but the combination of posh theatrics and Kelly Clarkson didn’t quite go tonight, but he deserves to go a long way.

No, no, no

Seamus - vocally strong, however his arrogance is out of control and is becoming more offputting by the week.
Craig - he’s out of his depth here and is more suited to a boyband or X-Factor (or indeed Pop Idol....oh wait - he's already done that one).
Anthony - Chippendale Joseph. Trading more on his muscular hunky image to appeal to teeny girls rather than getting on with the job in hand.
Johndeep - tried a little too hard here on a show tune which, as Mr Louis Walsh often used to say, was too big for him.

In the end, "The Lord" chose to evict Johndeep, on the grounds that Chris was 'more likely to play Joseph'. Cue the 20-Kleenex "Close Every Door" ending which would have those wusses over on "Grease Is The Word" sobbing a monsoon.

Talking of which, the finalists aiming to be Danny and Sandy have been chosen and the live shows start next week so I will post a review then, even though it's very hard to get excited about a list of contestants which include Anthony "former pop star Kavana" Kavanagh and Susan "sister of Brian" McFadden.

Clouseau - New Album!!

I should’ve seen it coming, but I totally missed the release of the latest Clouseau album "Vonken & Vuur" at the end of March. Anyway the second single from the album called "De Tegenpartij" sees them continue their currently impressive form with the follow up to the excellent "Vonken & Vuur" and it’s another uptempo pop-rock number. Haven’t yet had a chance to listen to samples from the CD but will review it as soon as I hear the tracks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nouvelle Star update - Oh noooooo! Ilyes is out!!

Another Wednesday brought another edition of "Nouvelle Star" (M6) and this week's theme was rock songs. The major shock of the evening was one of my favourites (and a favourite of the French showbiz mags too) - Ilyes. I am still at a loss to understand why, as his rocky take on the awful Lara Fabian's power ballad "Je T'Aime" was a joy. He has such charisma too and will be missed from the show.
Ilyes was in the bottom 2 with Julie, who is trying too hard to look like this season's rock-chick. She shambled her way through Mano Negra's "Mala Vida" which had been done brilliantly by Gael on last year's Star Academy.
Our other favourite Pierre continued with his bad song choices. Doing the Rolling Stones was a bad enough idea, but doing "Angie" was even worse, and he turned it into cabaret hell. Nevertheless we still like him, although he needs to pick the right song soon or he’ll be following Ilyes out the door.
Raphaelle did a spirited "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" whilst Soma bravely camped his way through Raphael’s "Sur La Route" and is now on very shaky ground in the weeks to come.
Julien aka "ukelele boy" appears to have taken on favourite status, however his hilarious "Heartbreak Hotel" calls to mind X-Factor Chico or indeed the current phenomenon, American Idol-Sanjaya, where the truly duff are kept in as some kind of public empowerment.
Tigane, who had already made a fair attempt at Gnarls Barkley’s "Crazy", did rather well with his soulful version of Paolo Nutini’s "Last Request" and he will go a long way in this contest.
Meanwhile Gaetane has been grabbing some headlines in France thanks to her romance with Julien. She also did well here with her version of Blondie’s "Call Me". She is the latest in a never ending line of pretty French brunettes on talent shows and will again last another few weeks.
Her rival in the pretty-brunette contest here, Canelle, did a fair performance of Telephone’s "Cendrillon" but again was rather old-fashioned and cabaret.
Finally, Alex, who (apart from Ilyes) provided the most original rendition this evening - his James Brown-style version of Dutronc’s "Les Cactus" was quite inspired and very good.

Really not happy that Ilyes is gone - it should either have been Julie or Soma. :-((

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mae vs Moire (continued)

Following my previous post regarding Emmanuel Moire and Christophe Mae, been checking the French album charts and found Christophe's "Mon Paradis" at no. 3 whilst Emmanuel's "La Ou Je Pars" at ... no.101!!

Looks like Le Roi Soleil has been dethroned - but I still prefer him though.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This week's playlist - better late than never.

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough - Manic Street Preachers feat Nina Persson: Inspired collaboration and a return to form for the Manics after recent rubbishy efforts.
Rejection - Martin Solveig: Top French DJ sampling Prince's "Kiss" brings very catchy results.
Elu Produit de L'Annee - Christophe Willem: As mentioned in previous post, he has delivered, and then some.
Butterfly - Superbus: A real grower - the French pop/rock hit of the moment.
Si La Vie Demande Ca - Native: Vintage French soul number covered on last year's Star Academy by Nadiya & Dominique.
Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5: Pleasantly funky trailer for their new album, and thankfully won't get played to death like "This Love".
Love Today - Mika: OK I give in. It's growing on me.
Valentine Lost - Eirikur Hauksson: Intense Icelandic rock with equally intense lyrics.
Comme Ci Comme Ca - Evridiki: Cyprus goes French and only her rubbish dancing can prevent a deserved high placing in Helsinki.
I Love You Mi Vida - D'Nash: Genuine Latino pop, not bad going when it was co-written by a Swede.
What Have You Done - Within Temptation: Massive rock tune criminally ignored by the British public but not ignored by me!
Dimmi Perche - Nyco: Appealing French pop tune sung in Italian. Matt Pokora better watch out as Nyco could steal his crown.
Candyman - Christina Aguilera: Utterly bonkers 1940s style singalong!

The geek will inherit the earth - Christophe Willem: we take it all back, he's actually rather good.

Here at EuropeCrazy HQ we have never been too excited about Nouvelle Star season 4 winner Christophe "Tortue" Willem. However, rather than rushing out a debut album of the usual cover versions/songs written by l'equipe Obispo, the young man wisely took his time before releasing his debut CD "Inventaire", enlisting some of France's more credible and fashionable songwriters to help him out. Now having heard the first two singles from the album "Elu Produit de L'Annee" (refreshingly old fashioned classic pop) and "Double Je" (Scissor Sisters-tastic) can we now officially apologise to the bespectacled chanteur and say that we actually think he's rather good. P.S. We still hate his version of "Sunny" though.

Frederic Lerner is back!

French singer Frederic Lerner has been away for a while but he's back with a new single "Ca Passe Ou Ca Casse" and his new album is due for release in two weeks' time. He hasn't changed too much musically though, and his voice remains far too reminiscent of Jean-Jacques Goldman - I'm sure he wouldn't mind a page of JJG's bank balance though!

Cyril Paulus: a new name to the French music scene

Towards the end of 2006 a song called "Un Autre Nom" by Cyril Paulus got a lot of airplay on French radio, and I liked this song very much and still do. Now the good news is that not only does he have a follow-up single "Je T'Oublie" (which is good, but not as good as his debut though) and also an album called "Banquise" which is musically influenced by his love of English-language soft rock. Fans of Crowded House and Travis may particularly enjoy his music and he is definitely a name to look out for.

Melodifestivalen on YouTube

Tonight I've been having a great time watching old Melodifestivalen and Dansk MGP clips thanks to YouTube. Special mentions tonight to Barbados' "Allt Som Jag Ser" - Magnus Carlsson never looked better; Dame Shirley Clamp's "Min Kärlek" (her time will come one of these years, mark my words); Mendez' infectious "Adrenaline" and most recently the fab Jessica Andersson's "Kom". The sooner I get over to Sverige and get some MF DVDs the better. Three weeks two days to go....

Magnus Carlsson - in French!!!

Thanks to wonderful old YouTube I've just had the opportunity to hear the French language version of Magnus Carlsson's "Live Forever" which is called "Je Vivrai" and is rather fab too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Nouvelle Star Series 5: Week 2

Over in France, they're not holding back on "Nouvelle Star", with not one but three contestants - Martine, Vincent and Michel - eliminated this week. Alex was saved by the jury and our favourites Pierre and Ilyes sailed through another week. Pierre's lively performance of Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover" wasn't 100% brilliant although that's down to poor song choice - he owns the stage when performing and, as someone once said, the camera loves him. Part-time lover maybe, but on this show he's a full-time (nouvelle) star.
Meanwhile the gravelly voiced rocker Ilyes took on "It's A Heartache" and did well although again was let down by the wrong song. Nevertheless this young man - who bears a disturbing visual resemblance to David Walliams (!) - already has enough fans across the Channel to guarantee that he will remain in the show for many weeks to come.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Life after Le Roi Soleil - let battle commence

When you have become an overnight star thanks to your leading role in a musical which has become a true phenomenon, where do you go next?
If you are Emmanuel Moire and Christophe Mae, stars of "Le Roi Soleil" - you both make a debut album. Emmanuel had hits with "Etre a la Hauteur" and "Mon Essentiel". He was the leading man who played the "Sun King" himself - I never thought I'd ever fall for a man in such ridiculous wigs but hey, there's a first time for everything - and his debut "La Ou Je Pars" showcases his very nice voice which is given plenty of opportunity to soar on various songs written by some of France's more credible songwriters - e.g. Kyo frontman Benoit Poher. Overall, it's a very pleasant but a little safe, however he is a very good singer whom I predict a bright future for.
Christophe Mae, on "Mon Paradis" has chosen to write his own songs and find his own musical style which is very influenced by Jack Johnson. Christophe played the king's brother in "Le Roi Soleil" and had hit singles with "Un Geste de Vous" and "Ca Marche". He has a more youthful, funkier image than Emmanuel which may ensure that he is a bigger success in the short term, however I find his yelping vocal style very annoying and he seems to yelp a bit too much for my liking.
Therefore if I had to make a choice it would be Emmanuel Moire, but he needs to take more risks on his next album.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Let's Dance: ok I know it's over a week late but....

Martin won the Swedish version of "Strictly Come Dancing", obviously thanks to his breakdance-tastic show dance, however I still can't understand the voting public's fascination with the man as he never ever looked comfortable on the dancefloor, unlike his rival Tobbe who at least managed a smile now and again.

The moral winner of the thing was of course the mighty Lasse Brandeby, who in true "Vote for the worst" style was kept in the contest long past his sell-by date, however he did give us many laughs along the way.

Nouvelle Star 2007: Allez Pierre!

The latest edition of France's Nouvelle Star has kicked off and already the first two contestants - Isabelle and Mounir - have been eliminated. Who will follow in the footsteps of last year's winner, the critically acclaimed Christophe "Tortue" Willem? It's too early to tell, although having a look at the videos of last week's show there was one contestant who has already set a very high standard to follow - 30 year old Pierre (pictured above). He has already attracted attention in the French gossip mags as he's already in the music business as a backing singer - most notably on Sinclair's 2005 tour.

This Week's Playlist.

Boogie 2 Nite - Booty Luv: One of the year's more enduring dance tunes which took a long time to grow on me, but now it's stuck to my CD player.
The Arrival - The Attic feat Therese: First of this week's pick of my Melodifestivalen tunes - a dance anthem which has massive hit potential.
Let's Go Crazy - Prince: Having a bit of a Prince revival these days so what better than this one to dance around the room to.
Destination Calabria - Alex Gaudino: Another week on the Europecrazy playlist for the ultimate floorfiller of the moment.
A Little Bit Of Love - Andreas Johnson: This week's other MF selection, which is now lodged in my brain and I can't get it out. Help!
Relax, Take It Easy - Mika: Another week on the playlist for what should have been his next single in the UK.
Read My Mind - The Killers: Going from strength to strength at the moment from an album which is a real grower.
Mancunian Way - Take That: Another song which continues on my playlist. Top quality tune which even non-fans should love.

For a European music blog we're a bit short on new European music but hopefully it will get better over the coming weeks. Please please please!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Finally I have put pen to paper (or keys to keyboard) and here is my review of all the songs from the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, based on their various studio/video versions circulating all over the web.
Here goes....

ALBANIA - "Hear My Plea" - Frederik Ndoci & Aida
Loved Albania last year thanks to lovely Luiz who did a great performance of his ethnic song well. Frederik is more than a little scary though and this has your attention wandering by the chorus.
ANDORRA - "Salvem El Mon" - Anonymous
Something different from the very small country. Fans of all the Busted/Fall Out Boy genre will lap this up but they are not the Eurovision audience, Rather likeable in a strange way, but would be more successful totally sung in English.
ARMENIA - "Anytime You Need" - Hayko
I am rapidly mixing up all these countries like Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia! He’s a little earnest and this ballad may do well thanks to the diaspora vote (like last year) or again may get lost.
AUSTRIA - "Get A Life - Get Alive" - Eric Papilaya
I rather like this although it will not do well at all. It’s vaguely modern in a rock-dance way and has hit potential but again not a Eurovision song.
BELARUS - "Work Your Magic" - Koldun
One of the first songs to be chosen and still the one that has left the most impression on me (apart from Sweden of course). Expensive video to sell the blue-eyed Idol winner, but can he do it on the night? Minsk 2008?
BELGIUM - "Love Power" - The KMGs
Earth Wind and Fire resurrected for 2007. Disco without the Skamp-irony, this will sadly end up near the bottom of the scoreboard although it is a pleasant if forgettable way to pass 3 minutes and an interesting departure for RTBF.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - "Rijeka Bez Imena" - Marija Sestic
Favourites last year and always a contender, it’s ethnic-ballad-by-numbers time, and lacks a recognisable hook although she’s an appealing enough singer in the Balkan mould.
BULGARIA - "Water" - Elitsa and Stoyan
Completely bonkers yelping, drumming Safri Duo-inspired techno. I am at a loss to describe this any further. Winner? Loser? Eh??????
CROATIA - "Vjerujem U Ljubav" - Dado Topic & Dragonfly
Chilled out blues in the style of Eric Clapton or Chris Rea, another rock-influenced number. Not a classic by any means but a welcome departure from the usual Balkan female-in-a-floaty-frock. More English lyrics please.
CYPRUS - "Comme Ci Comme Ca" - Evridiki
Further proof in an already bonkers and ‘diverse’ year that anything goes. Legendary Cypriot singer does a full Cypriot entry in the French language. She is a very good singer, all she needs is to lay off the dad-dancing.
CZECH REPUBLIC - "Mala Dama" - Kabat
Welcome to ESC! Hair metal from the Czechs - it won’t do well unless some voters still want the Lordi-effect to continue a year on.
DENMARK - "Drama Queen" - DQ
Drag-pop which cruelly robbed Jacob Andersen’s "Listen To Love" which should rightly have been the Danish entry this year. Freak-show novelty which will again do well or bomb.
ESTONIA - "Partners In Crime" - Gerli Padar
She looks like a dark-haired Estonian Pink, and that’s what it sounds like. Commercial pop with hit potential, although again not really made for Eurovision. Will struggle yet again to get out of the semi.
FINLAND - "Leave Me Alone" - Hanna Pakarinen
Another missed opportunity as the Finnish voters chose not to send Lovex. Idol winner and Amy Lee wannabe, not what the reigning champions should be doing but good on them for sticking two fingers up yet again.
FRANCE - "L’Amour a la Francaise" - Les Fatals Picards
Charming novelty tune which again is not quite right for Eurovision and possibly only the British will get the "Franglais" joke. Catchy and engaging though, with a cheeky nod to "Toxic"/"Work Your Magic" - will anyone notice the plagiarism?
FYR MACEDONIA - "Mojot Svet/My World" - Karolina Goceva
Yet another of those pretty, leggy Balkan beauties who populate the contest year after year. This has a sense of deja vu about it, but is virtually guaranteed the votes from the neighbours. Not the worst I’ve heard though.
GEORGIA - "Visionary Dream" - Sopho Khalvashi
Another debut country with an ethnic-sounding soaring tune. Change of song title as previously known as "My Story" Dramatic and swooping with a whiff of techno, if she can pull off the soaring vocals it could do well.
GERMANY - "Frauen Regier’n Die Welt" - Roger Cicero
Big band charmer who has already gone platinum in his native country. Good singer who can deliver a good performance of an average song, and possibly bringing Germany’s best result in many a year.
GREECE - "Yassou Maria" - Sarbel
The Greek Ricky Martin, only about 7 years too late. Not the worst this year though, and it won’t be the last time we hear the words "Shake It Up" from the eastern Mediterranean this year....
HUNGARY - "Unsubstantial Blues" - Magdi Ruzsa
Very likely to polarise audiences this year, the most un-Eurovision song on show this year and therefore very unpredictable to, er, predict the result of. Further proof that this is a very odd year indeed!
ICELAND - "Valentine Lost" - Eirikur Hauksson
Thoughtful rock ballad which will either do very well or flop badly. He is a good singer but not the most visually appealing. One of this year’s best in generally a disappointing year. Now if they had sent Jonsi singing this....
IRELAND - "They Can’t Stop The Spring" - Dervish
Rather than the obvious solution and send Brian Kennedy every year till he rightly wins the thing, Eire has chosen a trad folk band with a trad folk number. Potential winner? Like Dolores O’Riordan singing a protest song. Watch this go.
ISRAEL - "Push the Button" - Teapacks
Not the saucy Sugababes singalong but yet another novelty number allegedly about the leader of Iran - how topical is that? "Wanna see the flowers bloom/don’t wanna go ka-boom ka-boom". Most bonkers Israeli entry in years.
LATVIA - "Questa Notte" -
Latvian version of G4 (r.i.p.)/Il Divo. Possibly the worst styled act of ESC 2007 if the preview video is anything to go by. Potentially dangerous voting-wise, if they get out of the top hats and jeans it could be Riga 2008.
LITHUANIA - "Love Or Leave" - 4Fun
Not much fun going on here on this Dido-esque acoustic strummer. This one may just pass by the viewers and voters and is too forgettable to repeat the success of last year’s "We Are The Winners".
MALTA - "Vertigo" - Olivia Lewis
Eurovision’s most desperate-to-win country attempts a little drama with a flamenco-flavoured rousing number which is not a winner but will gather a few votes. Not a winner though.
MOLDOVA - "Fight" - Natalia Barbu
One of this year’s first songs to be chosen and yet again another Evanescence-style rock number sung by a girl with long dark hair. May again struggle to get out of the semi.
MONTENEGRO - "Ajde Kroci" - Stevan Faddy
Pop-rock star with Scottish ancestry - what’s not to like? Well, not too much sadly, as he will need to deliver a strong performance to lift this below-average rock-influenced number off the bottom of the scoreboard.
NETHERLANDS - "On Top Of The World" - Edsilia Rombley
She is good, there is no doubt about it. However, the Anastacia feel is a few years out of date and this could kill the song’s chances. Edsilia herself also prefers to sing in Dutch - could this also limit her performance?
NORWAY - "Ven a Bailar Conmigo" - Guri Schanke
Winner? Loser? Will Europe’s voters swallow the vision of an over-the-hill Geri Halliwell in a mini-dress giving it cod-Latino-by-numbers? I’m just bitter because none of my favourites in MGP won. :-(((
POLAND - "Time To Party" - The Jet Set
Polish Black Eyed Peas-influenced contemporary number, again with massive hit potential but ESC potential? Possibly not, but they should at least be congratulated for trying something remotely modern.
PORTUGAL - "Danca Conmigo" - Sabrina
ESC’s most depressingly old fashioned country continues to keep up its standard of dull entries. I love the country and its people so much, but do not judge it by its Eurovision entries.
ROMANIA - "Liubi, Liubi, I Love You" - Todomundo
Another novelty entry - they seem to be polluting the contest this year. That old trick of singing in various languages to get votes is employed to full effect here and could very well work.
RUSSIA - "Song #1" - Serebro
Bad-ass girl trio who, with a good vocal performance and the right choreography could cheerily be romping off with the title and taking the contest to Moscow 2008. Russia will inevitably win the thing one of these years - this one maybe?
SERBIA - "Molitva" - Marija Serifovic
That is of course if the Serbs do not, as it is their destiny to also win it. Marija is, how should I say, a Serbian version of Alex Parks if you catch my drift. Good singer - although not the most glamorous to ever grace the ESC stage - who is guaranteed to achieve a very high placing thanks to neighbour voting.
SLOVENIA - "Cvet Z Juga" - Alenka Gotar
Bizarre mix of opera set to a disco beat. What will Europe make of this? Another of those songs which will possibly polarise the audience, not remotely a favourite of mine but who can account for taste?
SPAIN - "I Love You Mi Vida" - D’Nash
The outcome of the marathon "Mision Eurovision" selection process delivered this Latin dance number sung by a rather appealing boyband. Only a poor position in the draw (the dreaded 2nd spot) will prevent this achieving a deserved high position.
SWEDEN - "The Worrying Kind" - The Ark
No need to worry as Ola and the boys are sure to deliver an understated performance in Helsinki....NOT!! I’m biased as I love this band and the song and they will be my favourites. Hope they win (but they probably won’t :-(( )
SWITZERLAND - "Vampires Are Alive" - DJ Bobo
Obvious winner this year if the voters will go for old-school Eurodance cashing in on the Lordi freakshow of last year. Could be hampered by the 6 persons on stage rule and will need a stunning performance to sell the song.
TURKEY - "Shake It Up Shekerim" - Kenan Dogulu
More shaking it up from the eastern Med. Kenan brings eye candy with a Timberlake-style number similar to Andreas Lundstedt’s "Move" from the MF semis 2007. Guaranteed a respectable place in the final standings.
UKRAINE - "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" - Verka Serduchka
Addictive foot tapper from Dame Edna from space. Entertaining 3 minutes of utter bonkers nonsense from a Ukrainian drag queen singing about "lasha tumbai". To dance or not to dance - all the way back to Kiev 2008????
UNITED KINGDOM - "Flying The Flag (For You)" - Scooch
Et finalement, Royaume-Uni. A gay old Europop ode to air travel from the good old bad old days of Eurovision, selected of course in very dubious circumstances and virtually guaranteed nil points from our continental neighbours.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

This week's playlist.

Apologies for shorter playlist this week.

Baby Fratelli - The Fratellis: Yet another example of why they can do no wrong at the moment with their singalong anthems.
Dimmi Perche - Nyco: I thought he was Italian, but some further investigation revealed that he is the brother of former Nouvelle Star contestant Pierrick Lilliu! Very catchy tune already getting airplay on NRJ.
You Bring On The Sun - London Beat: An obscure blast from the past, if only to celebrate that the sun has been shining for the last two days!!
On S'Attache - Christophe Mae: Yes his voice is so annoying on this track, but it's sooooo catchy and I can't get it out of my head. Very Jack Johnson influenced.
Butterfly - Superbus: As mentioned in last week's French Charts Update, this is getting lots and lots of airplay in France and is now on our playlist too.
Mancunian Way - Take That: High quality album track which I'm playing a lot - also heard it in Homebase yesterday! Music to buy varnish to!
Dancing Lasha Tumbai - Verka Serduchka: There is a thin line between love and hate, and there is equally a thin line between good and bad. This unique Ukrainian crosses that line. To dance or not to dance?
Segdu Mer - Jonsi: I never tire of this swaying Icelandic ballad, nor do I tire of watching the lovely Jonsi sing it.

Poisson D'Avril !!

I got April-fooled in the early hours of this morning, thanks to, whose home page led with the story that the most tedious couple in Hollywood, Brad & Angelina (yawn) had separated. Nevertheless I decided to click on the link only to discover a great big POISSON D'AVRIL !!!! pop-up appearing on the screen. Merci beaucoup TF1, I said I wasn't going to be caught out this year. Oh well, there's always 2008.