August 2011 Archives
Ell/Nikki winning the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest for Azerbaijan and creating hundreds of construction jobs in the process
WITH the news that construction has begun in the Azeri capital of a 20,000 seater stadium to host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, it's about time Boom Bang a Blog got its own cement mixer in gear and welcomed you to Songs Chewed Over For Baku's 'Fest. This is the bit of the blog where you'll find all the news that's coming in of the preparations in both the host city and all the competing nations in next year's competition. And it's the arena itself which is proving the biggest story so far. With nine months to go until the Contest itself - and presumably a mere eight until the venue needs to be handed over to the construction and TV crews who will assemble the set and all the necessary kit before rehearsals can begin - it's a big ask to have a complete arena built, fitted out with electrics and plumbing then safety checked and safety tested before thousands of spectators can take their seats and wait for Te Deum to bounce off the walls.
This is a great piece of nonsense from Irish telly circa 1991. Spoofing the very first year Ireland entered the Contest (1965) it's a look at the backstage egos and breakdowns that surrounded the staging of RTE's very first national final including some spot-on pastiches of the sort of stuff you'd find in Eurovision heats in the '60s (in fact, I'm almost sure the man at the piano is sneakily referencing Ireland's 1990 runner-up Somewhere in Europe in both lyric and melody).
Interesting that this was made the year before Ireland began its 36-month run as Contest champs when they suddenly started taking the competition a whole lot more seriously.
This is a bit of a rarity. It seems to be the demo for I Can't Go On Living Without You, the Elton John and Bernie Taupin number which was in the final six of Lulu's Song For Europe in 1969. When the postcard-submitting public was unleashed on to this perfectly formed snippet of contemporary pop, they placed it a lowly sixth, in favour of the oompa-oompah tones of the ultimate trophy-sharing Boom Bang a Bang.
Despite the public not realising its appeal, the song seemed to be covered in further demos by the world and its wife in the next few years (including one by Eurovision '67 champ Sandie Shaw) in the hope that their take on the John/Taupin composition would strike gold.
Sadly, none of them ever did. But my favourite version is this one from Polly Brown in 1973. Lushly produced, it's got a soul which is sadly lacking in Lulu's stripped-bare Song For Europe version.
Dana: Something's Cookin' in the Kitchen
Continuing Boom Bang a Blog's semi-regular look at songs from former Eurovision entrants which are more than a bit different to the ditties which accompanied them to the Contest of Song, we take a look at this 1979 offering from Ireland's first winner.
Nine years after All Kinds of Everything, you get the impression Dana was a bit fed up of being seen as 'nice' and wanted to sing songs which reflected the times she was living in. She therefore worked with producer Barry Blue (who wrote Sugar Me for Lynsey De Paul and, umm, I Eat Cannibals Part 1 for Toto Coelo) on the LP The Girl is Back.
This was the biggest hit from that album, which tickled the UK Top 40 but didn't quite make it in there (it reached number 44). Although you'll never get the Queen of Clean overtly referring to what goes on behind bedroom doors in song, there is plenty of allusion to life's sweatier practices in Something's Cookin' in the Kitchen, with various kitchen appliances providing a useful allegorical service to spare Dana's blushes. Frigidaire probably still send Dana a new freezer every Christmas as a thank you for the free advert.
There's even an interesting doo-woppy bit towards the end which isn't unlike Witloof Bay's a capella antics in Germany earlier this year.
Ultimately, it's a sterling effort from Dana. But the finished package just comes across as rather forced and unconvincing, like a scene in Coronation Street featuring Emily Bishop reading Playgirl. What do you think?