It's fairly eye-opening stuff. We're at the Shadow Lounge in Soho and appear to be surrounded entirely by men who, as compare Paddy O'Connell just quipped, "seem to have left their wives at home."
What is it that makes Eurovision so quintessentially gay? Is Eurovision really, as my brother maintains, the gay man's World Cup? At the moment 200 men on the dance floor are pretending to rip each others' skirts off whilst miming to Making Your Mind Up.
We've so far been treated to sneak previews of this year's entries from Malta, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Romania, San Marino, Greece and Austria. For the record, Finland, which seems to be a song about Lesbian marriage, sung by a nutter in a wedding dress, is an awful lot of fun. The Romanian chap is a fake-tanned, sunglass-wearing counter-tenor. "What a strange man" said Brother Edward, pretty much summing up the situation.
We're standing next to an area marked "for artists only," which is filled with a group of gurning, coke-snorting, vicious queens, who are doing everything they can to upstage all the performers. They're not performers, of course, just loud-mouthed mates of the organisers, and they're annoying me intensely. They remind me of the sort of wannabe hangers-on who fill the VIP lounges in clubs like Heaven. There were a heck of a lot of people like this hanging around when we did Taboo in the West End. On second glance they appear to be friends of the Greek contingent.
The Greek entry, by the way, is called "Alcohol Is Free". It may well prove hard to find a less appropriately named song in a competition staged in Sweden, where alcohol is anything but free!!
The woman who was one half of the Azerbaijan winning entry two years ago got up on stage and mimed her way through three rather bland songs, begging a simple question: if you're at an intimate gig with some of the best singers in Europe, why bother to turn up if you're just going to mime. Who are you trying to kid? Tragique. Top marks for the woman from San Marino who came on after her and pissed all over her talentless bonfire with a brilliant live performance!