Friday, 24 October 2014

Eurovision

I deliberately opted to start a days' work in Julian's studio at 10.30am today, assuming the later start would avoid the rush hour, and the overly-crowded tubes which I've started to dread. How wrong I was. The carriage was full of steaming, sweaty people and I ended up sandwiched between a Dutch woman holding a toddler and a man with such hairy ears he was suffering from dandruff!

I love working in a recording studio. My days with Julian are always special and always start the same way. I exit the DLR at Limehouse and go to the local 7/11 to buy cakes, tea and milk for anyone working with us that day.

Julian works from a small studio deep inside an old Victorian factory situated at the end of the fabled Cable Street. It's an absolute hive of creative activity. As you walk through the corridors of the building, you pass hundreds of doors, each with a fashion designer, a musician, an artist or a crazy bohemian inside. I'm told there are dominatrixes working within the complex, and rooms where trans-people gather together to try on dresses and chat.

Julian's studio is at the end of the longest, dustiest corridor. It's filled with curios; bizarre microphones, crazy keyboard instruments, chairs and sofas with the stuffing coming out of them... But it's a home from home. I always feel very happy there because it means I'm creating.

Today's mission was to record a potential song for Eurovision. The BBC have called for submissions. It's very hard to know how serious they are about it. One assumes the moment EMI pops up with a "young artist with a great look", the search for songs from members of the public will instantly come to an end, but because I made such a big deal about them giving opportunities for writers, it's vital that I put my money where my mouth is... And not to put too fine a point on things, I'm offering them a million pound package. Nathan and I have created the Eurovision holy trinity: great song, great singer, great gimmick. Years of Eurovision appreciation has taught me what the competition needs and if the BBC think that's an arrogant statement and would like to cut me down to size then all they have to do is give me the rope to hang myself with. If that's not mixing deathly metaphors...

My worry is that the people who have been put in charge of Eurovision at the BBC don't know the art form well enough, and will simply think that a pretty bird, with an edgy song has a hope in hell of winning. The UK needs to play a sneakier game.

I can't really say too much about the song itself. What I can say is that the singer is Alison Jiear, who sang Yellow at our wedding, but is perhaps better known for her performance of I Just Wanna F***ing Dance in Jerry Springer: The Opera.

The experience of working with her in the studio is quite remarkable. She came in, ate Jaffa cakes, had a cup of tea and then a coffee, a quick warm-up singing through with the track, and then nailed it in two takes. Two takes! If that isn't a sign that she needs to be representing the UK, singing live in front of 500 million people then I don't know what is. We're talking the most astounding vocal tricks. Two takes. No auto tune. No moving stuff around. Two takes!

I shall be devastated if the BBC don't take this entry seriously, and frankly, if they don't, I shall enter it next year for a different country and then spill the beans. And that's a promise! I'm waiting. Eurovision, come and get me.

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