Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Semi 1

It was the first semi-final of the Eurovision song contest tonight and a pleasantly eccentric crew of people came around to watch it with us. We had Harrison from the cast of Brass, our American friends, Shannon and Cam, and Llio and her radiant mother, Silvia.

I made a salad and some nachos (which went weirdly soggy) and created a big bowl of fruit pastels, wine gums and chocolate buttons which seemed to go down a storm.

The standard of Eurovision this year isn't that fabulous if the semi-final was anything to go by. I thought about four of the songs were okay, but none of them, not even Russia's odds-on favourite, did that much for me. What was exciting, however, was knowing that Brother Edward and Sascha were there in the auditorium in Stockholm. It's always really interesting to hear from him which of the songs are going "big in the room" against which of the songs were going big in our sitting room. Occasionally, I'd message him to say "gosh, didn't Greece sing out of tune" and he'd say "we're not hearing that here..." The same often happens with the judges on X Factor. You get such a different sonic experience when you're hearing live music in a large space. Everything is a lot more echoey and out of tune notes just get sucked up into a sort of cathedral-like sheen. Edward's favourite song was Iceland, which everyone watching at our party thought was just a bit, well, "meh."

We were treated to a little snippet of the UK entry, which was enough to realise, yet again, we are paying no attention to staging. Whilst Russia is going for amazing screens, and almost vertigo-inducing CGI effects, the UK has opted for a soft-rock band sitting on a slider. We could have used a really cool street dance crew like Diversity, or one of the astonishing visual performance artists we see every week on Britain's Got Talent, but instead, we go for the 1980s rock band look. How bloody embarrassing. We'll no doubt stick a fire curtain behind the boys in the last chorus just to complete the cheesy look.  It's an instantly forgettable song - but we all know, when it comes to Eurovision, a visual gimmick can save the day! And it was the Brits who invented the blinkin' visual gimmick! Making Your Mind Up, back in 1981, was a terrible song, but the skirts being ripped off created a whole new genre of Eurovision performance.

The mini-party caught us slightly off guard. We were running around like blue-arsed flies all day today, editing little films, doing admin, tidying the house. I upgraded my phone. I'd managed to inadvertently switch the wifi off on my present phone, which meant I ran out of data after just ten days. EE have been badgering me to upgrade for some weeks now, and the thought of going for twenty days without being able to check my emails when I'm out and about, was so horrifying that I caved in, went to Crouch End, and am now the proud owner of a iPhone 6 something, which Nathan is presently setting up for me. Anyway, by the time we'd been to the gym and returned home, the guests had started to arrive and we had nothing to give them to drink apart from water or tea...

But a fun night was had by all... Tomorrow I go to Macclesfield...

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