Music Tonight while I was watching a double bill of Ozon's Jeune & Jolie and the Melanie Lynsky starring divorcee indie Hello I Must Be Going both of which were telling similar stories in different ways, the BBC announced this year's UK entry for the Eurovision. Having tried viewers votes for the actual songs and artists, and then just the songs having chosen the artists, and then neither, we're now at point where they have some kind of open cattle call and some lyrics are given to some singers at the end. In other words, here you, cheer this on then. Here it is above. Some notes:
(1) It's really weak. I'm quite the fan of 20s & 30s revivalism especially when The Puppini Sisters and Christina Aguilera have tried it, but this doesn't take us much further than The Doop and Doop and that was 1994. Plus it's for the Eurovision in an anniversary year and we're witnessing a total loss of confidence. After fielding a half decent record last year which came 17th they've clearly decided to on the "fuck it let's just do novelty" strategy on the assumption we'll probably come mid-table again anyway but at least there'll be a solid reason for it other than Europe hates us.
(2) The bullshit gender politics in the lyrics. Especially from the second verse onwards. See below. It's all about the man telling the woman how to deport herself while he's not in her company and her submissively agreeing. Which might have been acceptable writing a hundred years ago, but not now. Not now at all.
Him:I'm willing to admit the odd word may have been poorly transcribed - I'm not sure in particular about that final line - but on the whole I don't understand any of this anyway. Unless she's simply telling him that and just doing what she sweet wants anyway? I hope so. Not that you can tell from the performance. If I'm off base on this do tell me. It's not Doctor Who's The Caretaker, but it feels pretty close. Minus points to for the official BBC press release not including the lyrics which are supposed to be half the point.
"Some younger guys, with roving eyes, may tantalise you with their lies, you must be wise and realise, leave well alone 'til you get home, dear."
"Won't see other fellas, won't make you jealous, no need to fear when you're not here, I'm still in love with you."
"Don't walk on the red light, don't stay out at midnight, don't get in a fist fight, that pretty face can't be replaced."
"Won't be out at night hon, it wouldn't be right hon, no need to fear when you're not here, I'm still in love with you."
"Don't make a fuss you have to trust, this is how it always must be, when I stop to think of us, I can assure you, I adore you."
"God you're so gorgeous, no need to be cautious, take good care when I'm not there, I'm still in love with you."
"You have a fun time, soak up that sunshine, but don't drink too much wine, just one or two will have to do."
"I know what you're thinking, so won't be drinking, no need to fear, when I'm not here, I'm still in love with you."
(3) The music is a confused mish-mash. Perhaps having sensed that previous performers from other countries have run aground when actually just keeping within genre they've decided to lather this thing in ill fitting electronica and country riffs which simply confuse the whole business.
(4) Here are the biographies of the writers:
David Mindel has had a successful career in song-writing, working with the likes of Olivia-Newton John, Barry Manilow, The Shadows, John Travolta, Mud and Musical Youth to name but a few.
Following a successful song writing career, David embarked on a new chapter - writing and recording some four thousand TV and radio commercials, including penning the themes for BBC One’s National Lottery and Euromillions TV shows.
Adrian Bax White is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist whose eclectic music career has spanned pop to fusion jazz with everything in between. Adrian has worked with a multitude of singers from multi Grammy award-winners such as John McLaughlin and Narada Michael Walden to underground indies such as Blue Orchids and acid jazz godfather Lonnie Liston Smith.
Mindel's IMDb expands on some of the other tracks he's worked on: Bob's Weekend, Coogan's Run, Challenge Anneka, The District Nurse, Real Life, The Hot Shoe Show, I Get Your Act Together, Rory Bremner, Who Else?, Harty, Food and Drink and Jim'll Fix It. Some of which I used to love.
(5) In a world where Taylor Swift's 1989 exists, where even I'll admit, glancing at the UK top 40 demonstrates there's some really interesting, ballsy pop music in production, the BBC and whoever have seen fit to choose this which says nothing about the British music industry or the state of the art. Once again we're treating Eurovision and a "fun party" and "nothing to serious" and "a joke" when it could be a celebration of who we are and what our music industry is. Which I know we already do across the world with the "real" music, but wouldn't it have been amazing if Scott Mills had introduced something tonight and our reaction would have been the collective awe of hearing "Shake It Off" or "Let It Go" or "Happy" or "Fireworks" or whatever Beyonce's doing this week, something with a push and a donk on it instead of hearing this and trying to rationalise which judging by the social media even people who're generally supportive are doing?
(6) I just don't like it, ok? Sigh.