Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Eurovision 2013 !

Well, thats over for another year! the annual festival of kitsch that is the Eurovision Song Contest, this time from Malmo in Sweden - a lot of people ignore it, some see it as fun, and others are deadly serious about it. It is now something of a gay festival as well (here in Europe) as the gays have taken it up with a vengance, having Eurovision parties and gay bars and clubs show it in full .... well, its a chance to choose one's favourite and enjoy the curious voting patterns, as different countries - the Baltics, the Balkans, the new East Europeans vote for each other. Plus the winning country has to host it the following year - and that costs quite a lot in these difficult times ...

When I was a teenager Eurovision was big business with winners in the pop charts - Francoise Hardy got her start on it in 1963 (with "L'Amour S'En Va", one of my early early record purchases left), and I remember hits like Gigliola Cinquettti's "Non ho L'Eta" in 1964 and France Gall in '65. Back in that era of black and white two-channel television it must have brought some glamour into the dull tv schedules, particularly as presided over by the glamorous Katie Boyle, plus the novelty of getting all these European countries (plus Israel!) watching and voting together, quite an achievement then.

This is me, on the right, taken on the night of the 1970 contest which I was watching at our maisonette in Balham, South London, with friends Stanley and Giorgio. Who won that night? Oh, yes - Dana and "All Kinds of Everything". We didn't though like the UK entries then by Sandie Shaw, Lulu or Cliff - talk about square! The '70s of course saw ABBA and other major entries.

Over the years, its been a festival of outrageous pop songs and even more outrageous outfits. Ireland and the United Kingdom won several times, but not any more, as those new East European countries took to it with a vengance.  Last night's show even had the Irish entry (Ryan Dolan, left, and pals) last, and the UK not much better as 39 countries voted on the 26 entrants. Back in the '60s though France and Italy were main contenders ...
My favourite this year was the Azerbaijan entry, a curious number well staged and sung by Farid Mammadov (above) - what was that about with the guy in the perspex glass box? This came second actually, after Denmark, and the fun was the rather rushed voting showing Azerbaijan and Ukraine chasing each other up the scoreboard but Denmark then had a clear lead .... Romania was also terrific, and Greece, and Hungary - they were certainly chasing the gay vote this year.  Back to the drawing board then for next year's farrago!


  1. I have a theory that Azerbaijan did so well this year because people like to say Azarbaijan.

    It was nice to see Noel Edmunds old grab a grand perspex box appear in the staging though!

  2. Ha ha ha .... yes indeed ! Slick show but the voting part was too rushed, we barely saw who got lower votes ... that used to be the interesting part, topping up our drinks and seeing who voted for who.