Category Archives: Time-Warp Tuesdays

TIME-WARP TUESDAY | Sha-la-lie, sha-la-la(aaagh!!)

Where + when Oslo 2010

What Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie), written by Pierre Kartner and performed by Sieneke

Sometimes, the song I select for Time-Warp Tuesday is one that I love so much, I’d marry it if I could (and I just can’t help getting my PDA on right in front of your faces). On other occasions, I decide on one I despise so I can figure out which of you share my opinion and which of you I will no longer be on speaking terms with. THEN there are the times I unveil an entry half of us have forgotten even existed, because it’s always nice to rediscover how much love, hate, or indifference you have towards a particular track.

Today, though, I’ve gone for none of the above (making that intro pretty pointless).

In 2010, the Netherlands sent a song to Eurovision that I neither love nor hate – and I definitely hadn’t forgotten about it. I do have strong feelings about this little ditty (no, I haven’t evolved into someone’s grandmother since my last post…’ditty’ is just an appropriate way to describe it) but the main reason I picked it is because, lyrics aside, it could pass as a Christmas song. And Turkey ‘n’ Pudding Day is right around the corner (I am yet to wrap a single thing, so expect me to sign off quite quickly today).

As someone who’s not the biggest fan of Christmas music – i.e. you’d have to pay me a large amount of cash and/or bribe me with copious quantities of Nutella-filled donuts to get me to sit and listen to any without complaining – that’s a downside, rather than an upside, to Sieneke’s Ik Ben Verliefd. But there are positives to be acknowledged here: a) the song is cute and endearing, so hating it with a passion would be like hating an adorable puppy with a slightly irritating bark; b) the staging and prop choices were bang-on, so what we saw matched perfectly with what we heard; and c) Sieneke sang like a champ. Parceled up as a package, this Dutch entry checked box after box, and could have been successful on the scoreboard…

…had it competed at Eurovision circa 1967.

That, right there, is the trouble with Ik Ben Verliefd, and it prevents me from feeling much liefde at all for this track. I swear it could have challenged Puppet On A String’s victory back in the day, but it had zero chance of advancing anywhere in 2010. I guess that’s what happens when you recruit the guy who penned The Smurfs theme to write your ESC entry, in a decade that doesn’t remotely resemble the Swinging Sixties.

Not that we can blame Mr. Kartner for every flaw in this plan. Whose fault was the horrendously vintage styling of Sieneke? She was seventeen at the time, but looked like she could have been the mother of a seventeen-year-old in that lacy jumpsuit-type arrangement. Girl was Nadav Guedj-ing before we knew that was a thing.

(Yet she still looked better than Trijnte Oosterhuis, our reigning Barbara Dex Award winner. The BDA went to Serbia in 2010, which I think was thoroughly undeserved. Why should you be punished for bringing back the bowl haircut and manufacturing ball gowns out of bubble wrap?).

Anyway…how badly would you say Sieneke was dressed in Oslo? Or, if you’d prefer to discuss something less fashion-oriented, what’s your verdict on Ik Ben Verliefd as a competition song? Is it retro and fun, or does it remain just as dated and kitschy as you (probably) thought it was at the time? Let me know below.

I’m heading off now to do that wrapping I mentioned earlier. While I’m doing it, I’ll be sending many festive vibes your way to make up for this TWT pick completely draining you of Christmas cheer.

In case I don’t post again pre-Friday (highly likely), God Jul, ladies and gents. May the best gift of all, for us all, be a great song from Albania on the 27th. Because national final season is about to kick off, and that’s the real season in which to be jolly. So go and be jolly already!

 

xmassig

 

TIME-WARP TUESDAY (on a Wednesday…oops) | A sinfully successful Hungarian debut

Where Dublin, Ireland
When 1994
Who Friderika Bayer
What Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet?

The reasons I’ve plucked this song out of thin air for today’s Time-Warp are threefold. Firstly, Hungarian is one of my favourite musical languages (the fact that I barely understand a word of it makes it so cool and mysterious). Secondly, Hungary have thrown some great entries at us since they made their 2011 Eurovision comeback (Kedvesem is now one of my most beloved of all time) and they were responsible for a few gems prior to that too – something I wanted to celebrate. Thirdly, the country’s 1994 debut entry was both in Hungarian AND one of those pre-comeback diamonds, so I’m pretty keen to discuss it. Let’s!

Friderika Bayer was twenty-three when she stepped up to her microphone in Dublin’s Point Theatre (I’m currently the same age, so I feel very inadequate as someone yet to represent any country at Eurovision). She had more responsibility than most of the other competitors on her young shoulders, because, like Poland’s Edyta Gorniak, she was about to be the first singer from her country to appear at the contest. That carries a certain amount of weight.

Fortunately, both Edyta and Friderika debuted in style, finishing 2nd and 4th respectively. Hungary even led the voting before dropping down to that still-successful placing, and I don’t find it hard to understand why – Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet? (‘To Whom Can I Tell My Sins?’) is a stunning song that was accompanied by a beautifully simple and sincere performance. You can draw a few parallels between this entry and Boggie’s Wars For Nothing, despite the 20+ year time difference – both are guitar-backed, down-tempo and sentimental songs performed by vocally proficient brunettes. But Kinek… is the superior song as far as my ears and tastes are concerned. For one thing, it doesn’t send me to sleep. There’s something about the melody and the clarity-tinged-with-vulnerability sound of Friderika’s voice that draws me in, and makes me feel ALL THA FEELS.

Lyrically (yes, this non-Hungarian speaker has Googled the translation multiple times) you won’t find any pleas for peace or cheesy clichés here. Take, for example, the content of the first verse and the chorus:

Nothing is there, only the lightless night
Only the tongue-tied distress, a vain hope
No faith, no love
No one to stroke my hand

Whom can I tell my sins
To be sure that they are forgiven?
Whom can I tell my sins, my God?

Sigh.

This entry is proof that a song doesn’t have to be a) busy, layered, loud and freaking full of lyrics, or b) staged like it’s one’s last chance to use a wind machine, incorporate a costume reveal and do the Moonwalk whilst mowing the lawn and baking a batch of piskóta (so basically, Amanecer) to have an impact. The entire 1994 contest, in fact, was testament to that, with a bunch of top-scoring songs being of the subtle, slow and simple variety – including Ireland’s winner. Some say interval act Riverdance stole the show, but if you look and listen a little closer, that’s not necessarily the case (depending on your attitude towards frenetic Irish dancing).

To sum up, I love this song – and judging by the applause when Friderika was finished, the audience did too. How about you?

 

nsig

Time-Warp Thursday | Switzerland’s nul-point nightmare

Good morning/afternoon/evening/whatever, peeps! Welcome to what would be a Time-Warp Tuesday for regular people, but at the hands of Jaz has turned into a Time-Warp Thursday, as I am yet to stick to my New Year’s resolution of getting my s%#t together. Today’s trip back in Eurovision time will land us in the 1990s, when everything was awesome, no arguments. OR WAS IT? Perhaps not, for a certain Swiss miss who won the right to represent her country amidst the euphoria (*insert the Loreen reference of your choice here*) of newfound fame, only to crash and burn at the hands of the press and a universally unimpressed continent. This is a story that I feel compelled to rehash after reading Nul Points by Tim Moore for the billionth time recently, and I apologise in advance if it gets a little heavy and/or rant-like. I’m not just about the fluff, guys!

 

Birmingham 1998 | Switzerland | Lass’ Ihn by Gunvor Guggisberg

If you were under the impression that Dana International was the most controversial competitor of 1998, I’m here to tell you that…well, yeah, you’re right. But when it comes to who was the most scandalous, Switzerland’s Gunvor wins hands-down – though I doubt that’d be any consolation of sorts after her failure to squeeze a single point out of any of the twenty-four countries eligible to vote for her.

Hers was a classic rags-to-riches tale (only with a few minor twists and a lot more tap dancing that Cinderella could ever have managed in those glass slippers). Gunvor came from humble beginnings to become a seven-time Swiss tap-dance champion, before spending her teenage years working to help support her newly-single mother and younger sister. Secretary duties gave way to stardom when she won not one, but two TV talent shows, and being snapped up to compete in Switzerland’s ’98 national final soon followed. It was this sudden buzz about a Miss Guggisberg that attracted media interest – most of all from a tabloid that would only serve to big her up, wait until she felt the effects of fame, and then tear her down at the most inopportune moment.

From that point, there was more drama in Gunvor’s life than in a soap opera and more diva-like behaviour than Dana International could dream of demonstrating. I’ll give you the short version: everyone starts gushing over hot new singer; singer is lavished with attention by the press who label her ‘the new Céline Dion’; singer gets big head and begins taking advantage of her status via spending sprees and serious attitude…and then, the revelations begin. A fortnight before the Birmingham contest took place, celebrity mag Blick made a swift turnaround on the good publicity they’d given Gunvor leading up to May 1998, dropping bombshells left, right and centre re: her frivolous financial habits and participation in saucy photo shoots. Anyone with vocal chords then proceeded to pop up and make a choice remark about the girl who had so recently been Switzerland’s sweetheart. But things were about to get worse.

On the morning of the ESC final, Blick laid all of their sordid cards on the table, exposing Gunvor’s alleged period as a provider of “services” in a fancy brothel. You can argue that she got what she deserved – someone who demanded expensive shoes and clothes on the regular only to return them in less-than-perfect condition (among a host of other misdeeds, if Blick was to be believed) could do with being taken down a peg. But whether that’s your point of view or not, you have to admit it took guts for Gunvor to even show her face on stage that night. Not only did she follow through, but she did it by channeling some of that attitude that gave her a bad rep off stage, but gave her time on stage a bit of grunt as she urged a friend to ‘let him go at last’ – ‘him’ being a sleazy womaniser. There’s very little in her face that says ‘I’m not enjoying this a whole lot, but I’m bloody well going to do it anyway’, which is what you’d expect once you know what went down only hours before.

Considering most of her awful press was contained within Switzerland, or drowned out by Dana’s death threats, Gunvor probably didn’t step out on stage thinking she’d come away with no more points than she’d started with. Really, Blick couldn’t be blamed for her most bottom of bottom-scoreboard finishes. The tabloid may have crushed her confidence and sent her post-ESC career into the toilet (where derisive chat-show hosts, tearful interviews and bankruptcy awaited) but to the unsuspecting, non-Swiss voters, it was the package of song and performance that somehow had nobody dialing her number.

Looking at a lot of the infamous zero-pointers, it’s puzzling as to why they ended up with nothing. Most of the time, even the most horrific or bland entries scrounge up something. In Gunvor’s case, I can’t be alone (although I know music is subjective) in thinking that, in a contest of multiple boring ballads, hers was not even close to being the worst entry on offer. Hungary’s A Holnap Már Nem Lesz Szomorú? Worse. Slovakia’s Modlitba? Worse. Belgium’s Dis Oui? Much worse – and yet that assault on Europe’s ears came 6th with 122 points (if you feel the way I do about it, you’ll be just as shocked). Here’s a recap of 1998 if you want a refresher.

Lass’ Ihn is a decent song. Sure, there’s cons – i.e. it’s veering into vanilla territory, and features a violin solo that doesn’t totally belong – but it’s catchy and not lacking in power. It was well performed too, against the odds, with just a few sound issues taking away some shine. I don’t think it should have been with the likes of the Netherlands, UK and Malta in fighting for the win against Israel, or anything; it’s just a shame that the negligible phone-ins for Switzerland (I assume at least one person in Europe voted for them) didn’t translate into a single point. One tiny mark of appreciation that may have given someone who desperately needed a shred of dignity to hang onto precisely that.

For me, this entry is mid-table, even taking into account the questionable dress Gunvor was wearing. After all, there were many unfortunate fashion choices on show in Birmingham, even by 1998 standards: take the mucus-coloured evening gown/business suit that didn’t stop Chiara from taking Malta to third place, for example. The reality of Eurovision is that not every song can succeed…and one of them must come last. But losing with nul points is an infrequent phenomenon that’s often hard to explain. Switzerland’s zero in the 2004 semi-final is somewhat understandable, but that same fate six years earlier in the final is a bit of a mystery to me.

I can’t help feeling sorry for Gunvor, who may have left most of the scandals behind today and has recently-released music to her name, but who will likely never forget her very public rise to fame and fall from grace. I wonder if she’s recovered enough to tune in to the contest these days, or even to watch her performance again and wonder, Linda Martin-style, ‘Why me?’.

 
Love or hate ‘Lass’ Ihn’ or have an explanation for the nul points? Let me know below.

 

Time-Warp Tuesday (on Friday!) | Underrated Od Nas

Hey there! I haven’t seen you since, like, last year. #badjoke #stilltrue #yeswearestillusinghashtagsprofuselyin2014.

That’s right – we are officially in two-zero-one-four, the year of Copenhagen, Valletta (mebbe) and Sochi (the Olympic Games are the Eurovision Song Contests of the sporting world). I’ve only just managed to bring myself to acknowledge that, because to me time is disappearing faster than Jedward’s hairspray stockpile and I can’t believe 2013 is no more already.

The end of last year was a total blur, what with Christmas and NYE and the subsequent food/drink comas, and as such I haven’t blogged since before the day of much turkey and pudding. I didn’t get to wish you guys a Merry Christmas, or a Happy New Year, or ask what you thought of my resolutions which include extending my cooking prowess to something more elaborate than scrambled eggs, and learning an entire Eminem song off by heart. So on behalf of all the slackers out there, I hope you had a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and that you don’t think the Eminem thing is a joke because it isn’t.

My first post of 2014 is a little unusual, if only because it’s going out on the wrong day. Basically, I had a Time-Warp Tuesday in me that needed to come out, and the fact that today is Friday wasn’t going to stop me. You see, I’ve spent a lot of the festive break losing myself in the ESCs of recent history, which I hadn’t done in a while and felt it was overdue. So far I’ve relived the extravaganzas from Stockholm, Tallinn, Riga and Istanbul, and been reminded of the absolute gems (such as Dime, one of Spain’s best-ever entries IMO) and horrifying disasters (Switzerland’s Celebrate never gets better) they brought us. As a result, you can expect a decent amount of Time-Warp Tuesdays over the next few months (some of which may even come out on a Tuesday) to focus on songs from these contests.

That brings me to the subject of today’s TWT. But was it a gem or a disaster in my eyes? Read on to find out…if you haven’t already figured it out from the title of this post.

 

Where: Tallinn, Estonia

When: 2002

Who: Karolina Gočeva

What: Od Nas Zavisi

Let’s be honest – there were a lot of lame entries on show when Estonia hosted its first Eurovision. Lithuania? Lame. Austria? Catchy but lame. Belgium? Lame, and a little WTF. There were also a lot of inexplicable results. Latvia’s win I still don’t understand (the words ‘it should have been Malta!’ come to mind). Romania’s dull and depressing ballad making the top 10 mystifies me. And don’t get me STARTED on Denmark coming last (the pain…).

FYR Macedonia was also the victim of injustice in ’02, so much so that I have to go on about it for more than one sentence. The statuesque Karolina would go on to get revenge of some sort in 2007 when she qualified from her semi, and finished high enough to automatically qualify her country for the 2008 final (only for the two-nights-of-semis thing to be introduced and relegate FYROM back to a week night). But back in the Tallinn days, it was her first shot at the trophy, and she had a damn good stab at winning it.

Od Nas Zavisi (It Depends On Us) is a dramatic, ethnic ballad that has become one of my favourite entries in the history of forever. The studio version is amazing, and Karolina is a great live vocalist, so room for error only lay in the staging on the night. Did she/her delegation mess up in that respect? Umm, no. The staging was dynamic without being distracting, and included a costume reveal that, whilst not as unique as Marie N’s, took place at the perfect moment – it was almost like it was part of the song. Speaking of costuming – I don’t know what the Macedonian word for ‘perfection’ is, but those gowns were it. With her high braid and dark lip, Karolina was ahead of her time, trend-wise…especially when compared to the likes of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Spain, whose leading ladies were dressed more appropriately for a funeral than a glitzy televised song contest.

I know costume is only one aspect of a winning package, but can we all agree that if Marie N had just stood on the stage in a pastel pantsuit and sung I Wanna, it would have been Ira Losco on top of the scoreboard? With that in mind, and FYROM’s flawless delivery of an epic song, I can’t fathom how Karolina ended the night in 19th place, with 25 measly points. Finishing above her: the bollocks from Belgium, the repetitive earworm from Austria, and Israel, which I’ve just never ‘gotten’. The Romanian jury gave her douze, but only four other countries saw fit to give her anything.

Maybe it doesn’t matter what the result of your favourite song is – no puny amount of points is going to stop you enjoying it, right? But I can’t help feeling perplexed on Karolina’s, and Macedonia’s, behalf, as to why this bombed. Was it a case of wrong place, wrong time? After all, she returned with what I think was a weaker song, and did a whole lot better. Did performing right after the host country screw her over? Or am I just a lonely fan of Od Nas, and you all want me to shut up about it?

 

What do you blame for Karolina’s unfortunate result? Which other entries of 2002 got a raw deal?

 

(Swedish) Time-Warp Tuesday: Almost invincible

Normally, TWT is totally random, but I thought it would be appropriate to make the one and only Sweden the focus as Malmö approaches (it’s now nearly three months away, FYI!). So if you’re not in the mood to get all nostalgic over the Land of ABBA, this is your warning.

Anyway, on with the Time-Warp.

 

Where: Athens, Greece

When: 2006

Who: Carola

What: Invincible

It wasn’t a case of ‘third time lucky’ for Sweden’s Eurovision queen Carola when she appeared on the contest stage yet again in Athens. Not that it needed to be – she’d already placed 3rd on her first try and won on her second (what a showoff). No, she wasn’t Invincible, but she was pretty darn close.

From 2002 to 2006, this year’s host country sent basically the same entry five times over, but they didn’t always succeed. In Kyiv, Martin Stenmarck’s rock-schlager number Las Vegas had only managed to drag its leather-clad self into 20th position by the end of the night. But it was schlager all the way the following year, which begged the question: did the Swedish public vote for Carola’s song or Carola herself? It’s easy to see how Invincible may not have won Melodifestivalen if someone less well-known and with less Eurovision success (anyone but Johnny Logan) had been singing it.

Either way, it was Carola who literally flew the flag – or at least her backup singers did – for Sweden in 06, and she certainly lived up to her reliable reputation, showing experience that younger competitors from the likes of Macedonia and Moldova couldn’t mimic. Add that to her faultless vocal, nifty “costume reveal” and timely dance moves, and it isn’t too hard to see how she ended the grand final in 5th – more than enough to secure Sweden a place in the 2007 final.

Could she crack the top five for a fourth time? Who knows, maybe we’ll find out sometime in the next few years. Like Dana International for Israel, Carola for Sweden is never off the table.

 

What do you think? Did Carola earn her place on the scoreboard, or did she snatch it from someone who deserved it more??

 

Time-Warp Tuesday | The Eighties make a (failed) Noughties comeback

Where: Riga, Latvia  

When: 2003

Who: Ruffus

What: Eighties Coming Back  

It’s funny how some entries unexpectedly capture the hearts and minds of the public, then threaten them with a week-long loop of Jemini’s live vocal until they come together to vote the night away, if that made any sense at all. Basically, there are quite a few songs that have seemingly come out of nowhere to charm the heck out of the public and do very well on the scoreboard – a la Brainstorm’s My Star, a song we all still love today (no exceptions. If you disagree I may have to take drastic action). Then there are the ones that remind you of those underdogs in a lot of ways, but fail to succeed – a la the subject of today’s Time-Warp.

Estonia’s 2003 entry came after some stellar results for the country. In the previous four contests they’d come 6th, 4th, 1st and 3rd, but that run of luck came to a swift end in Riga when Ruffus were left floundering in 21st place. The band were beaten by such inferior entries (in the opinion of moi) as Germany’s Let’s Get Happy, Ukraine’s debut Hasta La Vista and Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Ne Brini. Was this because there was a whiff of Brainstorm about the boys and the voters thought ‘been there, heard that’? Was lead singer Vaiko’s nonchalant stage manner a turn off? Or were people just too busy calling and texting for the big guns – a.k.a. Turkey and Russia – to remember little ol’ Estonia?

I suppose it is quite possible that Europe just didn’t like this song as much as I did/do. Here and now, what do you think of Eighties Coming Back?

 

Time-Warp Tuesday | From FYROM, with love

Where: Belgrade, Serbia  

When: 2008

Who: Tamara, Vrčak & Adrijan

What: Let Me Love You

 

Macedonia’s semi final history is far from being up-and-down. Since 2004, their results have read as follows: 10th, 9th, 10th, 9th, 10th, 10th, 15th, 16th and 9th. It’s safe to say they have a talent for being on the cusp of qualification, or just squeezing through. Thanks to the voting system in place in 2008 and 2009 (in which the nine most-televoted for songs progressed alongside one song chosen by a jury – a crappy system I was glad to see the back of) Macedonia missed out on Saturday night on Belgrade and Moscow. I was only really miffed about this in 08, when Tamara etc were screwed over.

The trio had performed Let Me Love You at the Macedonian final in Macedonian, as Vo Imeto Na Ljubovta (In The Name of Love) and that performance had been woeful in every respect, from the dodgy dance moves to Tamara’s vocals, akin to those of a wailing cat. Somehow, it still managed to win. Fast-forward to May, and the song had been reworked rather well into English, but let’s face it – the performance wasn’t much better. There was something in particular about her shimmy, and the fact that Rapper Guy #1 spent most of his stage time standing dead still in the background (awkward!) that was the opposite of appealing.

And yet…I really do like this song. The crowd clearly did, and so did all the viewers who voted enough to push it into the top 10 of the night. But ultimately it was 12th-ranked Sweden and former winner Charlotte Perrelli who fist-pumped in Macedonia’s place. Sure, she put in one hell of a performance, but I can’t help feeling sorry for Tamara and the rapper guys (#1 and #2) who were the first to feel the sting of the jury wildcard.

 

What did you think of Macedonia 08? Did they deserve a place in the final? Who would you have picked as the wildcard if you were on the jury?

 

Time-Warp Tuesday | A Portuguese nightamar

Where: Kyiv, Ukraine

When: 2005

Who: 2B

What: Amar  

With their failure to make the top 10 in the last sixteen contests, and their recent withdrawal from Malmö, you could say Portugal is rusty on having a good time at Eurovision. Sure, they probably enjoy the meet-and-greets and interviews and parties and free booze as much as any other delegation, but when it comes to their results, things aren’t so good.

2005 was to prove a particularly tough year for them, as boy-girl duo 2B would discover. Not only did she pass out during rehearsals – footage of which is sadly unavailable – but when semi-final night arrived, their performance was plagued with technical problems which prevented viewers from hearing most of the lyrics (the fact that I personally don’t know a word of Portuguese anyway is irrelevant).

To top it all off, probably thanks in part to those pesky technical issues, 2B failed to qualify despite scoring top marks from France, Germany and Switzerland. I don’t know if a repeat performance a la Daniel Diges (which is supposed to be the protocol when there’s a dodgy mike situation or otherwise) would have made a difference to the result though, and I look back on that as a real shame. Apart from some questionable costumes and choreography, this is one of my favourite Portuguese entries. It’s an upbeat, catchy song with a typically Eurovision message…though I’m guessing the only message 2B wanted to send after the semi was an expletive-filled rant about unreliable technology.

 What do you think? Was Amar total trash, or treasure tainted by a disastrous performance?

 

Time-Warp Tuesday | Malta FTW, but IDK why…

Where: Helsinki, Finland

When: 2007

Who: Olivia Lewis

What: Vertigo  

There are some things about Eurovision I will never be able to comprehend – for example, how Azerbaijan managed to win with what was their least impressive entry ever. Another comes in the form of Malta’s 2007 entry, which was one of the favourites to take out the trophy. What I want to know is, why?  

Olivia’s Vertigo didn’t end up making the final and so was in no danger of nabbing the top spot* (I can hear Marija Šerifović laughing maniacally as I write this). But the mere fact that a heap of fans were outraged by her failure to qualify is confusing enough. The Helsinki semi-final was bottom-numbingly long, and I just can’t see how, amongst all those songs, it was supposedly a given that Malta would stand out.

Don’t get me wrong – Olivia’s a very good vocalist and has great taste in kimonos and shirtless men. It’s just that…well, I think her song was overrated, and overrated = shock from all corners of Europe when it stayed put in the semi.

Am I alone? Will you hurl abuse at me via the comments section for even daring to dislike this? Or are there others out there who knew there was no way Olivia could compete with the walking tinfoil factory that is Verka Seduchka?

 

* Probably for the best – if she’d been high on the scoreboard her vertigo might have kicked in on live TV, and no one would have wanted to see that.

 

Time-Warp Tuesday | A milestone sealed with a kiss

Where: The Hague, the Netherlands

When: 1976

Who: Brotherhood of Man

What: Save All Your Kisses For Me

I’m not exactly dying to mention this because I feel like I’m on the verge of a mid-life crisis, but tomorrow I turn 21 (sorry for the short notice – large and expensive gifts are appreciated but not required). Amidst all of the freaking out and all the cries of ‘where have the years gone? WAAAAH!’ I decided it would be appropriate to focus this Time-Warp Tuesday on the song that triumphed the year Eurovision turned the big 2-1 – in terms of contests held, anyway.

The twenty-first edition was won for the third time by the UK. Brotherhood of Man arrived in the Netherlands with an extremely cutesy song and even cutesier choreography up their puffy sleeves. Having drawn the short straw to open the show (not the shortest straw in the packet, but one that makes it much more difficult to win) they needed as many ‘aww!’ factor votes as possible. Fortunately for them they got enough, meaning the weeks of Kurt Calleja-esque foot swiveling, head nodding and intensive rehearsing to get that killer last line just right had paid off.

Watching BOM’s performance a) nearly forty years later and b) as a member of Gen Y, it does come across pretty dated and unfashionable. But personally, I can’t resist the sweetness. Save Your Kisses For Me is more effective as a heart-melter than a blowtorch, and considerably less painful. What do you think?