Skip to main content

"the flame of doubt . . . " - 5 Things We Learned From Eurovision



1. The real winner was this song, which has haunted me like a recurring dream ever since. Poised, contained, suggestive, European. I have played it non-stop since Saturday night, I'm addicted. Blanche is only 17 and clearly had nerves on the night but what was wonderful is that she didn't panic, actually played on her nerves and used them to remain within herself and her abilities, didn't at any point disappear into the gusts of bombast others did. An utterly beautiful song that should have won. Anyone who voted, who didn't vote for this, should be fucking ashamed of themselves.



2. The actual winner, Salvador Sobral, was already clearly an unctuous twat judging by his performance of his dull sappy shit song. However he truly anointed himself as an utter wanksnap with the crown-of-turds that was his acceptance speech.
I want to say that we live in a world of disposable music – fast food music without any content. And I think this could be a victory for music with people that make music that actually means something.Music is not fireworks, music is feeling – so let's try to change this and bring music back, which is really what matters. 
What a cast-iron copper-bottomed CUNT. ANYONE who says shit like this is your enemy, is an enemy of pop, an enemy of music. MUSIC IS FIREWORKS. THE DULLEST MOST SHRIVELLED AND SHITE  THING MUSIC CAN BE IS MERE 'FEELING'.  To say this shit at Eurovision with the implied slight against the competition itself is an act of solipsist arrogance beyond comprehension. What 'meaning' did Sobral's song have? Only one - that Salvador Sobral is a sensitive soul that we should like. It was the musical equivalent of a rather pleady, teary, self-serving facebook post written to get hearts and thumbs up.  His shitty hateful sentiments matched his shitty hateful song. The most undeserved, disgraceful winner in recent Eurovision history. WHAT'S THAT? HE NEEDS A HEART OP? OH CUNTING SPARE ME THE FUCKING SOB STORIES. SPARE ME ANY POP THAT HAS A SOB STORY ATTACHED. 


'Awww isn't he unassuming. Isn't he charming. Isn't he engagingly unconcerned with superficial appearances'  NO. HE IS A CUNT. POP FANS - THIS IS WHAT YOUR ENEMY LOOKS LIKE. NOTE HIM WELL. HE WANTS YOU DEAD.
Still fuming tbh. As the votes from the jurors rolled in you could tell he was going to win - you could tell that tonight Eurovision was going to firmly reject pop and firmly root for its inverse, reject fun, reject collaborative magic, reject chance and romance in favour of syrupy self-indulgence and sickening smarm. My knuckles and fingers smarted from exactly how hard I was sticking the vees at this wanker. His whole demeanour - the jacket too big for him, the fucking disgusting face fuzz, his heavily rehearsed look of dazed confusion throughout, his 'unassuming' lack of actual performance - was so utterly hateful and antithetical to everything anyone should hold dear about music it's clear this motherfucker needs to be kept away from music, preferably with the use of electro-shock aversion-training and the subtle application of chinese finger-traps. Though setting himself up as some kind of retro-antidote to modern-pop's excesses his success can actually only be seen as an index of everything wrong and hateful about modern pop. The grotesque search for authenticity, the self-help/self-pity/self-aggrandizement/self-sanctification of modern pop lyrics, the same cupcake-baking, hipster-hub-frequenting, bourgouise tweeness and 'vintage' correctness the middle-classes are currently atrophying pop with. This is what happens when musicians win, because the only people who can afford to be musicians anymore are the fucking middle class. This is what happens when musicians take over music, when it becomes 'all about the music'. The clothes get shit, the songs get boring, and not-content with fucking our future these cunts manage to shit on our memories and our past as well. This is how 'electro swing' fucking happens. These people need napalm smeared fidget-spinners jammed up their jacksies. Fuck Salvador Sobral. 


Lucie Jones, who I think did brilliantly.

3. The two best songs of the night were songs of doubt and longing, songs that seemed aware of the dark times ahead, songs that for me touched heavily on the possibility of Europe's break-up. The Belgian and UK songs drew tears from me because of the unmistakeable post-Brexit political resonances. Belgium's song speaks of the 'flame of doubt', about being all alone in the danger zone and losing it all: the UK song - especially the way Lucie Jones put it across in her brilliant performance, came across to me as a song from the UK to Europe, or vice-versa - a song about it not being over, about the thin chance of a love surviving. These lines had tears in my eyes.
If you could see how far you've walked you would see that all's not lost I will never give up on you. I don't care what I've got to lose. Just give me your hand and hold on. Together we'll dance through this storm.
The fact we ended in the right hand column is no reflection on the song, just on the majorly shit taste of modern pop fans. Of course, the song that won was a direct rejection of anything so impolite as politics, a direct rejection of music being anything other than an entirely self-indulgent expression of the auteur's ego. The best songs on the night seemed aware that there was a world outside of the fucking practice room. What won could not have been more apolitical, individualistic, self-regarding and personal. That retreat from music with political suggestiveness to deliberately apolitical, self-regarding, selfish music is something the whole of Europe decided spoke to them on Saturday night. I despair. This selfishness will break us all apart. Britain should be fucking ashamed not only that our juror votes went to him and that TRULY FKN ABYSMAL entry from Australia but also that our phone votes didn't put Belgium at the top which was transparently the greatest song of the night. We like to think of ourselves as a bit more sophisticated in terms of pop appreciation - we're not, we're just another country in love with self-help pop and 'authentic' 'from the heart' shitcuntery.

4. Eurovision said something very specific, both in juror and viewer votes on Saturday. That sticking up for modernity is passe, old-fashioned. And that perpetuating the lie that the past was better is the new orthodoxy - this is not an orthodoxy run by the old or the young per se, just by people who don't need pop because music is their whole life maaaaaaaan. Anyone who loves pop should reject this horrific new nostalgic orthodoxy. Real shit music played on real shit instruments by real shitheads. Nothing to do with any pop I care about. The longer pop remains in the control of these stage-school dipshits, the longer pop remains in the control of those that have 'trained' for it (i.e those who can afford to do it because they don't have to worry about surviving) the more this reactionary shit will endure.



5.  As ever, Eurovision is something of a glossary of state-of-the-art pop cliches and on Saturday one cliche above all was preeminent. Song stops. Vague atmospherics build. Song returns with singer foghorning melismatically and the chorus coming back full pelt (usually accompanied by some spectacular pyro). Who do I send a thankyou-letter for this revolting motif of modern song? Adele or Ellie Goulding? The globalisation of pop blared from the most atrocious entrants on Saturday - particular shame should be thrown on the Australians, the Danish, the Dutch, the Greeks and the always-clueless Germans in this regard - so many countries happy to send songs through that fundamentally might as well have been American, that in no way expressed anything musically or lyrically that was unique about them as a nation. It would be a retrograde step for Eurovision to insist on native languages for entrants next year but if I see another load of Eurovision entries next year that just make me think they're trying to be Little Mix or Rihanna or Bruno Mars or Taylor Swift or OllyfuckingMurs I might SERIOUSLY start thinking about stopping watching.

No, sorry, that was rash and foolish of me.  I will never stop watching Eurovision because I still believe in its dream, its ethos and its spirit. That's why it must be defended against the despicable likes of Obral. See y'in Lisbon. And ffs Portugal, don't let that cunt be in the half-time show.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MANIC STREET PREACHERS, ASTORIA, LONDON, 1994, LIVE REVIEW, MELODY MAKER

(photo by Pat Pope, full text)  MANIC STREET PREACHERS  ASTORIA, LONDON  SORRY, lifelong fan, but I’m a new convert. I got into them a week ago and here I am. (They start with “Faster and, after the dub and horrorcore they’ve played, it jarrs and fits perfectly.) OK, see it ain’t attitude cos anyone can do that, just cock a snook and suck your cheeks. It ain’t glamour. Glamour is boring. Glamour is loud pretty people who hug, hug, hug, giggling at your geek self all night. And it ain’t rock’n’roll; it was your rock’n’roll that made a nigger-hater the King, your teddy boys who Paki-bashed for Mosley, Notting Hill 1958, your rock’#n’roll build on SAMBO DON’T SELL. I ain’t interested and the Manics are way beyond that. (“Yes” is Stjepan Mestrovic’s “Balkanisation Of The West” turned punk anthem, as if it could be any more punk. No higher compliment exists.)    The four founding points of Manics songs – one: modern life is untenable. Two: no one ever gets used to loneliness. Three: if tr…

BRITAIN SEE THYSELF PART II. A POST-REFERENDUM DIARY AND A HISTORY OF BRITISH SELF-PITY

Tuesday June 28th, 2016.

OK, a week since the vote and hey, I know the drill. Similar to those habits you kicked back into after 9-11, after 7-7. Heads down. Don't notice the people crossing the road to avoid you. Don't register any reaction to the shop assistants who drop the change with a panic'd repulsion into your foul brown palm. Keep your eyes down, no eye-contact with anyone. Get through the street to safety because the street is a place where you are a target again now, just as you were as a child. Don't ever ever relax again because that moment where your vigilance slips, when you start doubting your own paranoia, is the moment when the van draws up and three pink faces look your way grinning, when the kids see their chance to have some fun, when the guy on his bike who you hadn't thought of leans into the pavement to spit his venom, when the words will come unbidden and deafening, those words that won't just fuck up your day but will haunt your sleep, …

A POP DAYDREAM PART I: THINNING THE HERD.

This was my dream. And it was so vivid it really happened. 
I hired a van. The expense was a concern but I needed the capacity. First the long drive north to Middlesborough. I knew he'd be at home, visiting relatives. Made sure my HeadBag was packed. Blindfolds and ballgags. Rope. Some starved, stroppy badgers. Maxi-pack of chloroform-seeped bogroll from Costco. Masking tape. As I eased onto the M1 I told myself again the story of how it was developed from the need for waterproof ammunition casings in WWII. I had to, I was bored, and it's a long schlep up to 'boro. Idly, after securing a mortgage for a bacon roll at Tibshelf, I had an argument with my other personality about whether Middlesborough was in North Yorkshire, County Durham or Teeside. 
Nothing got resolved. A plain-clothes officer pulled me off in the hardshoulder near Malton and issued stern words about punching myself while driving. No hilarity did ensue. I needed to focus. This was a serious business. By noo…