New toilet ‘facilities’ in West London

Either they’re new or they’ve been used quite a lot, but there are new toilet facilities in the Strand for those caught short and in desperate need of relieving themselves. Ladies may find the challenge more than a little overwhelming and opt instead to cross their legs instead.

It’s part of an “£8 million bound scheme to keep the West End clean” it says on the poster on the flimsy looking urinal.

Personally, I can’t see myself inclined to make use of the facilities, quite possibly because I’m not keen on performing in the open air. I’d probably need to seriously under the influence and or incredibly desperate and even then it would have to be late at night.

Nearby Charing Cross station charges its visitors twenty or thirty pence to relieve themselves. It’s a case of deciding just how much is worth perhaps.

Eurovision 2009: Poland

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final

SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES

REHEARSAL NOTES

Something has suddenly dawned on me. At what point in history did someone somewhere say there had to be some kind of dance effort on stage to accompany a solo singer. Chiara from Malta doesn’t have one because she doesn’t need one. It’s the same with the lovely Lidia who strikes me as able enough and certainly easy enough on the eye to stand slap bang in the middle of the stage and deliver the song herself. She don’t need that prancing around. That modulation is going to cause her nightmares between now and Thursday 14 May and could well be her undoing. 

SONG REVIEW

 

The crowd to whom Lidia Kopania are singing to seem to be uncontrollably enthusiastic about her and her performance. They also – worryingly – demonstrate how they have gone down with the same affliction befalling UK (and US) audiences: they clap at almost anything whether it be a ballet dancer lifting a dancer up in the air, or Lidia singing over the break. It’s false enthusiasm designed to pep up a TV show and it’s something which needs to be stopped.

Let’s focus however. This is about the song and the singer both of which fail to make any impression on me whatsoever. Lidia, bless her, is pretty to look at but is nothing special and does have demonstrate that she could have some intonation issues on Thursday 14 May.

Eurovision 2009: Serbia

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final

SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES

REHEARSAL NOTES

Stick with this interview for Marko’s performance at the end of the video. According to the big man, most of the performing group are suffering from battered limbs and the resulting drug relief. This doesn’t seem to dent their moves on stage and I’m delighted to see that groovy move appearing in at least one of the choruses. I’m not entirely convinced about the accordion player’s costume but the entire package is for me at least the acceptable side of pantomime at the Eurovision. Yes I know. I’m complex (or maybe just contrary).

People will hate, I still adore it. Marko clearly anticipates a big cheer when he steps into shot what with his waving to the present non-existent crowd. The dancers have been given something slightly more interesting to do and the pantomime has a bit more focus to boot. The cartoons fit the bill too. I just want to see Marko groove a bit more. Thank God they’ve lost the suitcase at the end of it. I was never entirely convinced about that.

SONG REVIEW

I will be lynched for this.

On the face of it, Serbia’s “Cipela” sung by Marko Kon has everything in it which makes my skin crawl. The song starts off by sounding like it could be quite annoying, it’s sung by a man with comedy hair and an ever so slightly smug look on his face. The whole thing is accompanied by a group of “dancers” making the bizarre pantomime look complete.

But there’s something infectious about the chorus. There’s a real hook to it and one look at Kon’s groovy moves in the second chorus makes me want to get up and grind in exactly the same way.

It’s evil to write so positive about something which most people would dismiss so very quickly, but the truth is that this is an up little number on the right side of acceptable cheese. There’s also a dance to learn here. Those of us committed to the cause like nothing better than learning dances or miming lyrics. It’s in our blood.

Eurovision 2009: Latvia

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final

SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES

REHEARSAL NOTES

It’s a little difficult to be positive about this when it’s the first thing you’ve heard fifteen minutes after you’ve woken up. I do like the graphics. I like the graphics a lot. 

SONG REVIEW

 

I can see what’s going to happen with this one in Moscow, almost as though I’m in rehearsals. Someone somewhere is going to tell the lead in this band that yes, it’s really working and what you need to do is to over emphasise the facial expressions a little more and make singing it look more of a painful experience.

Something kicks in during the chorus which makes it ever so slightly engaging and there are moments where I’m thinking that this is a credible song. But by the end I have grown sick of the seemingly constant repetition of the chorus.

It does tick that box marked “different and plausible” however, something Latvia has succeeded in doing over a number of years since they started participating in the event. Audiences won’t sneer at this, I don’t think.

Eurovision 2009: Ireland

READ REVIEWS: Semi-Final One | Semi-Final Two | Grand Final

SONG REVIEW | REHEARSAL NOTES | PERFORMANCE NOTES

REHEARSAL NOTES

I didn’t like it last week and I don’t like it now. But I am impressed about how putting this act on a massive stage with a complimentary visual background reassures me that my only problem with it is the genre. Not for me girls but you know .. best of luck. 

SONG REVIEW

 

I struggle to both get excited about this song or even make my mind up about whether I’ll enjoy watching it on the night. It’s studio presentation isn’t particularly gripping. In fact, watching this performance of “Et Cetera” from Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy reminds me of stuff the UK used to send to Eurovision in the mid-80s: it seemed terribly daring to send something different from the usual Eurovision fayre, but I couldn’t help thinking it might seem a bit naff given what I was watching on screen.

The promotional video sells the song in a slightly different way. It’s exactly the same track but somehow the music lifts and its more engaging. It’s tempting to give this an outside chance of getting through to the final especially because the sound of the track has that recognisable American high school bubblegum rock sound. Personally however I think it will sink without a trace.