Monday, 23 April 2018

Men laying down their swords

Higher Ground

And so to Denmark- home of The Killing, Borgen, one half of the Bridge, Carlsberg, Lego, the Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Anderson, those butter cookies you get in tins, a friend in London (because everyone has a friend in London), these tasty looking Christmas Donuts (nom nom nom) and Emily. You know, Emily. Off of the forest.

I love Denmark, see. It's small, they drink (reassuringly) expensive beer, the public transport's good, they have a theme park smack bang in the middle of their capital city, tax is high (I like that) and it's the kind of place where you can be out browsing very well designed and reassuringly expensive kitchen goods when "bang!" there appears indie pop outfit Alphabeat, buying a flourescent green ladle. Although on reflection it is that sort of easy living that killed the young dudes in the high boots.

So I was proper excited when the contest was held in Denmark in 2014, and what a contest that was. You know that old saying about rounding them up and putting them on a island? That is literally what the Danes did, chucking Eurovision and its 30,000 onsite fans onto a drizzly building site island complex complete with festival toilets, festival beer and a leaky press tent, busting the budget by a record amount in the process and gaining precisely 0 extra tourists as a result. Tack!

Add to that that they ended up dismantling the stadium the day after the contest due to Farage-baiting "nose/spite/face" EU funding rules and you'll understand why their entries since have been slightly less than "stellar".

Not able to rustle up their own utterly average talent show alumni, last year they got the winner of the third season of Australian X Factor Anja Nissen (Danish parents, see) in to do "Where I am", which was not as good as her criminally annoying "feat Will.I.Am" winners single, not as good as her earwormy follow up solo single, and not even as good as her entry to the Danish process the year before which lost out to a shit dad band that failed to qualify.

This year they've abandoned the mid-tempo inspirational in favour of a kind of novelty Game of Thronesey Viking act- it's (Jonas Flodager) RASMUSSEN singing about MEN and SWORDS and SHIPS and WAR with his RED HAIR and MASSIVE BEARD. In truth he's not quite the warrior he's making out- he's actually the lead singer and frontman of Danish 80s covers band Hair Metal Heröes and in the week works as a school teacher in Viborg- in other words he's a sort of Danish Dewey Finn who torrents GOT and has put some silly words to a bit of trailer music he found on the internet.

But isn't Eurovision supposed to be about love and peace? "The song is about being able to take a step back and solve conflicts in a different way than just thrusting a sword into the belly of someone, you are facing. So, it has a message of peace". Gotcha.

Actually the song is a bit of a slow burner and they staged it oddly darkly in the national final, but assuming they turn the Lisbon lights up a bit the great news is that it's good, anthemic fist pumping fun that televoters will recall in the recap- and should mean a bottom end of the top ten placing for the Danes, just like they always get.