Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Winds of deaf and dumb winds

Sevak Khanagyan

Sadly, the Pyreneesian principality of Andorra isn't taking part again this year, which is shame because this was an absolute banger. And this. There's loads of great facts about Andorra too- women live longer than men, it has an army of 12 people, the eldest able-bodied man in every family is required by law to keep a loaded rifle, and as a co-principality it's ruled by two princes! Princes who adore you! Just go ahead, now.

So instead here we are in Armenia. I used to love Armenia. A few years back they were responsible for sending a woman called "Sirushu" to Europe- a top pop star singing the brilliant end of an era ethnopop banger "Qele Qele" (let's go! let's go!) which has ended up one of my all time favourite entries (and provided the name of this blog). Also, chess is compulsory in schools, they have the world’s longest cable car ride and best of all, they all LOVE the underrated fruit of apricot. Boom Boom, Chaka Chaka.

I say used to. When the songs for this year's Depi Evratesil tumbled onto the internet, I was all set for a trip in a van to Yerevan in 2019, convinced as I was that this stunning Sigalabanger was headed for the win. But then on the night Asmik Shiroyan went and spoiled it all by turning in one of the worst live performances I've ever seen on television (and I'm including that time that Katie Price performed for the UK selection in a giant pink condom).

Sevak KhanagyanThe singer of this year’s Armenian effort might just be the contest's most boring man. "Sevak Khanagyan" is a Russian-Armenian singer and songwriter who "shot to fame competing in season four of The Voice of Russia in 2015" when Polina "A Million Voices" Gagarina hit the spinny chair button and looked like she'd seen Putin's ghost. Except she always looks like that.

He then wins Ukrainian X Faktor (via a Sherzy duet with Eurovision 2009's Sexy Bom Svetlana Loboda) and now here he is, wearing a weird rubber sex suit plodding through an Eastern European ballad that pulls that "ramp it up" trick that hasn't worked for Armenia any other year it tried.

The song is called "Qami" ("Wind") and my god, it's sharp punch in the face rubbish- it starts out like a rip off of their entry in 2014, meanders around some minor chords and ethnic drums and then repeats itself over an arty final minute build that is supposed to sound all serious and exciting, but instead just reminds me of the sound of a budget airline flight taking off- a dismal late running Ryanair flight at 5.55am full of boorish stag do participants taking off from Stansted to drink fifteen pints of strong European lager, procure women and cause yet another eastern European Eurovision participant nation to give us a guaranteed nul points.

He's certainly swallowed the big book of EBU bollocks. “I want to ask everyone to be sincere and be kind to other people all over the world”, he opines. "I don’t think you have to understand the language to understand the song". He then explains the song just in case. "The song is about a person who wants to fly with the wind and take back his/her warm memories blown away by it. It is a hopeful message for all people"

Well sure; it might be that Sevak- or it might be boring, tuneless, meaningless, tiresome, overblown twaddle- and if it gets out of the semis I'll eat 100 apricots.