Sunday, 28 April 2019

Heart beats like an 808

Cyprus
Tamta
Replay

And so to Cyprus, where they drive on the left and launder Russian money. You know, like London only hotter. We used to go to Cyprus on holiday when I was a kid, and I was always badgering to go visit that hauting disused airport in Nicosia but instead we just seemed to visit pirate video shops to buy grainy copies of the Goonies than ran out before the e

It's not cheap entering Eurovision you know. There's the entry fee, flights, hotels, ridiculously overpriced souveniers, half a ton of cocaine, and flags for the delegation to be acquired - not to mention the ever present fear that you might win the thing and then be stiffed with shelling out on hosting it the year after.

So after their financial collapse and big banking bailout in 2012, times were tough for the Cypriots, with their entries having to become ever more creative about the financials - they sent their singer on her own in 2013, they've found record companies to sponsor the entry, and last year CyBC even did a deal with Fyffes - the fruit people with the funny little stickers. Oh look! There's Eleni with a pineapple! Ooh er- there's Eleni with a bunch of bananas! That sort of thing.

The money also meant that she didn't really do any of the preview parties, so it was one of those songs that no-one really spotted before the rehearsals - as soon as the press pack saw Eleni Foureira beyonceing her way onto the rehearsal stage and someone managed to cap her saying "yeah yeah fire" for the memes, her saucy slice of slutpop took off, and "Fuego" almost gave them their first win in 35 years of trying.

Tamta, Cyprus' Eurovision 2019 representativeWhen you come that close it must be tempting to basically hire the same songwriter to write an almost identical song with the same people doing the staging- and Cyprus have given in to that temptation with the cheekily named "Replay". It is, like "Fuego", amazing - a proper banger that sounds contemporary and upbeat and authentically southern european and sweaty and fast and hooky and sunshiney and just BRILLIANT.

The lyrics are all about a man that has phoned Tamta requesting sexual intercourse (although quite why he's "shitting my body tonight" is anyone's guess) and Tamta herself has quite the tough back story - the official EBU press blurb is conveniently quite about her being married at fourteen (to her Georgian "friend" of two years), being pregnant at sixteen, divorced at twenty and then - worst of all - second in the Greek national final in 2007 with a shocking perm.

Since then she's clawed her way back with banger after banger after banger - and while her live vocals are apparently terrible, given the Cypriot history of being relatively shameless about swapping out the vocals for one of the 5 allowed backing singers that shouldn't matter much, and best of all with the new voting system they'll get TWO lots of Douze Points from the Greeks, which is two shots of Ouzo in the drinking game. Stin iyá su!