Monday, 29 April 2019

She was my neighbour when we were thirteen

Czech Republic
Lake Malawi
Friend of a Friend

There are some countries that really try. They have big national finals and send talented try-hard X Factor rejects and hire big name songwriters and blow half their GDP on staging and go to all the preview parties and film a lovely touristy postcard. And then there's Czechia.

This year is the eighth year in a row they've entered without the Slovaks, and every year has been  rubbish. Take their debut in 2007 when they got three mechanics from Kwik Fit to morbidly growl their way through three chords of misery. This (lack of) effort earned them precisely one point in the first semi, from Estonia. Things didn't get much better in 2008 when they entered overproduced "something for the dads" act Tereza Kerndlová, whose flat vocals were tempered only by the inclusion of a winged DJ imploring us to "Have some fun". We didn't, and they scraped 1 point from Turkey and Malta, 2 points from Croatia and 5 points from Macedonia in their dismal semi.

Lake MalawiThen, in 2009 they entered the Czech Republic's answer to Goldie Lookin' Chain. This was an entry that featured Tim Westwood in a luminous unitard, flanked by an Amy Winehouse lookalike artist and a handful of men who looked like waiters at a novelty tourist restaurant - and on the night the Czechs received nul points from the 20 countries voting in that semi-final, becoming the 16th entry to achieve this result since the current voting method was introduced in 1975.

Then last year a snivelling, slutshaming little sex offender that never did tell us what was in his backpack delivered the following immortal lines: "But steady plenty motherfuckers wanna eat my spaghetti ... quit sweet talking me now baby I don't give a fuck, you should've thought about me before you fucked him at the club". Christ.

This year's attempt to redeem itself consisted of cash-strapped Czech Television asking eight indie-pop artists to enter an online national final by taking one of their songs each and asking them to film a selfie-video on their iPhone for people to vote on. They weren't great. Hana Barbara sadly turned out to have no link to 1970s cartoons, Space Sushi wasn't nearly as interesting as it sounded, Barbora Mochowa couldn't even be bothered to get out of bed and bone idle Tomáš Boček just sat and played his guitar, singing "Don´t Know Why". Quite.

Given the dismal competition, one ditty shone out like a gold ring in a dog turd - a thirty year old man, in the act of intercourse, pointing out to his girlfriend that there’s "someone behind the wall making the same sounds". Seriously. Turns out - small world, Prague - that she was his "neighbour when we were thirteen", but "she moved back in... there’s not much between us now. D’you know what I mean?". For the avoidance of doubt, no I do not.

So yeah it's a bit creepy, and of course he's that sort of smart, cheeky chappy that would go down well with your mum until she realises he's gone down on your sister, but the song is quite the bop. Sadly, they're a real band, man, and CT still don't have any money so their performance is likely to be significantly less interesting than either of the weird videos they've stuck out. And that cockerney accent! Oh my days.

Guess what, fact fans! The Czech Republic has the highest castle-density in the world! There are 2,000 to Czech out! And I've got a horrible feeling that "Czech out" is also what Lake Malawi will be doing from their hotel the morning after their semi.