Monday, 6 May 2019

If you want to breathe, let's go outside in the open

Lithuania
Jurij Veklenko
Run With The Lions

Back in the day Eurovision was quite a treat, largely because you got to peek behind the often Iron curtains of other nations and get a glimpse of their culture and food and pop music. I mean I was barely four when this happened, but I definitely told my mummy that I wanted to go Germany after this- although it turned out that Germany wasn't a land of flamboyant disco warriors after all, but a land of racists taking the piss out of Mongolia.

Half the problem these days is that everybody talks in digital languages- twenty-four seven, always on their phones. Everybody talks in different languages, but in case you didn’t know, two lads from Lithuania try to say hello, hey hey. They say ola, khairete, shesen, hi. priviet and buna, salve, alegra, selambagu, ciao, zdravstvuyte, tere, pare kop, dobar dan, gia sou. And if you hear behind you a word that sounds like llamas, we’re trying to address you. It’s our greeting, labas. Everybody talks like unicorns and rainbows, everybody talks like babies when they party too much, everybody smiles but we’re the only ones who’s talking, but in case you didn’t know, we try to say hello.

JurijusIt feels like the Lithuanians started their national selection process for this year in the early nineties, and looking at the process it's actually entirely likely that they started it before the dawn of all time. You might generously describe the process as a massively tedious rigmarole- and alas good songs like this, amusing songs like this and sons with singers who had massive spiders webs growing out of their heads were all overlooked in favour of a song that makes three minutes feel like a three hour operation on your bowel without anesthetic being performed by Brian Conley laughing uncontrollably at a wrong answer on Brian Conley's Car Boot Quiz.

There are, fact fans, more hot air balloons per head of population in Lithuania than in any other country, which is not a huge surprise given the hot air in Jurij Veklenko's press blurb. "The song is about a sense of freedom that overwhelms us" (not unlike gastroenteritis) and those hoping for a rerun of Belarus' IVAN's naked-with-a-big-wolf-on-stage number may be in luck. "No matter how much I would like to pick up a dancer on the stage and dress up in a lion's costume, I like to feel naked on the stage" which would probably be a better bet than dressing up as a drug dealer in Emmerdale to be honest.

"When I was participating in the Eurovision as a backing vocalist, I met my favorite Australian artist Guy Sebastian in the corridor, who gave me an advice and taught one of the basic rules - to keep writing songs until they are good". Keep going, Jurij.