Monday, 29 April 2019

The good times aren't over yet

Denmark
Leonora
Love Is Forever

It's Denmark - home of The Killing, Borgen, one half of the Bridge, Carlsberg, Lego, the (highly underwhelming) 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's precisely that sort of easy living that killed the young dudes in the high boots.

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 Kerndlovรก, 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.