I remember the first time I watched the Eurovision bash.
It was in 1965 in a friend’s house as my parents wouldn’t get a television.
It was somewhat surreal as the television was a black and white affair [colour television was only a wet dream at the time] but they had added “colour” to the screen: my friend’s Da had stuck a sheet of cellophane over the screen that gave the top third a blue tinge and the bottom third a green tinge. I presume it added something if you were watching a programme showing a scene with a lot of sky and grass but it didn’t do much for the Eurovision. My friend’s Da was immensely proud of his “colour” television.
My friend was wildly excited about the whole thing and was determined to record the whole affair. This being years before the video recorder was invented, he set up a portable cassette recorder with the microphone in front of the screen. This meant we all had to watch in stony silence for the entire duration in case we ruined the recording.
The format of the programme was simple: there was one stage and one orchestra. Each country would provide one singer and their own conductor for the orchestra. Poor Noel Kelehan always got stuck with the conducting bit for Ireland. In other words, counties were judged on the song and the singer and not on anything else, as everything else was equal.
Years later, I had got hitched and had my own home. I had a colour television too. One of the experiments they used to try in those days was the “simultaneous broadcast” to provide better sound quality. It meant moving the television into the centre of the wall and setting the loudspeakers each side and then watching the picture on the television while listening to the sound on the FM radio in glorious stereo. As this experiment was run by the BBC, that was the channel of choice [watching RTE and listening to the BBC gave a surreal time-shift effect]. Those days were when I discovered the joy of Terry Wogan.
By this stage the old format of one singer, one orchestra had long gone and the singers had become acts. The whole affair was becoming more lavish to the point where people were judging the presentation and showmanship and not the song. Terry Wogan loved this format as he could rip the piss out of every act, which he did, with relish. The Eurovision became an annual event and fun to watch.
Terry Wogan left and the acts became more silly. I stopped watching as the commentators were taking it much too seriously and the songs were crap anyway. Music was forgotten in the rush to be more daft, with crazy costumes and pyrotechnics.
Last Saturday evening we watched “Queen in Rio” as I have converted Herself into a rabid Freddie Mercury fan. At one point I switched to the BBC and there was a bunch of weirdos prancing around with yellow heads, screeching somethorother. I switched back hastily. Later I tried once more but the blasting of flashing lights have Herself an instant headache so I switched channels again.
A week ago I predicted Ukraine would win. This was based purely on the silliness of the whole thing [and when did Australia join Europe?]. I hadn’t heard their entry and purely out of curiosity I found it yesterday on the Interweb. It was crap and Rap.
I fucking hate Rap.