Derby Day 3

The 3rd day started a lot earlier for me than the previous day. As I mentioned, I intended to visit BPM records frlom when they opened, which means i was up and about for about 9:30. Chris was,of course, sound asleep still.

Off I went, to the short walk to the rcord shop. I was there so early, I even turned the lights on for them. That’s not bad going. Here’s a few more photos of the inside, and of course, what I describe as my little heaven. I’m never more happier than when I’m knee deep in records and CDs.

I found some classics, and ones that are a little more… shall we say… obscure.

My time in BPM Records came to an end when an old guy, who was also flicking through the vinyl, let out the most gut-curdling fart you’ve ever heard. The room isn’t particularly big, as it probably comes across on the photos, and if I didn’t get out of there right now, there would be no escape from having to breathe his gut-guff, so I held my breath, grabbed my stash, and headed downstairs. Honestly, he’s probably still scraping that one off the inside of his trousers. Unpleasant.

I headed back to the hotel, trying to get the sound of that out of my head, failing miserably. It’s something that I’ll probably suffer PTSD over.

Anyhoo, Nottingham was to be the entertainment of the day. A place I’ve been to many times, and I have a vague recollection of where the charity and rexord shops are. I was aware of two shops in this little arcade type place. Unfortunately, it seems that one of them has gone, and the other one was just closed…. Grim. Just like the car park.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo, so you’ll have to make do with a Google screenshot. This was the NCP car park on Maid Marian Way, and it’s one of the worst car parks I think I’ve ever had the misfortune to stay in. There’s development going on all the way around it, and it looks like part of it has already been demolished I don’t think it’ll be too long until it’s ripped down. If the passage of time doesn’t rot the concrete, the gallons of urine in the stairwells certainly will.

For charity and record shops, Nottingham was a bust. A shame, as I remember in the first few times we went, there were lots of good ones but they seemed to have dried up or closed down. Overall, not many CDs, but I did come away with this…


A tub of curry.

I’d heard good things about this from someone at work, so I grabbed some. I’ve yet to try it out, but I’ll post my findings when I do. “Bring to the boil, stir and simmer… It’s that easy!” We’ll see about that. I can burn cornflakes, me.

One other thing we did, was to take an updated look at the Grand Central railway that once ran through Nottingham , mainly through a series of tunnels. There’s one section of it that’s still visible, although a car park now stands on part of it. I look a photo of it when I first went to Nottingham in…. whatever year it was, so here’s the two photos however many years later.


For future reference, I was stood on Cairns St when I took this photo, though I’m unlikely to forget that name any time soon. Only difference seems to be that the bushes coming out of the wall have grown, and the lights in the car park have been replaced with LEDs.

We returned from Nottingham, and there was just enough time to have a look around the museum that was next door to the hotel. This was a great place. The star of the attraction has to be the huge airplane engine that they have there. I believe it would have been manufactured local to the area.

Oh yes, and then there’s this guy…

As this would be our last night in Derby, we said goodbye to the establishments that had became our regular spots over the last 3 days. We had one last drink in the Taproom….

And of course, we couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to the Ye Olde Dolphin. Now, I was going to type out the history of the place from this photo, but bugger it, you can just read it yourselves.

For some reason, the one-atmed bandit had been turned off, so that made the place seem ven more olde-wurlde.

They had the Screeching Owl back on, so I enjoyed a pint of that. Not pictured is a creepy guy that came in just sat there, staring out of the window with his bag of crisps. Thankfully, we survived, and our attention turned to food. Now, there was a nice looking place next to the Spice Lounce, the place we’d frequented on the first night, named Okra. (There’s a tilde in there somewhere, but I’m using my bluetooth keyboard amd I don’t know how to type that) . Chris suggested we give that a go, and off we jolly well popped.

I can confirm that the food was absolutely wonderful here too. Can’t believe we’d hit the three-for-three. All places we’d tried, we really liked, and it’s not very often you can say that.

We said one last goodbye to the Old Silk Mill on our way back. Once again, you can read the spiel about the place here…

While our time in Derby was coming to an end, we still had the rest of the day to do stuff… Onto the fourth and final day!

Viva Darbados Day 2: Some Loughborough Steamers

So, day 2 commenced with me waking up as “fresh” as a “daisy”. Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the curry, but I felt like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. I suspect the beer. I decided to just lay in bed for a few hours staring at my phone. You may recall that I mentioned that the room windows didn’t open. I suspect that I actually partially cooked in my own juices during the night. It was extremely warm, and it turned out the air conditioning didn’t work either.

It got to 10:30 and I decided I wanted to do some exploring, so I nipped out for an hour.

As I mentioned in “yesterday’s” post, there’s a river near the taproom, with a nice little path going down the side of it, so I thought I’d have a leisurely stroll down there. And very nice it was too. Nice to see a bit of greenery in a city.

I also just have to post this for posterity. I was stood under a road bridge that went over the river, and I mentioned there was a distinct lack of amusing cartoon graffiti. Not even so much as a badly drawn set of male genitalia. Seconds after I thought that, I spied this beautiful sticker stuck to a lamp post.

I don’t know if there’s a story behind it. I don’t really care. I just know this was the greatest thing I’d seen in my current time down there.

After my merry jaunt along the water, I had a bit of a wander around near the hotel, and found a couple of charity shops. I picked up a couple of things. Not really anything I’d heard of, but that’s half the fun. There was also a Greggs, where I picked up a sausage roll. The way my stomach felt would confirm if I was hungover, or hungry. I can confirm I was hungover. Somehow, I forced it down, rather like that scene on the Vicar Of Dibley where Geraldine has to eat all those sprouts and had to physically force them in there. That’s what I was like with that sausage roll.

By this time, Chris was ready, so I headed back to the hotel. Today’s plan was to go to Loughborough. For once, there was something there for both of us. Chris wanted to see the trains that are there, and I… well, of course, had the charity shops. Beforehand, we had another small walk around the Derby City Centre. Chris wanted some brekky, and I settled for a bottle of coke. The slice of lemon that came with it would be enough to keep me going all day.

We had enough time for a brief walk around Derby city centre before we went. We had became aware of the Derby Computer Museum, so tried to find it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. It was on the 2nd floor of another building and Google Maps didn’t appear to signpost it very well, but it turns out it would have cost £7 to get in, and you had to book in advance. Oh well. To be honest, it looked to have been geared more towards kids and school groups anyway, so I’m not sure if there’d have been anything interesting for me. One thing that I happened to see out of the corner of my eye, that was even better than a computer museum, was a sign for a record shop, namely BPM Records. I go in and… Oh my. The new / sealed vinyl was downstairs, which didn’t really spark much interest for me, but upstairs… wow. Boxes and boxes of singles, an entire room dedicated to CDs, and even a couple of boxes of CD singles dotted about.

It was getting on at this point, so I grabbed a couple of CD Singles, the best one being “Flavor of the Month” by The Posies, a single that I’d bought back in 1993 on purple vinyl.

I vowed to come back the following day, so confirmed the opening times, and off we went to Loughborough. The first stop would be to get a photo of a building…

Apparently, they used to make parts of locomotives, or something, Chris did tell me, but seeing as it’s been a few weeks since the trip, I’ve entirely forgotten. I’m sure he’ll help out in the comments! The building is used for something else.

Next stop was to the Great Central Railway. I genuinely think we spent more time trying to get parked than actually being there. Considering this was a well-established tourist attraction (a lot of people apparently still like steam trains), there’s very little parking available, except for residential streets. I guess the locals must love that.

So, trains, then…

I took up most of my phone’s memory trying to get a decent photo of the station cat, who was happily wandering about, gathering atention from myself and other people hanging about. Of course, I don’t know if it was the station cat or not, but I liked to think he was employed as head mouse catcher, and to his credit, I didn’t see a single rodent.

We waved goodbye to the trains, and headed into Loughborough town centre. I’m happy to say I really liked it. We stopped off for a drink, and I was happy to see an old US streetlight still in use..

They were originally made by General Electric in the US, but the ‘moulds’ were bought by Phosco in the early 2000s so they could be manufactured over here. If you ever get close to one, you can see where the GE badge used to be…. cough, erm.

And so, off onto the major part of the day, for me at least… the charity shops. I’m happy to report that Loughborough does have its fair share of them, most of which are located in Biggin Street. One Age UK shop had a large amount of CD singles in there, so I filled my boots. I picked up other bits along the way too. I might elaborate on this if I can be bothered. It did have its fair share of nice old buildings, all appear to still be well maintained. Overall, yes, I can happily say, looking back, I liked Loughborough a lot.

Unfortunately, Chris got lost on the way back. It did give me a photo of what I’d consider to be the worst street I’ve seen. A passing interest of mine is to go around Google Maps and look at streets that have the worst possible view from the residents’ front window. This one is certainly up there….

I wonder what the going rate for lung / bronchial conditions is there..

We got back to the hotel dropped off our things, and then headed out. Of course, we wanted to see if that taproom was actually going to be open. Success! it was! We had a couple in there, and then went back to Ye Olde Dolphin inne. We got chatting to a couple of regulars while we were in there, who wondered what we were doing in Derby… I think they were more surprised than anything. I don’t think they get many tourists around those parts.

We got chatting about food, as you do, and where the best Indians were. A place called ‘Himalayan’ was highly recommended to us.

It was a Gurkha restaurant, admittedly not something I’d tried before. Always the ambitious type of guy, I went for something completely different on the menu… This time, I went for the…. chicken vindaloo.

It goes without saying that the food was incredibly nice, and the beer was also excellent too… again.

Not a brand I’d seen before, but I’d definitely get it again. On the way back, we nipped back to the Old Silk Mill for one more, and then back to the hotel. Great beer, great food. Now, ono the 2nd half of the trip! and because they didn’t really fit in anywhere, he’s a couple of arty shots of the cathedral…

Viva Darbados – Day 1

As both of my readers may know, I have just got back (well, last week) from a trip to the city of Derby. This follows the previous years’ excursion to Macclesfield, and the year before that, to Skegness, both of which have been with my mate Chris, and this year was to be no exception.

Chris picked me up at 11AM sharp. The weather in Partypool was a little overcast, but dry. As we headed south, the weather changed and it would stay that way for the entire journey there.

Unlike previous years, we didn’t stop anywhere on the way down, as we had an extra day, so it was straight to Derby. To describe the journey as uneventful would have been an understatement. We arrived just before 3PM, and managed to get a parking space next to the hotel. the prices were very reasonable. £15.00 for 48 hours.

It was, of course, raining when we got there, and it wasn’t time to check in yet, so we headed to the first place to grab a drink, in this case it was a bottle of boke in the ‘Slug & Lettuce’.

So, a bottle of the ‘ard stuff later, the rain has stopped, so we had our first wander around. One thing became clear, Derby likes its abandoned buildings. Large swathes of the city centre appeared to be abandoned, or about to be demolished, and some of the shops that were opened were of a… shall we say… questionable nature.

As this was the first day of 4, we did a cursory glance around the charity shops. The first one happened to be a “Cats Protection”. Upon previous experiences, I know these are quite expensive, but at 50p a CD, it was acceptable. Nobody apparently wanted to serve me. Hmmm. Can’t be that used to havng customers. Eventually, a lady did servce me, and I left the establishment clutching a Nigel Kennedy Greatest Hits CD. No, I don’t know why either. I just felt like I had to start the trip somewhere.

We found what appeared to be the main shopping centre, namely “The Derbion”. This was a clean and spacious shopping centre. Your usual array of shops, and of course, there was the usual shopping centre collection of charity shops such as British Heart Foundation and Age UK.

The rain was continuing to fall lightly, so we headed back to the hotel to check in. The room was your standard Premier Inn affair, with the exception that the window didn’t open. Strange. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in any hotel where this was the case.

By now, it’s an unwritten tradition what we watch Tipping Point. It just always happens to be on the telly when we get to wherever we’re going.

We spent about an hour or so in here while my phone battery charged. It’s reaching that age where it’s getting needier for a dose of electricity, and no, I’m not going to buy a new one until this one dies.

The rain had stopped, so it was time to explore the area in the search of… liquid refreshment. everal days earlier, I’d been exploring on Google Maps, and found a taproom just over the river from the hotel.

We walked in, only to be greeted with the sight of a laptop and papers strewn everywhere. Well, it didn’t look very open, and the guy behind the laptop had to check if they were actually serving today…. indeed they were closed. Apparently one of the contractors must have left the door open, as they were planning for a refurb. Gutted. The guy said that they’d be open at 3 the following day, so a return trip was planned. Instead, we went to “The Old Silk Mill”.

I liked this place. Pretty cosy, though it did seem to have an aroma of cooked fish about it. I can’t believe I got a pint of Madri when there were so many other exotic beers available. I didn’t see that they had Citra on draft until it was too late.

We had one or two in there, and then headed to “Ye Olde Dolphin Inne”. I really liked this place. It’s one of those places that were built when people were a lot shorter. Low ceilings, all the beers were pumped from a cask. the only thing out of place was the games machine. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the beer I had (something like Screeching Owl), but it was exceptional. this was to become a regular for the next few days.

Two pints later, and we’d just excaped the rain. It was time to look for some food. There were a number of highly rated Indian Restaurants that appeared, so we picked one, seemingly at random…. The Spice Lounge.

This was certainly a good choice, as the food was excellent. Of course, I had the chicken vindaloo, and I enjoyed it immensely. If I had one critiscism about it, is that you don’t really get enough dips to go with your poppadoms. I think we’d finished 3 of the 4 dips between us, leaving only the white one, because nobody ever eats that stuff.

Overall, a very nice place, and I don’t think the prices were too bad either.

After we left The Spuice Lounge, we headed up the same road to see if we could find a nice pub to settle into for the rest of the night. We ended up in one called The Greyhound. Chris and I both agreed that this part of the city felt very much like York. and this place was no exception, it definitely felt like something you’d see there. The place was really nicely done out…. except for the toilets.

In the first draft of the blog, I put in a detailed description about them. Bog was, quite literally the operative word here Let’s just say some careful hovering was needed, and the rest I’ll leave up to your imagination. Instead, I’ll include a photo of the place itself.

The Greyhound had its last orders at half 10, so we drank up and completed the short walk to the hotel. One bottle of Peroni later, and that was me ready for bed. What excitement would await us the following day? One thing’s for sure, there won’t be as many photos of the inside of pubs as this one…

Pat Harris – Just For You

A couple of years ago, I had a couple of days away, travelling this wonderful country of ours. One particularly memorable stop was the beautiful fishing village of Grimsby, and there should be no surprise in the fact I frequented a couple of charity shops. Actually, no, read that as “every damn charity shop I could find until my feet bled, and the smell of fish drove me insane”.

During one of the last shops, I picked up a CD. A disc, full of mystique and wonder, and I thought deeply about how my life could continue in the same vein if I didn’t own this sultry lump of plastic and paper…. Ladies, gentlemen and miscellaneous, I bring you… Pat Harris – Just For You

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. I need to invest in a new scanner that didn’t come from the 1980s.. Nope, that’s actually how the CD inlay looks. A photocopied piece of card, and on the back on this card is…

It should come as no surprise that these are the only ‘artwork’ on the case. The inlay card for the case is just a copy of that one above, but printed on A4 paper. Effort was made to get the spine label showing correctly, unfortunately, this was only achieved on one side of the case, the other one is a mile off.

The CD itself is, thankfully, an undecorated CD-R. I say ‘thankfully’ because, as you know, I’ve found that a lot of the CDs that have those CDR label stickers have all started to degrade over time.

I have, of course, googled the name, and have found a singer who released a couple of records in the 60s with the same name. I’m not sure if this could be the same person or not.

As you can probably tell, I’m holding off actually trying to listen to it. I mean, it’s two years since I purchased it. I’m donning the headphones, I’m pressing play, and…

…Oh, wow.

A song called “Losing You”. Now, I really don’t want to piss on Pat’s parade here. I don’t know this song, but there’s a warble in Pat’s voice that may, or not be close to the original record (I’m guessing these are all covers), but the amount of warble is almost offensive. A very cheap sounding backing track is playing. So far, this is everything I was expecting, and at the same time, everything I was dreading.

Track 2 is a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Bye Bye Love”, which, despite the Bontempi-quality backing track, I quite enjoyed. I liked that song anyway.

A few tracks in, I’ve noticed something. The entire album is recorded in MONO. I thought my headphones were on the wonk, but no. Audacity confirms every track is the same on both channels. A view of the waveform would also suggest that the backing track has a winder dynamic range than Pat’s vocals, suggesting either a really low quality microphone, or her vocals were recorded to something like a cassette tape before being inserted into the final project.

There seems to be an offensive amount of reverb used on every track, at least the ones I’ve dared listen to. It seems to ruin the vocals, and fair play to Pat, she’s knocked out a perfectly acceptable version of “Penny Arcade”, a standard that features on almost every one of these types of CD.

Track 7 is a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. A song I don’t particularly like at the best of times, and… I just can’t say anything good about this version either. The warbling is back. You know, I’ve never, ever done this, but I’ve purposely put on John Lennon’s version just to erase Pat’s version out of my mind.

So… yeah. I got to track 7. Sorry, not a fan, but I hope that some of Pat Harris’s fans do comment on this and share stories and history. I was genuinely amazed and humbled when Jean Bennet’s friends and family commented on my post about her, and I hope that Google’s search gods allow people to find info about this CD, and I get a similar amount of comments about Pat. Without the reverb, though.

Eurosong fever 2024 – The final!

It’s that time of year again. We’ve had the semi finals, it’s now time for the final…

Here’s a quick rundown of the acts tonight, hastily copied and pasted off the Eurovision website…

Sweden Marcus & Martinus Unforgettable

Interesting, the song order is wrong already, I had this down as being last. Oh, great. Oh yes, I seem this one completely breaks the compression with its overly complex graphics. I don’t think I rated this song’s chances last time, and I still don’t. It got through automatically, as Sweden are the hosts, but it’s not very memorable. Of course, they’ve changed the voting now, so you don’t have to vote at the end, but I can’t see them flying in for that one.

Ukraine alyona alyona & Jerry Heil Teresa & Maria

I didn’t l;ike this one much in the semis, it got better as the song went off.. No idea what it’s going on about though. It’s Ukraine though, so it’s probably got a chance, somewhere down the line.

Germany ISAAK Always On The Run

Oh yes, this one is the one that almost sets the set on fire. Not a bad little song to be honest now that I’m hearing it again. It might do well, that one.

Luxembourg TALI Fighter

This one has sound effects in it that sound spookily like a USB device disconnecting, and there’s the Geforce 4 MX leapords again. Glad she got through just so I could see those again.

Israel Eden Golan Hurricane

I really, really liked this one and I’m glad it got through. Apparently, she looks like Dua Lipa, which is Italian for Do a Jump. There’s that subtle piano. I hope this does well.

Lithuania Silvester Belt Luktelk

Did I go to the bog during the semi-final? I can’t remeb… ah yes, it’s this one. Slightly bouncy. I guess that means it didn’t really grip me. Decent beat, sadly instantly forgettable.

Spain Nebulossa ZORRA

I remember this one as being pretty good. Apparently, a portion of the crowd are wearing fox ears because of this song. Apparently, to be a singer, you have to be under 40? I’m not sure how true that is, unless she’s had a hard paper round. I’d like to see it do well. Never really commented on it in the semis as they’re already through.

Estonia 5MIINUST x Puuluup (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

I liked this one in the semis. It’s proper weird, and it has the longest title of any song in the history of Eurovision. Seems to be out of sync though this time.

Ireland Bambie Thug Doomsday Blue

this one is absolutely one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen at Eurovision? Are they going to tone it down for the final? No. At least it’s different I suppose.

Latvia Dons Hollow

From Ireland to this. Very slow, and I didn’t really “get” it. It’ll probably do well.

Greece Marina Satti ZARI

Oh yes, this is the one that sends the iplayer compression into spasms. A totally forgettable song, and I don’t thunk it’ll get anywhere.

United Kingdom Olly Alexander Dizzy

Ohhhhh no. Ours is complete gargae this year. If we get off the right side of the table tonight I’d be very surprised. Really not a fan. It’s only the 2nd time I’ve heard of it, and I hope it’s the last.

Norway Gåte Ulveham

Oh yes, it’s that hurdy-gurdy thing again. I think I quite liked this one in the semis. I still go. No idea what they’re rabbiting on about. I haven’t learned Norweigan in the space of 2-4 days. Decent tune to it though

Italy Angelina Mango La noia

Apparently sounds like a weird folk song. Oh yes, I remember it now. I think I like it more than I did last time.

Serbia TEYA DORA RAMONDA

Oh, it’s the one with the huge plastic rock. It’;s a slow one, and I don’t think it was up to much. Surprised it got through the first time. I can’t see it doing anything tonight.

Finland Windows95man No Rules!

The staging is absolutely hilarious That’s one of my favourites, definitely. I’d like to see it mdo well.

Portugal iolanda Grito

Wasn’t a fan of this the first time I heard it. I don’t think it’s got any petter the 2nd time.

Armenia LADANIVA Jako

This one’s catchy as hell. I remember, I thought I was going to forget about it, but it was still going through my head several minutes later. I still wouldn’t rush out and buy the CD though.

Cyprus Silia Kapsis Liar

Oh, this was the very first song in the competition, and I thought it sounded generic. I wonder if my thoughts of it have improved now that I’ve heard almost every song swice? Yes, it has. I like it now, and although it’s the first songs, it’s one of the only ones I properly remember.

Switzerland Nemo The Code

Oh yes. It’s the one with the weird spinning disc thing. I liked this one, despite it sounding like something out of The Fifth Element.

Slovenia Raiven Veronika

I think I liked this one? Ah, no. I liked her outfit.

Croatia Baby Lasagna Rim Tim Tagi Dim

Definitely one of the favourites… my me, and by the sounds of it, the crowd too. I’d like to see it do well.

Georgia Nutsa Buzaladze Firefighter

I liked this one at the time, but it sounds a little generic next to Baby Lasagna.

France Slimane Mon amour

Can’t say I was really a fan, but the singer has a fair set of lungs on him. It might do well.

Austria Kaleen We Will Rave

Yep, I remember liking this one, and I still do. Sounds like something that should have been popular in the 1990s though.

Aaaaaaaand, that’s your lot. 25 songs, because there was a disqualified team. Not sure why. Probably something political. Oh, it was the one that looked like Jimmy Savile. Never mind, eh? Well, there’s been a half time show. Abba didn’t appear, except in the firm of avatars. Hugely disappointing. Now, onto the votes…

Eurosong Fever 2024: The Semi-Finals 2

Ah, here we go again. I’ll be doing this one in realtime, so if you’re actually reading this, refresh and I’ll update as it goes along. Here’s what’s going to be on tonight, not counting the other ones that are already through.

Malta Sarah Bonnici – Loop

As always, off to a generic start. Very similar to Cyprus’ entry from the other night. And I think that went through, I’ll certainly not remember this one at all.

Albania BESA – TITAN

Apparently, she thinks the reworked version of this song is much better. Another slow one. Looks like she’s smuggled the Mitchell Brothers onto the set, mind. I hope this really kicks off with some kind of proper dance beat.

THERE IT GOES. It did. Shame it’s just the last 30 seconds though.

Greece Marina Satti – ZARI

Oh my. Sounds like she’s been using too much helium. Nope, don’t like this one, which means it’ll probably go through with flying colours… Speaking of flying colours, there’s too many of them, and it’s sensing the iplayer encoding on the wonk again. Not for me, that one.

Switzerland Nemo – The Code

Apparently, this is one of the favourites to win. High pitched screaming. A rap. Drm + Bass. Thgis ticks all of the aurovision boxes. Doubt we’ll see the busty milkmains on this one though. Best music of the night so far. Definitely through.

Czechia Aiko – Pedestal

Ergh. I don’t like this one as much as I thought I would when it started. The vocals don’t suit the music, it’sd as if she’s half an octave down. Don’t think it’ll get through.

And now a sing that’s already qualified… France. Is it going to be any good?

Three seconds in, and it’s absolutely not by type of song. Slow, ballady , and it looks like he’s wearing an onion bag.

Austria Kaleen – We Will Rave

Ooh, this one’s going to be a dance song. About time. Should have guessed that by the title, but yes, I like this one a lot, which means it has absolutely no chance of going through Definitely the best one of the night so far. POne of only a couple that I’d actually go out in the full contest and buy. And just when you think it’s going to end, it slaps one more chorus and “that” drum sample. Douse points.

Denmark SABA – SAND

Yeah, this one’s not bad. Heavy on the percussion, which meakes a good song. At least it does to be, anyway. Two good ones in a row. I like that.

Armenia LADANIVA – Jako

Catchy, with trumpets. N oidea what they’re singling about, but plenty of la la la bits. Probably not good enough for me to claim three goodsongs in a row. It’ll go out. Though it’s been about 5 minutes and it’s still going through my head.

Latvia Dons – Hollow

And here we are, back to the slow, ballady ones. That’ll probably go through, though I’m not really a fan.

Now there’s a Spain – an Electronic duo, so I’ll probably like this. It… wasn’t bad. Don’t think it was as good as they made it out to be.

San Marino MEGARA – 11:11

Apparently, the Sapnish track translates into ‘vixen’. Which is ironic, as I’m now sat here thinking “What the fox that?” Not quite as weird as the Irish entry the other night, but it’s up there. I do quite like it and actually hope it does well. It SHOULD get through.

Georgia Nutsa Buzaladze – Firefighter

this one’s not bad either. Got those traditional violin sounds to it. No idea what it’s called, but, yeah, I’d like to see it go through, therefore it probably won’t.

Belgium Mustii – Before the Party’s Over

Well, theat ends the long run of decent songs. this one isn’t. It’s already forgettable and I’m still listening to it. It’s picked up towards the end, but I don’t think that’s going to be enough to save it.

Estonia 5MIINUST – x Puuluup (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

Er, is that what this one’s called? I copied the name from the Eurovision website, so it’d better be right. Oh apparently it IS the right name, and it’s the longest song title in the history of Eurovision. So, that’s interesting.

A rap group and a zombie folk group, you say? Well, I have no idea what they’re singing, but I’ve just cranked the sound up. If this doesn’t qualify, there’s something wrong. It’s up there with the top two songs of the night.

Italy next, and these have already qualified. Angeline Mango, apparently. La Noia, which translates to Boredom. Sounds like some weird folk song. Not that good. Decent set of lungs on her, but I wouldn’t queue outside Solid Sounds to buy it.

Israel Eden Golan – Hurricane

Another show, ballady ones Apparently, there was booing during the rehearsals. Not for the song, I guess, as it’s quite good. It’s got that suble hint of piano which I like so much in a song. I don’t think it’ll even get close due to the current politial situation, which is a shame as I quite liked it as a song.

Norway Gåte – Ulveham

A song that features a traditional Norweigan herding call. Oh, there’s one of the weird stringed instruments like a violin, but with keys. I forget what it’s called. And then it all kicks off. I like this one. Genuinely something I’d add randomly to spotify, forget why I added it, yet still listen to it in its entirety every single time. It’s reat. I’ve already resigned it to the EuroDustbin by claiming I like it, but it deserves to go through.

Netherlands Joost Klein – Europapa

And here we go, this is it. the final one. He sounds like Scooter, looks like a camp Jimmy Savile. Stupid suit, catchy song, ridiculous dance moves. Naming random foods. Tribute to late father This one needs to go through. If it doesn’t, the roots of Eurovision have been lost to history. Definitely in my top three.

Well, all of that fitted in 1000 words, chiming in at 998 words. That’s quite amusing. You can tell I’m looking for something to do while this TERRIBLE interlude goes on. Pointing the microphone at the audience, and getting them to join in with several of the winners. How are they going to top this during the actual finals?

So overall, I’d like to see Austria and Norway to go through. Netherlan

Here’s the ones I’ll predict will go through…

Norway – THROUGH
Austria – THROUGH
Estonia – THROUGH
Latvia – THROUGH
Switzerland – THROUGH
Armenia – THROUGH
Netherlands – THROUGH
Georgia – THROUGH
Denmark
San Marino

Let’s see how many I get right, eh? Ones I got wrong are…

Israel – Glad that got through even though I didn’t think it would. I like that song.
Greece

Well, that’s not bad. 8/10. San Marino didn’t get through when I really thought it would. I was going to say it may have been just too weird, but then again, Ireland got through on Tuesday night, so there’s no accounting for taste.

Right, anyway, that concludes this post. I guess there’ll be an update on here on Saturday night.

Eurosong Fever 2024: The Semi-Finals 1

Oh, apparently Eurovision started tonight. Tha was news to me. I just happened to load up Iplayer and there it was. Therefore, it’s of course, time for me to do my review of each song. Do I like them? Well, if last years’ was anything to go by… yes. I remember actually liking quite a few of them… so much so that I actually went and bought the CD… which ,at the time of typing, is still on the shelf in its cellophane. Can’t have like ed them that much. Oh well. Without further ado, here’s what I think of them, from the list hurriedly copied and pasted off the Aeurovision website, because I didn’t realise this was tonight until 10 minutes ago…

Cyprus Silia Kapsis Liar

So, we’re already starting off generic. I could have sworn she sang “Fuck you.” That’d be an interesting start. Something about someone being a liar. It got better, and it was actually quite catchy

Serbia TEYA DORA RAMONDA

No idea why this title is in capitals. I just left it like that. Oh, we’re already on to the slow ones. some wifey sat on a plastic rock and, of course, ligh shining through the dry ice on the floor. I have absolutely no idea what language it’s in. It’s completely forgettable, and I don’t think it’ll get anywhere.

Lithuania Silvester Belt Luktelk

Apparently, this one’s quite catchy, and he has some type of weird face piercing. Oooh, It’s catchy, though I really think it should have had more to it… though it’s probably the best one so far.

Ireland Bambie Thug Doomsday Blue

I…. er…. wow… this is a bit weird. Actually, no, it’s very weird. This is quite possibly one of the weirdest things I’ve ever watched.

Oh, now here’s ours. the first time I’ve heard this. Absolutely nil points. I don’t know what’s happening with that set. Are they upside down or not? I don’t get it. Someone in the commentary box just climaxed. I don’t even know who’s doing it this year.

Ukraine alyona alyona & Jerry Heil Teresa & Maria

A powerful and solumn ballad, apparently. Already a no from me and I’ve only heard 5 seconds. Actually, I spoke too soon, it’s not all that bad. I have no idea on the lyrics. I heard something about “politica” in there, so I’m probably best off not having a translation if I’m honest. Guessing it’s either about the war, or female empowerment. Or both.

Poland LUNA The Tower

Ah, here it is. the first stupid dress of the contest, unless you count Ireland’s. that was more just scary, though. The song isn’t that bad. Same thing over and over again, something about her building a tower. Probably won’t get through

Croatia Baby Lasagna Rim Tim Tagi Dim

Hahaha. Now, I caught about 5 seconds of this when I accidentally went to live view. Apparently, this one is the favourite to win Loud, aggressive and memorable, apparently. And yes, this is what I like about Eurovision. Absolutely, without doubt, my favourite so far, and if this doesn’t qualify, I’ll eat my cat. I love everything about this. Mind you, I said that about some of the songs last year that failed to qualify

celand Hera Björk Scared of Heights

Nope, this one doesn’t have anything going for it. Very generic pop feel to it, nothing is sticking out as being memorable about it. I don’t think it’ll get through.

Now there’s another qualifier… Isaac – Always on the Run. There’s an oil barrel on fire. I wonder if it sets off the sprinklers. That’ll be hilarious. Oh, I think I’ve heard this one somewhere before. Apparently has the sound of a real elephant in the chorus. Oh, now that whole set’s on fire. It’s obviously qualified, but is it going to win the whole thing? Is it feck.

Slovenia Raiven Veronika

Despite all of the VT clips and bits in between songs, I’m still 15 minutes behind. I could quite easily make three minutes back by fast-forwarding this. Absolutely no chance of qualifying. That suit’s not leaving much to the imagination. Lots of screaming and that weird tongue-roll thing.

Finland Windows95man No Rules!

I’ve been told about this one. That’s actually one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in the history of watching these. Nekkid bloke, with amusing props about the stage to hide his modesty. I didn’t even listen to the song as I was laughing that hard.

Moldova Natalia Barbu In The Middle

Aaaaaand we’re back in the room. If there was a song that defined the exact middle of Eurovision, this would be it. I don’t hate it. I don’t like it. Bit of violin, bit of operatic-type screeching.

Now it’s Sweden’s turn, they’ve already qualified so I don’t really need to say much about it, but the vocalist sounds like the bloke out of Savage Garden. The lighting is playing absulte havoc with the encoding. Not many to go now.

Azerbaijan FAHREE feat. Ilkin Dovlatov Özünl? Apar

Well, it’s been a poor turn out so far, hasn’t it? With only four more to go, there’s only a couple I’ll listen to again. Guess what? This isn’t one of them.

Australia Electric Fields One Milkali (One Blood)

So, if anything, I’ve learned that “Milkali” is aboriginal for blood. 90s synth piano. Synth bass. The guy playing the keyboard hasn’t pressed a single key yet. Someone should tell him how to at least play pretendy. And now there’s a bloke with a digeridoo just walked on. I like this one. Hope it goes through. Been a poor crop so far.

Portugal iolanda Grito

Well, it’s started off slow, and I don’t think it’s going to get much better than this. the crowd like it, however, so it’ll probably get through.

gLuxembourg TALI Fighter

Well, I do quite like this one. I’m not sure if the audio is dropping out or if it’s actually in the song, though. Oh, CGI leapords too, that look like they’re from the 90s. Looks like Luxembourg never upgraded past the Geforce 2.

Right, that’s the lot for part one. I can get to fast forward through all the dreck in the middle while the voting takes place.

So, the winners are…

SERBIA
PORTUGAL – Yes, it did get through.
SLOVENIA – Guess someone liked that weird tongue roll
UKRAINE – Yeah, I liked that one.
LITHUANIA
FINLAND – Yay, Windows95Man is through.
CYPRUS – Wasn’t bad.
CROATIA – Glad they got through.
IRELAND – Huh. Guess the goths were out in force.
LUXEMBOURG – Guess someone liked those Geforce 2 leopards.

Yeah, so I’m surprised Australia never got through. I’ll probably not post anything on Thursday as it clashes with the darts, but I’ll probably record it and watch it later.