Keep The Faith by Tako Gachechiladze
You’ll remember Tako Gachechiladze. She was one of the infamous Stephane & 3G who were disqualified from going to Moscow in 2009 with their thinly-veiled swipe at the Russian president, We Don’t Wanna Put In. Eight years on and Tako finally gets her chance to go to Eurovision. Eight years on and the shadow of Putin looms as large as it ever did over Eurovision too, with hosts Ukraine already having evoked the sentiment of Tako in 2009 telling Russia We Don’t Wanna Put Your Singer In.
Although the rhetoric is considerably toned down from 2009’s levels, it would seem that Tako has lost none of her anti-Putin feelings. Her song discusses the need to stand up to an unmentioned aggressor, to face the tribulations of the word, and to spread a message of love. It’s open to interpretation, of course, as to what she means, but just in case you’re tempted to the wrong interpretation in the national final performance she had a projected background of war, famine, and – oh, what’s that? Ooh! It’s a newspaper headline of Russia invading Georgia. The temptation for a geo-political statement in song is just too juicy sometimes, and Eurovision offers the most perfect passive-aggressive platform you could ever invent.
But amid all this hoop-la there’s a song, and it’s not a very good one. There’s echoes of Conchita (though Tako’s more closely-shaven) and Bond themes about this soaring power ballad, but it’s all a lot of noise without a scrap of originality. The inherent drama required to deliver this kind of thing might well elevate it to a loftier position than it deserves, but for me it wouldn’t be gracing our Saturday night.
My marks – two points