Nope, I’m not dead! Just been enjoying the night sights and sound of Lisbon more than the second rehearsal ones!!
Yesterday took an afternoon stroll around our neighbourhood and it really is special. Steep winding streets, cute little restaurants and mini markets. We seem to be in the Nepalese quarter where every restaurant seems to be serving Nepalese or Indian cuisine and need checking out.
The city is now absolutely buzzing as more fans arrive and the weather is now as we were expecting, 26C as I sit here in a cafe with a cooling imperial (small beer). It’s certainly going to be a sparkling blue carpet event later and some moist artists I would guess.
Yesterday a photo opportunity with the Finnish and Irish delegations at the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara caused a few bemused looks from the locals but was lovely to see Saara and Ryan looking relaxed and friendly on one of their off days mingling and taking photos. What a feeling it must be for them to be living their Eurovision dreams in such a wonderful city. I’m hoping for both of them good news on Tuesday.
Then it was a stroll around the Eurovision Village which is a gorgeous spot, really spacious and well organised with beer stalls, long benches and bean bags to sprawl on. There’s all the usual stalls you’d expected from the city, street food and of course the merchandise. It’s cash only for the food and drink but cards ok for the Eurovision merchandise. The stage is massive and the host of the concerts very jolly trying to get the local and foreign crowd going.
Laura Rizzotto was in fine voice and charmed the locals speaking and singing in Portuguese and I really enjoyed her three song set. Such a shame I find her Eurovision song so beige and dull. Zibbz next and they too are very good live performers with Coco belting their song out and they finished with their trademark beat boxing trick to fine effect. Sennek from Belgium next and she had her backing singers with her who are really bouncy and fun, she’s missed a trick not using them onstage at the contest.
We had to leave for dinner dates but managed to hear Claudia Pascoal singing her song which really does seem to be the same line over and over again for two minutes and 38 seconds.
I then dined with my friend who has lived here and run Bar106 for 27 years. Always a lovely and booze evening which was finished off by attending the 42nd birthday party of drag club Finalmente with the best party name of the year “dragovisão”! Priceless. The show normally starts after 3am but for the birthday the doors were opened early and there was a complementary bar on the street.
The troupe treated us to an exclusively Eurovision set including Sandi Shaw, ABBA, Johnny Logan, Verka, Loreen and Conchita. All of them were done deliciously tongue in cheek and with added comedy from drag queen Jennie LaRue miming to old Portuguese commentary of Eurovision with a clipboard. It was wonderful. I wanted to continue to Trumps but the gallons of wine obscured me to the point that my bed was calling.
Check out Bar106 tonight for their weekly Message Party and Eurovision music.