As is traditional with these Eurovision preview shows, for this Thrilling Season Finale I’ve saved the
best last in alphabetical order until last, and it’s our old friends the United Kingdom of Stuff.
I’m not sure where to start. So let’s go with the one-word song title. Embers. It’s important to the song, without a doubt. It’s not important enough to be a one-word title. It’s no Molitva, it’s no Heroes, it’s not really even a Storm of any flavour. I’d prefer Out Of The Embers, but I’ll go with it. It could have been Light Up The Room, which is a clear backward step from the exhortation to Light Up The World in a recent Eurovision – You Decide, and as the next stop on that road is either Light Up A Candle or Light Up A Ciggie, I don’t especially want to walk that way. I mean, if I could walk that way, I wouldn’t need an exclusive eBook.
So Embers it is.
What, then, are the various Olafssens going to make of it? It was the pop song. The one with the chunky lad and, I suspect, a BBC Staging Prop That You Wander Around In Front Of And Sing Your Song Because It’s Strong Enough That That’s All It Needs.
That’s not all it needs.
Deller Senior (There are more of us. Sorry.) has told me multiple times recently that they played it on the radio, and he was bopping along like a good ‘un, and ten minutes later there it was, gone. That could be a problem, because when Embers was born, its wicked stepmother stood over the crib and said “This will be a great show opener!”, before cackling wildly and then saying ten minutes later “I’m sure I was planning to curse something with being a great show opener. Haven’t a clue what it was though.”
Memo to James: Do NOT, under any circumstances, pull out a ball that says FIRST HALF on it.
I’m not sure how you go about staging this song. Emphasise the brass hook with some Actual Musicians probably helps. The stage will have to work hard. James, if he’s a sensible chap, will have to wander round and sing. If there’s a catwalk, he needs to walk it.
I don’t quite get the same feeling of doom that I so often do from a UK entry, but I’ve been well-trained to ferret out every tiny little thing that might make them collapse, and I’m probably imagining weaknesses that won’t turn out to be a problem on the night. I don’t hold out especially high hopes though, and anything like top 10 would come as a (very pleasant) surprise.
One of the great pleasures of having scheduled posts and an editor who tinkers with them unannounced is that this might well end up getting published unfinished with this sentence still in it.
Is there anything else I’ve forgotten? Probably. We have the best part of a fortnight to sort it out though!
Nick’s Score – 6/10