Nick’s Eurovision Countdown 2021 – Portugal

PORTUGAL – The Black Mamba – Love Is On My Side

Years ago (when I was younger) (obviously), I won a small amount of money betting on this mad festival of ours. I can’t even remember now who everybody thought was supposed to win Eurolaul 2001, but I do remember everybody being very definite that it wasn’t Tanel and Dave. Not even close. I include myself in that. But I thought “I don’t know why that won. It makes no sense. But the voters must have seen something in it that we fans haven’t. On that basis I will put a small bet on it winning the International Final! Because if it doesn’t, it even being there makes no sense!”

That bet itself made absolutely no sense and won me £33 juicy UK pounds. And mentioning it here and now – THAT MAKES NO SENSE!

Except… Portugal just doesn’t do the “picking songs in English” thing, unless you count an extensive list of former Portuguese colonies as being in English. Or unless you count “Happy pretty way, happy shiny day, happy place to stay, we can hold it together” as being even remotely in English. Which I don’t. Because it makes no sense.

Not only do they not pick songs in English, they had not nought, not one, not three, but TWO options with SAUDADE in the title. And they STILL ignored them. Does that make sense? It does not. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

But this is a very, very decent stab at a piece of quiet slow rock, which is a notoriously tough genre to pull off under a three minute time limit. Just the one, very simple hook – but it’s a strong one, and they don’t overplay it. Visually everything plays well to stand out from the crowd, they look right, the gimmick of transitioning from deteriorated black and white to stunning HD is not a new one but it works. Pedro Tatanka on vocals plays it all very calm, cool and confident, and as a package, in spite of quite clearly not making sense… it makes sense.

I reckon this has good chances to stick around for the grand final, and I very much hope it does.

Nick’s Score: 7/10

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