First night in Kyiv – Slavko got me drunk!

Party photo

Slavko at a partySlavko got me drunk! Well, not him personally – I did see him, but I didn’t even speak to him. But his Montenegrin party got me hammered. I do like to kick off in style at Eurovision, and we hot-Ubered it over to the glamorous Opera Hotel for a Balkan booze-up.

The party was lovely! Full to the rafters, with performances from Slavko (slaying it, of course), Lindita from Albania (who also sang her 2015 Festival de Kenges song – S’të Fal, our 2015 Albanian Second Cherry), Jana from Macedonia, Omar from Slovenia, Tijana from Serbia, Jacques from Croatia, and – bizarrely – Alyosha from Ukraine 2010 who took to the stage late, as the party was closing, and with only a small crowd left.

The reason Slavko got me drunk is his catering. There were four types of drinks on offer, but the system of distribution seemed to be only one type at a time. We arrived just too late for a glass of the sparkling wine or the cognac, both of which ran out just as we got to the bar. We spied some tasty looking Macedonian red wine being lined up, but the waiters held it back, tantalising us with is, for about 45 minutes. In the meantime, we had a bar racked full of vodka shots.

Vodka in these parts is taken neat, strong, and big. I know this from my time living in the USSR, and I still haven’t learned my lesson. I think I necked about eight shots waiting for a glass of red (which was lovely once it came, but quite superfluous to my needs by then – I loved everybody).

Of course it didn’t end there: we hot-Ubered it again, this time to the EuroClub, where we caught the end of a drag queen performance before dancing to some Eurovision tunes until about 2am. The Club is still rather quiet, although my recollection is it wasn’t until the Friday that Stockholm’s opened fully and really came alive. The organisers seem to have hired some entertainment: I didn’t spy any dancing girls last night, although there was a man with dwarfism who was wandering around dressed jauntily, about 45 years too late for a circus sideshow. There’s a different culture in this part of the world, which is mostly joyful, but sometimes, like this, a little pitiful when seen through our western prism.

In slightly more frustrating news I’ve broken my iPhone. It leapt from my hands (I drunkenly accidentally threw it) and the screen is all smashed. I’ll never be able to get a good look at the local talent on Grindr now…

So, dear reader, I’m marginally less bouncy than I might have hoped today, but I am at my desk in the press centre and ready for my first full day of rehearsal viewing. We’ve got some corkers coming up, including our first look at the Big 5 and our hosts. Stick with me. And Slavko – thanks so much for the party. Same time again tonight?

Monty x