Oven-ready Mermaid – Eurovision 2013

The annnual Eurovision Song Contest took place on Saturday 18th May 2013 from Malmo Sweden. It was intoduced by comedienne Petra Mede and started with a flag ceremony to prolong the agony..erm I  mean give it a bit of grandeur, meanwhile masochists (and those with a red button) could also sing along. This year went from the  almost good to the ridiculous – The French entrant looked like Courtney Love. Meanwhile Lithuanian entrant Andrius Pojavis looked like he forgot to shave – Scruffy devil. Moldovan entrant Aliona Moon looks like she is being burnt at the stake, and sounded like it too. Finland’s entry  was a catchy number which caused controversy because two girls kiss at the end. Spain’s song was called With you until the end, (which is more than you can say about me watching Eurovision.) Roberto Bellarosa was the youngst competitor this year and his song is quite catchy. Birgit from Estonia meanwhile sung a ballad and Belarussian Alyona Lanskaya’s song Soleyo reminds me of kiss kiss by Holly Valance. The song Tomorrow by Gianluca from Malta sounds quite folky, while Russia’s song had quite an upeat message, Germany’s entry was a bit of upbeat Eurohouse courtesy of Cascada while Armenia’s song Lonely Planet was a power ballad.

Anouk from the Netherlands was next singing A really boring song entitled Birds, while Romanian Cezar was hilarious for all the wrong reasons and sounded like he was in pain, Bonnie Tyler was up next singing her power ballad Believe in Me (which probably won’t win). Then Sweden were next singing an upbeat numbercalled You, while Hungary’s entrant performed an upbeat folky number, Denmark’s entrant by Emilie de Forest was next with a very catchy song called Only Teardrops. Iceland’s song was a ballad whose title translates as I have life, Azerbaijan’s entrant was an emotional power ballad which started off with a chap in a clear perspex box while Greece’s song was an enthusiastic traditional souunding Greek song called Alcahol is Free. Ukraine was another slice of Euro House while Italy’s song was another ballad although singer Marco Mengoni looked very smart, Norway were up next with a dramatic sounding song called I feed you my love, which reminded me of t.A.T.u while Georgia’s song Waterfall was another power ballad which started quietly before getting more dramatic. Last but not least was Ireland’s entrant which was another .upbeat pop song with flourishes of Irish Folk Music occasionally.

  • France: Amandine Bourgeois – L’enfer Et Moi
  • Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis – Something
  • Moldova: Aliona Moon – O Mie
  • Finland: Krista Siegfrids – Marry Me6
  • Spain ESDM – Contigo Hasta El Final (With You Until The End)
  • Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills
  • Estonia: Birgit – Et Uus Saaks Alguse
  • Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh
  • Malta: Gianluca – Tomorrow
  • Russia: Dina Garipova – What If
  • Germany: Cascada – Glorious
  • Armenia: Dorians – Lonely Planet
  • The Netherlands: Anouk – Birds
  • Romania: Cezar – It’s My Life
  • United Kingdom: Bonnie Tyler – Believe In Me
  • Sweden: Robin Stjernberg – You
  • Hungary: ByeAlex – Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)
  • Denmark: Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops
  • Iceland: Eythor Ingi – Ég Á Líf
  • Azerbaijan: Farid Mammadov – Hold Me
  • Greece: Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis – Alcohol Is Free
  • Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich – Gravity
  • Italy: Marco Mengoni – L’Essenziale
  • Norway: Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love
  • Georgia: Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani – Waterfall
  • Ireland: Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives

Danish singer Emmelie de Forest won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with her song Only Teardrops.The blonde, who sang in English, was crowned this year’s winner following the lengthy spectacle in Malmo, Sweden. She was accompanied by drummers for her winning song, she finished 7 points ahead of second place, Azerbaijan’s Farid Mammadov.In third place was Ukraine’s Zlata Ognevich with Gravity while Greece;s Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis’s Alcohol Is Free ended up in sixth place. The UK’s entry Bonnie Tyler ended up in a disappointing 19th place and Ryan Dolan finished in last place. As always, politics and neighborliness proved to be a dominating factor for many of the votes.

Welsh singer Bonnie, who scored huge hits in the 1980s with Total Eclipse Of The Heart and Holding Out For A Hero, was the 15th act to perform on the night, which saw 26 acts take to the stage.Although she didn’t received many points, she did received a rapturous reception from the audience and ended up in 19th place, compared to last year’s 25th place. Bonnie’s placing comes after veteran singer Engelbert Humperdinck finished second last for the UK at last year’s ceremony. .One of the entries making waves on social networking site was Finland’s Krista Siegfrids who’ protested against a ban on gay marriage with her track Marry Me and in a bid to make a statement about her country’s ban on gay marriage, Krista shared a kiss with a blonde female at the climax of her song.Romania entry Cezar put on quite a flamboyant performance of his track It’s My Life.Wearing a bizarre, black outfit, he sang in an incredibly high falsetto while dancers moved around him dressed in nude underwear.Opening the show: France’s Amandine Bourgeois was first to perform, followed by Lithuania’s Andrius Pojavis while Belarus singer Alyona Lanskaya jumped out of a giant disco ball before bursting into song.

Everything’s gone green -tribute to Ian Curtis

English musician, singer and songwriterIan Kevin Curtis sadly passed away on 18th May 1980. Born 15 July 1956 he is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980. Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy anddepression, committed suicide on 18 May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division’s first North American tour, resulting in the band’s dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order. Curtis was known for his baritone voice, dance style, and songwriting filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness and alienation.In 1995, Curtis’ widow Deborah published Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division, a biography of the singer. His life and death have been dramatised in the films 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Control In 1976 at a Sex Pistols gig, Curtis met Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook. They were trying to form a band, and Curtis immediately proposed himself as vocalist and lyricist. The trio then unsuccessfully recruited a number of drummers before selecting Stephen Morris as their final member.Initially the band was called Warsaw, but as their name conflicted with that of another group,Warsaw Pakt, the name was changed to Joy Division. The moniker was derived from a 1955 novel The House of Dolls, which featured a Nazi concentration camp with a sexual slaverywing called the “Joy Division”. After starting Factory Records with Alan Erasmus, Tony Wilson signed the band to his label following the band’s appearance on Wilson’s Something Else television programme, itself prompted by an abusive letter sent to Wilson by Curtis.

Whilst performing for Joy Division, Curtis became known for his quiet and awkward demeanour, as well as a unique dancing style reminiscent of the epileptic seizures he experienced, sometimes even on stage.There were several incidents when he collapsed and had to be helped off stage. In an interview for Northern Lights cassette magazine in November 1979, Ian Curtis made his only public comment on his dancing and performance. He explained the dance as a type of sign language with which to further express a song’s emotional and lyrical content: “Instead of just singing about something you could show it as well, put it over in the way that it is, if you were totally involved in what you were doing”.Curtis’ writing was filled with imagery of emotional isolation, death, alienation, and urban decay. He sang in a baritonevoice, in contrast to his speaking voice, which fell in the tenor range. Earlier in their career, Curtis would sing in a loud snarling voice similar to shouting; it is best displayed on the band’s debut EP, An Ideal for Living (1978). producer Martin Hannett developed Joy Division’s sparse recording style, and some of their most innovative work was created in Strawberry Studios in Stockport (owned by Manchester act 10cc) and Cargo Recording Studios Rochdale in 1979), which was developed from John Peel’s investing money into the music business in Rochdale.

Although predominantly a vocalist, Curtis also played guitar on a handful of tracks (usually when Sumner was playing synthesizer; “Incubation” and a Peel Session version of “Transmission” were rare instances when both played guitar). At first Curtis played Sumner’s Shergold Masquerader, but in September 1979 he acquired his own guitar, a Vox Phantom Special VI (often described incorrectly as a Teardrop or ordinary Phantom model) which had many built-in effects used both live and in studio. After Curtis’ death, Sumner inherited the guitar and used it in several early New Order songs, such as “Everything’s Gone Green”. Curtis also played keyboard on some live versions of “She’s Lost Control”. He also played the melodica on “Decades” and “In a Lonely Place”; the latter was written and rehearsed for the cancelled American tour and later salvaged as a New Order B-sideCurtis’ last live performance was on 2 May 1980, at High Hall of Birmingham University, a show that included Joy Division’s first and only performance of “Ceremony”, later recorded by New Order and released as their first single. The last song Curtis performed on stage was “Digital”. The recording of this performance is on the Still albumCurtis was cremated at Macclesfield Crematorium and his ashes were buried. His memorial stone, inscribed with “Ian Curtis 18 – 5 – 80” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, was stolen in July 2008 from the grounds of Macclesfield Cemetery.The missing memorial stone was later replaced by a new stone

Yours is no disgrace

YFFHBill Bruford, The former Drummer, percussionist and composer with Progressive Rock Bands Yes & King Crimson  was born 17th May 1949. He was the original drummer in the band, from 1968-1972, who achieved worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile, which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.Bruford began playing the drums when he was thirteen, and was influenced by jazz drumming, which manifested itself on early Yes albums and remained an influence on his style throughout his career.

During his time with Yes Bruford played on their first five albums including the LPs The Yes Album,Fragile, and Close to the Edge. Bruford has also performed for numerous other acts as well, including a stint as touring drummer for Genesis in 1976. Following his departure from Yes and at various times until 1997, Bruford was the drummer for progressive rock band King Crimson, But moved away from progressive rock to concentrate on jazz, leading his own jazz group, Earthworks, for several years. He retired from public performance in 2009, but continues to run his two record labels and to speak about music. His autobiography, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, was published in early 2009

.…and the day after that, his former bandmate keyboard player, composer and songwriter Rick Wakeman was born (18th May 1949). He is  best known for being the former keyboardist with progressive rock band Yes. He is also known for his solo albums and for Rick’s Place, his former radio show on Planet Rock that aired until December 2010.Wakeman was born in West London. He purchased his first electronic keyboard at 12 years of age. In 1968, he studied the piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music before leaving after a year in favour of session music work. He went on to feature on songs by artists including Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John and Cat Stevens. Wakeman joined the folk group Strawbs in 1969 and played on three of their albums. He first joined Yes in 1971 to replace Tony Kaye, and left the group in 1974 to work on his solo career. He returned in 1976 before leaving with lead vocalist Jon Anderson in 1980.

Wakeman was part of the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, a group of ex-Yes members formed in 1989, and the eight-member Yes line-up that followed until his third departure in 1992.He returned for two years in 1995 and once more in 2002, where he was part of the band’s 35th anniversary tour until its end in 2004.   Wakeman began his solo career during his first run with Yes. His perhaps most known records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies. In November 2010, Wakeman was awarded the Spirit of Prog award at the annual Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, and Yes continue to perform to thisday, more than 40 years since their formation.