Copenhagen

Semi Two rehearsals as seen by Keith Mills

After a rather long adventure in getting to the arena this morning, I only just made it for the second run-through of Malta. I am really worried as to how people make it out here and back to the city on the show nights.

MALTA has some lovely backdrops giving an outdoor feel. Firelight are lined up and there are some nice panning shots from the front. It’s vocally perfect, and while I don’t think the photos in the backdrop add anything they aren’t as distracting as I thought they might be. This is very competent and a better show opener than Armenia in the first semi and should qualify pretty easily.

ISRAEL is much stronger than I thought it might be. Mei is a woman of amble thighs and we’re certainly seeing a lot of them in this performance but the semi-oriental staging is fantastic and the choreography is slick but at times not caught properly on camera with too many shot changes. Vocally it’s very strong but something here reminds me of Cyprus 2008 and Bulgaria 2011, neither of which qualified. However with only five songs to beat, this should make the cut. As good as I could have hoped for.

NORWAY is just a perfect contrast to Israel. It’s dark, moody angst-ridden and intense. Carl is good vocally, engages with the camera in a much better way than before and the violinists on the stage pedestal provide some variety of shots. Call me old-fashioned but I’d prefer not to see the tattoo on his arm. I’d prefer more use of the storm cloud motif in the background, but these are all minor quibbles. This should qualify easily.

GEORGIA is not only different from anything today but probably different from anything we’ve ever had in the contest. It reminds me of the folk/prog fusion and bands like Steeleye Span and Jethro Tull from the early 1970s. I’m not a fan of the paracute gimmick but otherwise I really like the staging. The female singer in lurid green is really pushing this up my ranking but I have the feeling that it might just be too different to appeal on just one listening and could lose out on qualifying.

POLAND has gone 100% ethno-pop in the staging and costumes. Cleo looks and sounds great and while I don’t see the point of having two girls doing nothing bar pretending to wash clothes. It’s got a pumping beat and the basic dance moves work very well and while the staging is just too busy in the arena it works on television. I think this benefits hugely from coming after Georgia and it could well qualify.

AUSTRIA is the bloke with a beard wearing a frock that everyone has heard about. The song reminds me of a rejected Bond them from 1974 and the backgrounds has the flame cliché that Azerbaijan didn’t go for. Vocally it’s a little shaky on the chorus and after a 25 second lead in before you see the singer, once you get over the shock value, it becomes rather dull very quickly.

LITHUANIA is another contrast with very minimalist staging and lighting and clever (possibly over-thought) choreography. Vilija is very strong vocally and really looks strong on camera. I could do without the leg wobbles and hands coming through the skirt and the 40 shades of blue staging lacks variety but otherwise I see little wrong with this. This is different and strong enough to sail into the final.

Oikotimes Birthday Party and Opening night of Euroclub

Oikotimes birthday party and opening night of Euroclub

From Oikotimes and opening euroclub party

Well we finally had nothing to do in the press centre last night at around 9pm, so what’s a Eurovision fan in Copenhagen gonna do except go to the first party of the season

Dimi, Daniel and I rushed home to the apartment, changed, grabbed a quick vodka and then headed off in a taxi to deepest darkest central Copenhagen to Club Vega for the party

So the club?? Well it’s not as big as in previous years, but has a huge stage and seems to have various rooms upstairs and another room to the side. We didn’t venture in there too much as there were only about 350 people there….I know it's early days yet!!

Drinks are a little on the pricey side, but hey we are in Scandinavia so expect that, expect to pay around 50DKK for beer and 65-85DKK for shots and cocktails….Daniel and I started on the “Back Stage Pass” cocktail…..yum, Rum and green stuff…

Well the Party. First a huge thanks to Fotis from Oikotimes who invited personally the whole of the ESCKAZ team. Sadly Andy could not make it, he had too much work to do, but the rest of the team were all there. And another thanks for the glass (well nearly a whole bottle in the end) of champagne….much appreciated!!!!

Performances from the following delegations took place, Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Russia, Azerbaijan and Alex Panayi (Cyprus 1995) Drama Queen (Denmark 2007) and DJ Ohrmeister. The video clips are on our usual youtube channel. A selection are here;

https://youtube.com/user/EurovisionKZ/videos

We also managed to chat to several other delegations too, Montenegro, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, San Marino, and a great chat with one of the Swedish songwriters Sandra Bjurman who co-wrote Running Scared, the winning song from 2011 for Azerbaijan. Maybe this for me was one of the most interesting chats to have all night, talking about the great relationship between Swedish music and the rest of the world of pop!!!

From Oikotimes and opening euroclub party

So that was it, first party of the season. Was just a perfect opener to the coming week or two and yes we were in bed by 1 am…..I know there is something wrong with us!!!

Hey Copenhagen!

Hey guys,

24 hours, which most of them have been spend sleeping, have passed since I arrived in the 2014 Eurovision host city Copenhagen, making me officially a member of the ESCKAZ.com team. Let's have a big big cheer! Everyone I've met everyone from the team seem to be lots of fun, enthusiastic and passionate about Eurovision. Which means we should be off to a fantastic fortnight.

The night before departure

Well well,

here we are. If you'd asked me four months ago, whether I would be going to the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen...I would have given you the type of look sharpey dogs do so naturally.... Yeah those droopy oh so sad look on . Sad sad droopey Dimi... But the opportunity arose, to become part of the ESCKAZ team this year and, as anyone would I grabbed it with both my hands.

So here we are, three months later... all geared up with a massive suitcase, only bought the other day, full of clothes, bought over the last few weeks, face cremes, hair gels (don't ask!!), flags (don't ask either), and God knows (not really) what else for a fortnight of Eurovision extravaganza.

My excitement is growing by the minute, and at this rate, I'll probably be jumping up and down by the time I arrive in the airport early tomorrow morning (5.00 am ish). I'm not entirely sure kangaroo Dimi's are allowed on board unless they're caged in, but I'm willing to see what happens.

It's my first real life Eurovision, which means I'm so grateful to be able to share it with you all. I'm really hoping you'll Join Us, The ESCKAZ team and myself, in our Eurovision journey this year. (See what I did there? ;-) ).

See you in Copenhagen!