Saturday, 9 March 2013

Greeting from Stockholm

Greetings from a sunny but chilly Stockholm! I'm finally here for Melodifestivalen weekend, despite the best efforts of British Airways and the London fog to scupper me. Having trekked all the way to City Airport for an ungodly hour I found myself hot-Tubing it all the way to Heathrow for a flight 5 and a half hours later. Thankfully they realised who I am and put me in a posh seat with some bubbly booze, but it was touch and go as to whether I'd make the arena or not for last night's rehearsal. But I did and was rewarded with a from row seat, literally so close to the stage I could have reached out and touched Sean's Banan.

It is admittedly a mixed bag this year in MF but the eventual final line up isn't too bad, if a little repetitive with several pretty boys singing almost identical songs. This could split the vote and let a less likely choice through, like the Dead Kipper woman, or even Mr Banan himself. The Munther boy opens with a pretty ropey rendition of his Tell The World I'm Queer (I'm typing as I hear it, you understand) which is a bit lacklustre and pales a little after the second swing, and it's not often you can say that at a Eurovision event. David Lindgren is full of energy and this has come up a lot for me.

State of Drama need to bother really, and before you know it Anton is throwing his shapes on the stage, and flinging his jacket into the crowd. It landed right at my feet but before I could grab a whiff of Anton off it to being home for Jody an efficient stagehand had whipped it away to clear the stage for Louise and her stunned mullets. This is OK, and whilst many people find the lyric of the Dead Fish Following The Sea off-putting for me this is what lends it some character. It's quite a snooze fest but with a divided note and sympathy vote for her illness who knows?

Ralf next and being in the front row caused its issues as our eyebrows were almost singed off with his perpetual pyrotechnics. Blimey it was warm! I like this and it had a chance I think, and I'll admit it, I find him strangely attractive. Happy for this to head south to Malmö.  Tommy Körberg and his comedy wedding band plod their way through En Rimtig Jävla Shitsong and it seemed in the crowd that the joke had already worn thin on the Swedes, or maybe they were just waiting for Sean Banan, who then brought the house down with a highly busy but thoroughly entertaining Copacabanana. This is dangerous, or delightful, depending on your bent.

Next up is Robin with You, the best song of the night for me, but will they pick a qualifier from the Andra Chancen? They could be well advised to really. And closing is the uniquely capitalised YOHIO, who I find intriguing but would be better left to come back with a more engaging song and truly cause a stir at a future Eurovision. The interval duties are split between Loreen and Carola, the former getting other people to sing most of her song for her, the latter looking a little too old for hot-pants and chiffon, and getting a little close to the pyros for comfort. I hope it's flame-proof.

So who's going to won? I've no idea, it really feels the most open final in years, but also the one I care least about, in the sense I don't have a burning favourite. It could be any of a good six to eight songs, with only the old boys and State of Drama truly out of the running. The international jury vote could count for a lot.

Afterwards I shimmied at Paradise, the customary Friday hangout for those in town from across Europe of a certain persuasion. All very jolly, though after the afternoon champagne I ended up drunk for the second time. I'm relaxed now and m heading to a very dear friend's place to watch it this evening and have a good old catch up. Enjoy the show, folks, and blog to you soon.

Monty x

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