Saturday, 11 May 2013

Monty: Hüllü Yü'all

Good morning OnEuropeans. It's a slightly blurrier start to the second round of the second semi finals rehearsals for me. We discovered the Euro Fan Cafe yesterday, and I'm living to regret that first up for beer accolade that I was so proud of yesterday.

After leaving the press centre we went direkt til Euro Fan Cafe, in the glorious Moriskan Paviljongen building, instantly recognisable by its cupolas and domes in the Islamic style. Inside proceedings were less religious in nature, except for the worshipping of all things Eurovision of course. Having this venue really adds an extra dimension for the fans as entry is truly a party for everybody as no official accreditation is required meaning it really is a Eurovision of the people. There's a cracking programme of events lined up there over the fortnight, including the biggest ever Eurovision Quiz on Monday with a prize of a seat in the Green Room during the final! The guys organising this really have done a great job.

Last night we were treated to the chat-show format, hosted by the lovely Rick Jacobs, an American in Malmö and bear-about-town. He conversed effortlessly with the representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia, all of whom also sang their song and other numbers. Natalia from Austria knew her crowd with a version of Love Shine A Light and she was as charming as she was in London a few weeks ago. The Bulgarians gave a very energetic show including Voda, one of my all-time faves, that they took to 5th place in 2007. The Croatians have incredible vocals, and having missed them rehearse I was suitably impressed by their acapella delivery. Hannah from Slovenia, also via America, only sang her entry but it was very enthusiastically received.

We stayed on and took advantage of the discounted beer (38kr with a wristband that lasts the whole season) and flung ourselves about the dance floor with some abandon to the likes of Hüllü Yö and other classics you'd forgotten. The venue was also home to a more urban crowd with hip-hop playing in the room next door, but Eurovision in our hall and the side bar. We must have bemused some of the locals who didn't seem to expecting Eurovision but who embraced the spirit unquestioningly. I popped into the side bar at one point to have a little glance around and was met by a group of African men throwing some shapes to Nuku Pommiin, Finland's lesser-known attempt from 1982. It was one of the more surreal moments I've yet had at a Eurovision Song Contest, but not without its endearing charm.

It's the Belarus party this evening, and also some Nordic do that is so exclusive you have to be related to Carola to even get your name on the list. I'll see if I can dig up a family connection. And then disown her.

Right, we're off to the press centre!

Monty x

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