Mar, 2008

The French Eurovision participant Sébastien Tellier embarks on a long tour round Europe, and as his producers promise, he will be close to everyone’s home. Because the tour goes across the continent and tries to visit all major cities. Sexuality started on 1 March and will continue till 30 September this year, and it will for sure come near your place.

Here is a preliminary schedule of the gigs, and I hope you’ll be able to visit at least one of them. As you already know, Sébastien Tellier is produced by the major French artist Daft Punk. It’s good news big names enter the Contest. Keep it up, lads!

So, here’s the list of gigs:

tomorrow, 29 March: Nancy, France, L’Autre Canal

04 April: Evreux, France, L’Abordage
06 April: Morlaix, France, Festival Panorama
10 April: Ris Orangis, France, Festival Escalator
15 April: Milano, Italy / Italia, Magasini Generalli
18 April: Bourges, France, Printemps de Bourges
24 April: Montpellier, France, Le Rockstore
25 April: Lyon, France, La Plateforme
26 April: Strasbourg, France, La Laiterie
28 April: London, UK, Scala
30 April: Paris, France, La Cigale

02 April: Oslo, Norway / Norge, Bla
03 April: Bergen, Norway/ Norge, Bergenfest
04 April: Göteborg, Sweden / Sverige, Storan
06 April: Malmo, Sweden / Sverige, Jeriko
07 April: Stockholm, Sweden / Sverige, Berns
09 April: Berlin, Germany / Deutschland, Cookies
12 April: Tourcoing, France, Le Grand Mix
13 April: Bruxelles, Belgium / Belgique / België, Le Botanique
14 April: Amsterdam, Netherlands / Nederlanden / Holland, Melkweg
25 April: Istanbul, Turkey / Türkiye, Chill Out Festival
29 April: Massy, France, CC Paul Bailliart

04 June: Bordeaux, France, BT 59
05 June: Nantes, France, L’Olympic
06 June: Hérouville, France, Big Band Café
11 June: Saint Petersbourg, Russia, Stereoleto Festival
12 June: Moscow, Russia, Moscow Book Festival
14 June: Porto, Portugal, Casa Des Artes
28/ June: Toulouse, France, Le Bikini

02 July: Biarritz, France, Le Colisée
04 July: Sète, France, Théâtre de la Mer
05 July: Belfort, France, Les Eurockéennes
10 July: Liège, Belgium, Festival Les Ardentes
15 July: La Rochelle, France, Les Francofolies de La Rochelle
17 July: Spa, Belgium, Les Francofolies de Spa
18 July: Dour, Belgium, Dour Festival
20 July: London, UK, Lovebox Festival

08 August: Pully, Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera / Svizra, For Noise Festival
09 August: Aulnoye Aymerie, France, Les Nuits Secrètes
10 August: Cannes, France, Festival Pantiero
15 August: Brest, France, Astropolis
16 August: Helsinki, Finland, Flow Festival
30 August: Brussels, Belgium, Brussels Summer Festival

07 September: Isle of Wight, UK, Bestival
30 September: Paris, France, L’Olympia

Deep Zone & Balthazar will do their best to make the Eurovision audiences enjoy their performance on 22 May in Belgrade this year. A fresh video clip to the track “DJ, Take Me Away” is being shot at the moment, which features the lead singer Joanna, who wears only special body-art painting.

To kick off their national tour round 20 Bulgarian clubs, Deep Zone & Balthazar flew with a balloon. For the last three weeks more than 30 000 people have visited the event. The hugest show is planned to be in Sofia on 29 March in a popular club in the Bulgarian capital.

Meanwhile, Deep Zone promise many surprises for the show during the Semi-Final in Serbia – for the stage performance of “DJ, Take Me Away” the audience will enjoy a spectacular show with burning DJ plates, a world’s break dance champion, a laser harp reminding of Jean Michel Jarre’s harp, hi-tech DJ guitars, which will be seen for the first time in history.

I wonder when Deep Zone made the time, but a week ago the band released their long-awaited album called “Album of the Year” (will it become?). It contains 11 club sound compositions of Deep Zone, Balthazar & JackRock.

We’ll see if a DJ project has any chance at Eurovision.

She comes from a sunny island in the Mediterranean. She is smart and beautiful, young, and above all – talented. She is Morena, and although her song, representing Malta at Eurovision this year is called Vodka, she does not promote drinking – rather, sobriety.

Watching the video to this-year’s Maltese entry, I felt like I were in a movie. An intense action video, where Morena plays the role of a top spy, a cat-like woman, who triumphs in the end. Very impressive, and perfectly combines with the rhythm of the song. You’ll be surprised, but no one drinks vodka in the video. Morena was very kind to spare some of her precious time and answer my queries. Enjoy and don’t forget to support Morena in May!


Dear Morena,

First of all, congratulations for your victory in Malta and let me wish you great success in Belgrade in a month and a half. Thanks for your time!

I’m interested to know if you like cooking.

Now that’s an interesting question! Let’s put it this way – I sing much better than I cook! I will let you draw your conclusions!

What do you think is the universal recipe for a successful Eurovision song?

I do not think there is a real recipe because the formula changes all the time! However, I think it should be a good song combined with a good voice, in the right year, with the right amount of luck!

What is the best meal that goes with Vodka? Or perhaps, the best company?

Hmmm… I really like your questions! I think it might be interesting to have Sushi and Vodka! As for the right company… Let me think! Okay – George Clooney , Svante Stockselius , Hilary Clinton, Madonna, and David Copperfield! I am sure it would get interesting to see what they have to say to each other after a few Vodkas!

How did it occur to you to perform a song about one of the most popular beverages in the world? Is this a wink to Russians, or to people who generally like drinking vodka and having fun?

Maybe you should ask the author that question! ? However, the song is not about the beverage – in this case VODKA is a code which I decipher as a spy! Perhaps it appeals to every country because everybody knows the word “ V O D K A” I think!

Malta is the epitome of Eurovision. Everything in your country seems to be related to the contest, and as your joke goes – when you vote for Eurovision, as if you’re voting for Parliament. How important is Eurovision in your career?

True! Here in Malta the Eurovision song contest is very popular and it’s taken very seriously, but not as seriously as sometimes people think! However, we love it, and I think it could benefit any artist from any country ‘cause it is a chance to show your talent to millions of people. So, I think it will be very good for my career, no matter what!

We miss two more national winners, but out of these picked so far, who has impressed you most. And who of this-year’s participants stands the greatest chances of success?

I have not had the time to watch or listen to most of the songs so I can’t really compare! But I have heard there is even a puppet this year!

And finally, Malta has few “neighbours” that are always loyal and traditionally support you. In this sense, how do you see the future of Eurovision having in mind neighbout voting?

Hmmm…. I’m trying to see who our neighbours are because Italy is our only neighbour and it does not take part. I’m not sure I can figure out any country that has “traditionally” supported Malta, and maybe if we did have such countries we might do a little bit better. Then again, I do believe that the top 3 songs are usually the best songs that are voted by every country and not just by the neighbours! I would not want to win by neighbourly voting, but by merit! If the neighbours had to help out that would be great, but I do not think we have that! So I guess it has to be exclusively whether the people like my VODKA or not! ? I hope they do! I think it was a good move this year to have two semi finals, so it looks positive for the future of the contest.

Thanks for answering. Wishing you good luck in Belgrade and all my best to Malta!

Hey! I really enjoyed this interview, and thanks for being so nice to make contact! Good luck and hope we can party, party, party, and Vodka, Vodka, Vodka together in Serbia! Na Zdarovye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, after weeks of national selections, months of suspense, ages of thrill and enjoyment… we lived to see the participants’ list for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest completed. Have your say and let Europe know which your favourite song is.


Comment on the Eurovision 2008 poll in the forums

Dustin the TurkeyThe fact that I’m a vegetarian has nothing to do with my choice for first interview for this Eurovision season. Because it’s far from surprising that I decided to turn to the true source of Eurovision inspiration. Driven by my zest to learn what’s behind Dustin’s grand success in Ireland, I asked him a couple of questions about Eurovision, music, life, and birds. Despite his hectic schedule he was very kind to answer them.

Hello there Dustin,

Congratulations for your victory and good luck with your promo tour and above all, with your participation in the Contest. You are one of the most impressive entrants in this-year’s Eurovision Song Contest. That’s why I’m eager to ask you how did it occur to you to take part in the European extravaganza?

Thank very much Tanya, very kind of you! I think you’re right I am most impressive. The reason I decided to enter is simply, the people of Ireland need me. We’ve a proud Eurovision history but for the last few years our acts have died a death out there, so it was obvious to all concerned that it was time to send an act that could not only sing well but was also very, very beautiful. So naturally I was the obvious choice.

My next query is, what do you see happening in Eurovision from a bird’s-eye view? Do you predict fur flying?

When you’re as talented and good looking as me you get used to some people being jealous, that’s fine by me. As for fur flying, if it happens I’ll be upset, not for me but for the millions of little kiddies for whom I’m a leader, role model, idol and hero. You see they find it so, so hard to understand how others don’t instantly see my genius. Being young and innocent they don’t understand how jealousy can be such a cruel mistress.

You are a major showbiz star, you have years of experience in TV together with Zig & Zag, you have your own entertainment show, you host Dustin’s Daily News… Won’t you miss all this?

I’ve no intention of quitting my TV life, I simply couldn’t do that to the children of Ireland, they’d be devastated, there’d be riots on the street. I am the air that they breath. That said if I got to have a go at a proper euro-wide showbiz lifestyle I’d be gone it a shot.

Your style is truly curious! It’s (on the brink of?) camp, yet catchy and sweet in its parody and criticism. Tell me, how do you think your performance in all its splendour and feathers can influence people’s voting? And if yes, why?

The key to my performance is the song itself. In many ways it’s more then just a song, it’s an anthem, an anthem for the new Europe. Many believe it’s a song that will heal the world of all it’s suffering and unite the people’s of the world. Me? I think it’s better than that, to be honest I never really imagined music could be as good and powerful as it is in my song.

Is your song an outspoken protest, or a helpless attempt at changing recent unfavourable developments in Eurovision? How do you relate camp style with neighbour voting?

I love Eurovision, I reject all notion of block votes and deal making, though if Bulgaria want to vote for Ireland, I’ll be sure to get Ireland to vote for Bulgaria.

You tend to release your albums right before Christmas. How do you feel during Christmas time, Dustin?

It’s not a great time for me or indeed any turkeys, I try to hide out somewhere that nobody pays any attention to or even looks at, so next year I should be safe enough in the European Parliament.

For all those people, birds and chicks, who don’t know you, can you tell us, what style of music has mostly influenced you during the years? The Emerald Isle is famous for its grand singers, such as Johnny Logan, U2, Linda Martin, Sinéad O’Connor, Enya, to name but a few. Do they whisper anything to you?

Andea Corr is forever whispering to me but for legal reasons I can’t reveal what she says. My main musical influence would be Bono, we’ve a lot in common, we’re both small little fellas with big dreams about helping others, neither of us can really sing and lots of people laugh along to our songs.

Tell me in the end, what can people learn from poultry? Not only as far as Eurovision is concerned, but in general.

They can learn that vegetarianism isn’t just for hippies.

And finally, Dustin, let me express my sincerest wish for success. I do hope that the European audience will appreciate true European music. You’re one of my personal favourites!

My pleasure Tanya, hope to see ya in Belgrade, GO ON YA GOOD THING!!!!!

Their place in the Eurovision Final is always guaranteed. Every year, despite their last-year’s positioning, these countries go directly to the Final. They are known as the Big Four. Whatever songs the UK, France, Spain, and Germany present, whatever artist they pick to send to the ESC, they are always to participate in the Grand Final.

And thanks God! Because otherwise, we would have to listen to these songs twice, which in many cases would be far from fun.

However, there have been some nice surprises recently. Of course we cannot expect to have the mega names of British, German or French music industry to join in Eurovision. I can’t picture at all Take That, Robbie Williams, or Carl Cox for that matter to apply for Eurovision. But we can witness some movement in the choice of artists in the Big Four, which can only give me satisfaction.

This year, France sends to Belgrade Sébastien Tellier with the song Divine. His track is produced by one of the most successful electronic music duos DAFT PUNK, popular not only in France, but to every fan of the electro beat. Divine is really a divine piece of music, worth your attention and your dance.

Germany seems to be really into Eurovision. Last year, Roger Cicero represented the country, and if you haven’t heard his name before, he is massively popular among Germans, and not only. He is an elite artists, an excellent jazzman with unobtrusive, charming style and immaculate performance. But – definitely non-Eurovision. This year – girl quartet No Angels will try their luck with the track Disappear. A truly Eurovision hit, a summer hit as well.

I don’t feel like commenting on Spain’s entrant out of pure laziness. Rodolfo Chikilicuatre‘s song Baila El Chiki Chiki is not even funny. Please, Mr. Chikilicuatre!

United Kingdom dispatches to Serbia Andy Abraham, as we have already advised, with a nice pop-soul song Even If.

As for the host country Serbia, we will enjoy Jelena Tomaševic‘s participation with the song Oro. Are we surprised that it is powerful ballad performed by a single singer? I don’t reckon that mimicking success can lead to another success, but let’s give it a chance.

Dima BilanNow this got me extremely excited… Hold your breath because Moscow has decided and sends hugely, massively successful star Dima Bilan to represent Russia again, this time in Belgrade.

Easy does it? Obviously Dima Bilan can wait and came back aiming to conquer the Eurovision peak again. His song Believe simply blew the rest 26 competitors away, although it was a tight victory! A dynamic, yet soft song, with strong catchy rhythm that keeps your attention. But it’s not the rhythm that is the most notable in this track. The romantic lyrics make you listen again and again. Bilan’s vocal skills are indisputable. Lots of thinking has been put into this project and I’m so very curious to find out what the Russian team keep in store for the hungry audience this May. Dima’s performances and compositions are text-book examples of how to gain success not only at Eurovision, but in the severe music industry.

Let me briefly remind you that it was Dima who was the runner-up at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, as the Finnish monsters Lordi did not let him go first with his Never Let You Go.

Well done, so, young man!

It was the international women’s day yesterday, and I’m still a bit elated by the wine. What made me even happier though, was the news that more and more winners were picked last week, something I missed noting for lack of time. Anyway, forgive me the small spell of silence and have a look at the most recent winners.

Georgia will compete with Diana Gurtskaya and her song Peace will come. The track is pretty good, though nothing spectacular or surprising. What’s more important in this case, however, is that Ms. Gurtskaya is blind and she sings with power that we cannot witness every day on Eurovision. Still, nothing we haven’t seen on the world’s stage, and I do hope that this will not sway people into voting for this song, unless they like it.

One of the Big 4 also got their winner tonight – Rodolfo Chikilicuatre with his nice song Baila El Chiki Chiki. A guy that first strikes you as Elvis Presley, but when you get to listen to the song… well, I come to think that TVE are not particularly interested in this contest any more. So, baila, amigos! Hasta la vista!

Theatre rules over Eurovision. A handful of countries send stage performances to Belgrade with little musical value. The UK goes off the beaten track of theatre and presents a classic soul track.

Andy Abraham with his charming track Even If won the ticket to Belgrade on 1 March in London. He achieved the success with a merry, cheerful pop-soul / gospel song, and a mighty sweet performance on stage. It is definitely music for special moods and connoisseurs. And we know that there are many people among Eurovision fans who can appreciate valuable music …

Andy AbrahamThanks God, this year, it’s not air-hostesses or any other form of theatre that the UK will send to Europe. Not that we dislike British Airways, but let it be music above all.

Meanwhile, Latvia got its national winner, a downright theatre performance: the band Wolves of the sea with the song Pirates Of The Sea.

More of the stage, as previously known, Bosnia and Herzegovina will be presented by Elvir Lakovic – Laka with the song Pokusaj (Try). The good news is that the song is already available, and as we speculated earlier, the track is purely crazy, more dramatic than musical in its nature, more for the music hall than for the Eurovision stage.

Not to mention Ireland‘s Dustin Turkey and his amazing variety show!

Seems like we are up to a fascinating Eurovision season.