So tonight our genial hosts in the heart of Europe start looking for someone to succeed the diva that is Conchita. As a direct qualifier to the Eurovision 2015 final, will we see something experimental, or do ORF want to play it safe? John Stanton will guide you through the first show, which will whittle 16 acts down to six.
We have already introduced some of the acts to you – SEE HERE
You know the Drill – Just refresh the page after every performance and you will get John’s pearls of wisdom – or grains of sand knowing him!
The show starts at 20:15 CET and you can WATCH IT LIVE HERE
The sixteen acts that are fighting to the death (well, almost) are listed below. John will give his opinions and views on each of them. Just hit your Refresh button to keep up-to-date.
Tonight the artists will perform a mixture of originals and covers so to showcase their singing and performance talents – that they hopefully have in abundance!
LIVE ROLLING BLOG 20:15 CET
Mirjam Weichselbraun is our host for the night. She’s introducing us to a collection of people from the entertainment industry who will be tonight’s expert jury. They seem to come from the rock end of the musical spectrum.
We have a collection of musical types in the audience, and it looks like they’ll pick the six who’ll proceed to the next round.
The Makemakes – Million Euro smile
John’s Opinion: Our vibe is a little rustic. Long hair, a looking a little like Dr Hook. Their sound is a little Mumford & Sons, with extra harmonica. Whether or not this would their song for Vienna is another matter, but it’s pleasant enough
Clara Blume – Love and Starve
John’s Opinion: Clara seems assured but has an interesting, almost unique, voice. It’s different, but a bit like she’s singing out of the side of her mouth. Our rock experts liken her to Amy Winehouse, only Clara’s still alive of course. It could work, with an enthusiastic and slightly cool performance,
Royal Kombo – Ram pam pam
John’s Opinion: Another trio, dressed with the title of the song on their T-shirts. Handy if they forget a line or two. If you like rap then this could be for you. And we all know how well rap works at Eurovision. But it’s not just rap. It’s reggae too. In German. With lots of arm-waving. We see shots of the crowd who are swaying slightly. Some of them like it but seem to embarrassed to like it.
Dawa – On the Run
John’s Opinion: Dawa is a band made up of four people who also play instruments. We have a guitar, cello, tiny xylophone and shaky-sticks. One of the guys sings and he sounds a bit like Tracy Chapman (of Fast Car fame). I quite like this for its understated nature. The rockers seem to like it too, and some of the expert jury in the crowd are making copious notes. It’s like a 2015 version of the Milestones from 1972.
Zoe – Adieu
John’s Opinion: Zoe is a very smiley girl and seems at home singing in either French or German. Her little postcard demonstrates her styles, whether they be imitating Edith Piaf or being backed by an accordion. Her sound tonight is a little electronic-violiny, French and just a little bit sultry. It’s a pleasant bouncy little song that has the audience clapping along. It’s possibly the best received song so far and I could hear this on the radio.
Renato Unterberg – Love
John’s Opinion: Renato wears his hair long and looks way too young to sport hair like that. At least it’s not in a topknot. He has a band too and trumpeter and trombonist and has opted for English. It reminds me of a warm-up act for a pub band and his mannerisms are a little Iggy Pop or Mick Jagger. This song is maybe just a little too ‘out-there’ for a Song Contest, but you never know.
The Su’sis – This and That
John’s Opinion: We have another trio, but unlike the Makemakes or Royal Kombo, these are most definitely women. The bold-coloured skirts and slight 1940s look sort of gives it away. And they tell us they’re swingers. Think Puppini Sisters and you’re there. The English lyric is maybe on the simplistic side but the whole effect is different. And that’s what wins singing competitions.
Lemo – So leicht
John’s Opinion: This young chap has a bookish look about him. ByeAlex without the beeny hat and scrubbed up a little. He’s sings in German, sat on a stool with s Spanish guitar. He’s going for the heartfelt ballad vote. He seems to have a far older voice than he should have. I’m undecided on it. Whether I’m not getting it, but there’s not much emotion in him – maybe he’s just nervous.
Mizgebonez – Murmeltier/Fitnesstraining (Medley)
John’s Opinion: We see an interesting postcard introducing this band, with lots of lycra, saunas, and generally trying to keep fit. So they have a sense of humour. A ‘fun-rap’ (they’re words, not mine) medley is an interesting and immediately makes me smile. That might not always be a good thing. Their unique take includes costume changes showing off more lycra. Not a contest song/medley, but you never know.
Katti Kallauch – Das Leben ist zu kurz
John’s Opinion: Katti brings us back in the room a little, with a slightly jazzy song. A(nother) cellist and guitarist join her. This style of song suits her voice and she displays no nerves whatsoever. There could be something good going on here. Having said that, if this song were to make it to, erm, Vienna in May, it would attract a certain vote but maybe not much more. But on performance alone, it’s good.
Folkshilfe – Seit a poa Tog
John’s Opinion: Another trio, and another folk band. But Mumford & Sons they’re not. It’s (to my untrained ears) reggae with an Alpine twist, The twist being an accordion. I think it’s even in an Austrian dialect. The hook is annoyingly catchy yet it might lack something. That is, however, until they do the ‘start-the-last-chorus-slow-and-speed-up’ schtick. A standing ovation for these lads.
Kommando Elefant – Mein design furs Leben
John’s Opinion: What’s not to like about a band whose name has elefant (sic) in its name? These have the oddest sound of the night. Lots of synthesised backing, a slow beat, a 1970s porn star on drums. And Harry Potter upfront singing. I’m not too keen, and they might be just a little too wrong to go any further.
Tandem – Zeig ihn mir
John’s Opinion: These are, not surprisingly, a duo. They adopt the standing nose to nose and shouting at each other pose. But not for long thankfully. This is electro-pop 1980s and I like it immediately. The female part of Tandem bounces around the stage and gives this her most earnest of performances. Her demeanour suits the song.
Celina Ann – I Never Loved A Man
John’s Opinion: Celina is wearing a red poncho! Now there’s a fashion statement. This could be something by Alannah Myles with its downbeat sound. She has a darn good voice – for a song like this. It’s assured and there are no off-key notes in what is a very challenging song. This has suddenly become a difficult one to pick six from.
wo/Men – Happy
John’s Opinion: We have two girls and four guys – hence the band name I suppose. They’ve also gone jazzy but a little more late night. Starting slowly it morphs into our first cover of the night, What would Pharrell Williams think? It’s actually not bad but I would have preferred something original.
Johann Sebastian Bass – Heart of Stone
John’s Opinion: Finally, the act I’ve been anticipating from the start. Three men all dressed as Regency dandies. Or a certain Herr Bach if you will. We start with a bit of Toccata to strobe lights. We have synthesised voices. I think it’s in English. I’m not sure what to make of it, but I get the distinct impressions I could be watching ringers. To be fair, the synthesisers remind me of a 1970s cop show car chase. It seems to wrong yet could be so right.
This is tricky to call, but I’m going to pick Dawa, Zoe, The Su’sis, Kathi Kallauch, Celina Ann and Johann Sebastian Bass. I’d like to pick Tandem too, but I can only choose six of the 16.
All the performers are on stage, and Mirjam announces the top six. They are:
Johann Sebastian Bass
I got four. Not bad I guess.
The next show is next Friday, 27 February.
Thanks for tuning in, and good night!
Author : John Stanton
Source : Eurovision Ireland