The Ones The BBC Let Get Away
In the run up to the BBC’s first National selection since 2010, we continue a look back at some of the acts the BBC should have fought to get to Eurovision over the years. If you missed Part 1 then fear not – SEE HERE
So who have we for you this time? Lisa-Jayne take a look at the one’s that got away.
The Nolan Sisters
Part English, part Irish, The Nolan Sisters did have a crack at Eurovision for the UK with the song ‘Harry My Honolulu Lover’ that could manage 4th place in the national selection. Their biggest hit ‘I’m in the Mood for Dancing’ could have been one of the all-time Eurovision classics if the BBC had been brave. The song is also 3 minutes long – ohhhhhh! The Nolan Sisters were popular and polished performers and I’m sure would have been very popular with the juries of Europe (pretty sure they’d have got a resounding 12 from Ireland!) I reckon the UK missed a trick by not sending The Nolan Sisters to Eurovision, but then perhaps we could say the same about Ireland!
The Lighthouse Family
Another jury dream group I think. The Lighthouse Family were pretty darn cool in the mid 90’s and would have made great representatives for the UK (although I actually think the 90’s is the decade where we actually did well in choosing our Eurovision acts!) I’ve often said that Eurovision is quite a white affair and it makes me sad that we’ve not had more black and Asian artists take to the stage, because then we would have seen so much more musical diversity. To be honest I’d love to see more diversity as a whole in the UK selection, we have amazing artists here with influences from all over the globe, let’s celebrate that. Anyway back to The Lighthouse Family, ‘Lifted’ was one of their most successful songs, it would have been great to have them at Eurovision, they would have hoovered up the points and ‘Lifted’ the UK to the top of the scoreboard!
Arguably she’s made it to National Treasure status, Lisa was writing and producing music at the back-end of the 1980’s that was so different to the conveyor belt pop style of Stock, Aitken and Waterman and Eurovision really should have sat up and taken notice. She’d been growing in popularity across Western Europe and when ‘All Around the World’ was released in 1989 Europe was ready to buy it. It shot to number 1 in 6 European countries and featured in the top 10 of most of the others. The BBC should have seen her potential when she appeared as guest vocalist on the minor hit (yet classic) with Coldcut ‘People Hold On’ and nabbed her then as it was obvious there was something unique there. Lisa Stansfield would have really stood out from the sickly sweet pop of the time, another opportunity lost and I’d go so far as to say she could have been our 5th win and 1997 our 6th.
Siouxsie and the Banshees
There are a few genres of music that have passed Eurovision by and one of them is punk (although Finland had a stab at it last year!) No, I mean proper 1970’s, black hair dyed, teenage angst, pierced and angry punk. Now you might be surprised to learn that I am a bit of a fan of punk, The Jesus and Mary Chain are probably my favourites, but they would probably have been a bit much for the family-friendly Eurovision crowd at the time. So I’ve picked a slightly tamer punk artist in Siouxsie Sioux and my favourite song of hers ‘Hong Kong Garden’ from 1978. Just imagine if we’d selected Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1970’s, that would have definitely raised a few eyebrows, and if nothing else I love music and performers that raise eyebrows!
It literally ‘Hurts’ that the band have pleaded with the BBC to send them to Eurovision and got shafted when they got overlooked for Englebert in 2012. That decision blew up in the UK’s face! See their interview on the subject HERE Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of synth-pop every now and again? Theo and Adam have been putting music out through My Space, gigging around Europe and slowly garnering a legion of fans since meeting outside a nightclub in Manchester in 2005. Always current and always guaranteed to deliver the UK should definitely have considered them for Eurovision at some point in the last 5 years. They would have brought a new sound and a new vibe to Eurovision and I think would have created some buzz.
It’s often said the UK has some great artists and one of the best music scenes in the world so why do they send unknown and not-up-to-par songs and performances to Eurovision? Yep, I’ve asked that question too. Oh and BBC, just like Clean Bandit, it’s not too late, they are still together and still making music.
Of course hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it and some of the artists I’ve mentioned went on to have massive careers without the Eurovision Song Contest on their résumé. Of course, we know that in recent years it has become dreadfully uncool to go anywhere near Eurovision if you want to be seen as a credible performer in the UK, which of course is very sad. Anyway there are lots of others I could think of that I haven’t included here – let us know in the comments section what you think of my choices and who you’d have liked to have seen waving the flag with Graham on the obligatory Eurovision cover of The Radio Times…..
Who over the years do you think the BBC should have courted for Eurovision? What and who can we expect in the next few weeks from the BBC? Should we be looking to Stockholm with optimism? Let us know.
Author : Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source : Eurovision Ireland