Posted by: John | September 23, 2012

My complaint about bias to Sky News

Sigh, it’s now time again to wield the might fingers and tap my keyboard against the horrendous bias we have in the broadcast media against the Liberal Democrats.

I’ve just sent an email thus:

I was interested to see that at about 18:15 today (Sunday 23rd September) you reported two polls for the Lib Dems one at 8% and one at 11% on your `ticker tape` facility at the bottom of the screen. They all had `narratives` to them about what it all meant for the Lib Dems.

However, there were one or two other polls published today including an ICM one that had the Lib Dems at 18%.

Can I ask why you reported on the ones that had lower figures and not the one that had the Lib Dems on 18%?

I await an answer with bated breath!

Posted by: John | May 22, 2012

Eurovision 2012 First Semi Final

So here goes for 8pm on 22/5/2012 – BBC Three

1. Montenegro – let’s be clear – no one expects this to qualify or to receive many points. It’s basically experimental gurgling with a bit of opera thrown in for good measure. Oh, and a wooden horse on stage. Why? No one really knows except that he had one in his video and animals are not allowed on the Eurovision stage.

2. Iceland – luckily for Iceland they go after this piece of rubbish. Star quality here with a superb song. It should qualify. I hope it wins the whole thing.

3. Greece – personally I don’t see what all the fuss is about. A happy clappy standard `Greek by numbers` pop number – it seems designed to pull in points but not win (the costs of winning!). Should qualify? I’m not so sure

4. Latvia – Anmary sings a lovely song with very self-reverential (Eurovision navel-gazing) lyrics. Due to its placing it probably won’t qualify.

5. Albania – I rather like this one. Keep with it as it’s certainly unusual although I wonder if there’s a problem in that `you have to get used to it`. Rona certainly has a great voice.

6. Romania – Great ethnic pop from a country that always puts in 110%. It’s got great singing, great music and, oh yes, bagpipes! Could win the night and the whole thing. A tip for the top.

7. Switzerland – u2/coldplay inspired indie pop. The song’s a lot better than the diction – and if you need to get your message in as directly as possible? I love the song but I’ll be pleasantly shocked should it qualify.

8. Belgium – time to put the kettle on to this limp little number. I’d be shocked if it qualified.

9. Finland – it doesn’t matter if you haven’t finished brewing up for this little sweet weak ethnic ballad. Apparently rehearsals haven’t inspired people. Looks like Finnair tomorrow morning?

10. Israel – by rights the song is good enough to qualify – kind of kiddie pop meets cornerhouse/bollywood in a yiddish setting. Would be great if it qualified but its placing holds it back.

11. San Marino – good singer with lyrics containing too much information – first and last time you’ll ever hear the words `Do you wanna be more than just a friend?, do you wanna play cybersex again, if you wanna come to my house, then click me with your mouse`. Ugh. It’d be a shock qualifier.

12. Cyprus – a good quality dance floor anthem. The problem lies with the fact that Ivi can’t sing and dance too well at the same time so the `spare parts` I mean dancers make up for this lack of energy. Will qualify unless viewers take umbrage with this lack of performance integrity.

13. Denmark – If Israel doesn’t qualify it might be because this one does. I don’t get the appeal myself – a middle of the road plodding number that I describe as `sensible shoes music`. 

14. Russia – what’s there to say? Grannies, ethnic costumes, pies and a heart on the sleeve back story. The song’s so-so but the points won’t be. A sure-fire qualifier.

15. Hungary – Another mid-tempo `sensible shoes` number. Apparently they’ve managed to make it sound a bit more exciting. Must have been a huge task. The placing will probably get it through.

16. Austria – Austrian `shake your booty` rap – enjoy!

17. Moldova – everyone loves Pasha Parfeny the singer. This has gone down a storm at the rehearsals and its placing should guarantee it a place in the final. It’s a kind of Moldovan ethnic with a huge twist of burlesque beats. Refreshing!

18. Ireland – a standard boy-band number sounding more Californian than County Cork. However, it’s Jedward and there’s a waterfall. I wonder if it will pour cold water on its qualification chances – or will viewers think it enhances the song `Waterline`?

See you at the other side!

Posted by: John | July 21, 2011

What the hell is Lembit playing at?

I’m not the only Lib Dem aghast at hearing Lib Dem Mayoral candidate for selection, Lembit Opik, saying that if we’d been attractive to NI we too would have cosied up to them. If this is the level of his political judgement he should consider his position and withdraw from the race.

It’s not as if we haven’t been beaten about the head for years in the media – witness the countless complaints I made to the BBC before May 2010. I might have to make some more.

It has come to a pretty sado-masochistic pass when something we haven’t done has become something we might have done (on the top issue of the day) when we were the Party pushing the hardest for reform of that thing.

I have asked him on Twitter to respond and I hope he does. It’s a killer fact if it’s true (and I was watching with my own eyes except that iplayer doesn’t have the re-runs of BBC Breakfast) that a Mayoral candidate not only dropped the ball to an open goal but willingly put it in the back of his own net.

Posted by: John | June 13, 2011

Lesbian blogger – who’s Sandra Begaria?

The `brave Syrian lesbian blogger` Amina Abdullah has been shown as a fake.

Who then is Sandra Begaria who spoke on her behalf to R5 Live’s `up all night` link here (on at 1hr 16 – only available for another 2 days).

Either she was in on the hoax – or the fake tag is not really a fake.



Posted by: John | May 10, 2011

Eurovision 2011 semi-final one

On at 8pm BBC Three on 10th May – this is where 19 songs are dwindled down to 10 to go forward to the final.

Already there have been technical rehearsals and three dress rehearsals. For a list of other eurovision blogs click here

For more information from bloggers that are there click here and there are even podcasts .

For what it’s worth here is my analysis and predictions:

1. Poland – `Jestem` by Magdalena Tul. A good opener and one of the best Polish entries for some time. It’s a mid-tempo dance ballad that has earnt respect from the fans. Her campaign is gathering momentum from a shaky start. Qualification rating: 5

2. Norway – `Haba Haba` by Stella Mwangi. Another strong entry that has won plaudits from those at the hall watching the rehearsals. It’s a kind of nursery rhyme children’s pop song with an African feel that utilises Stella’s Swahili roots. Qualification rating: 6

3. Albania – `Feel the passion` by Aurela Gace. Although she has her acolytes I find this song over-done and over here and well, a bit screechy. The performance is said to be strong yet I can’t help wonder that the competition is too strong. Qualification rating: 4

4. Armenia – `Boom Boom` by Emmy. Her campaign is a bit of a disaster to be frank as is the song which is doris day on heat (`perhaps, perhaps, perhaps` in a faster key mixed with a catchy poor man’s shakira like chorus with the gimmicky throw away chorus of  `boom boom shaka laka`). Most find it hideous except the Armenian diaspora who might put it over the top. Qualification rating: 5

5. Turkey – `Live it up` by Yukset Sadakat – a good slice of Turkish dad-rock that rolls along at a steady pace. Turkey always qualify and there’s nothing to suggest that this bit of quality entertainment from a very experienced band won’t do similar. Qualification rating: 10

6. Serbia – `Caroban` by Nina. This is 60s retro pastiche and Nina does it expertly. Not my cup of tea but I lift my Subara to her. Qualification rating: 9

7. Russia – `Get you` by Alexej Vorobjov – over-rated in my opinion although if you’re looking for porn star good looks totty Alexej is your man! It’ll get through though because it’s Russia though it’s not as competitive as the others. Qualification rating: 10

8. Switzerland – `In love for a while` by Anna Rossinelli. Anna stands and sings her song advertising toothpaste/mobile phones/tampons (delete as applicable) a song as catchy as the flu. I guarantee this will worm itself into your brain. ITV advertising dept are probably there with their contract for the song. Anyway, it’s a creditable ballad – what’s wrong with that? Qualification rating: 8

9. Georgia – `One more day` by Eldrine. Now we come to the college indie band to a song that could be performed at one of those `buy one drink get one free` nights on a Wednesday night. Georgia have had a great campaign and perform this very well. Qualification rating: 6

10. Finland – `Da da dum` by Paradise Oskar. Paradise (not his real name) is a very serious young man strumming his guitar like a sixth form student doing his environment degree. It’s really quite infectious and all reports suggest it is very well staged. The lyrics are rather twee and naive though. Qualification rating: 8

11. Malta – `one life` by Glen Vella. Very standard average pop fayre from this `disco dolly` (say no more) and in my opinion outshone by many others. He’s a real party animal though and is having a good time. Qualification rating :4

12. San Marino – `Stand by` by Senit. This is a quality mid-tempo ballad from a well-known Italian singer. It’s said to be doing well in the hall and has a lot of respect. Will it have enough respect from the televoters? Qualification rating: 5

13. Croatia – `Celebrate` by Daria. Rooted in the old 80s mid-tempo hi-nrg of Modern Romance` this is perfectly pleasant though apparently over-busy on stage. Not good write-up and I fear it will be over-shadowed by better songs. Qualification rating: 4

14. Iceland `Coming home` by Sjonni’s Friends. Some Icelandic oom-pah music (the lead singer has an uncanny resemblance to Nick Griffin – anything to tell us Nick?) this should do well and they are performing it well. It’s toe-tapping stuff and will pick up votes. Qualification rating: 6

15. Hungary `What about my dreams?` by Kati Wolf. This is the Gay disco diva entry for this year. A fabulous tune that gives a backward nod to Celine (dion) while progressing the genre without falling off a cliff. It uses a Hungarian production sound and will definitely qualify. Qualification rating: 10

16. Portugal `Homens da luta` by Luta de Alegria. A traditional group that deal in left-wing protest songs. They’re lively on stage and bring a sense of fun to the proceedings. Unfortunately it’s doubtful whether they’ll be partying on Saturday at the grand final as well. Qualification rating: 4

17. Lithuania `C’est ma vie` by Evelina Sašenko. Most people don’t like this song and you’ll see why. It’s like a throw-back to the 70s without the charm. It’s like listening to the aural equivalent of a sunken sickly sweet blancmange. She’s not having a good time of it in Dusseldorf either. Qualification rating: 0/10.

18. Azerbaijan `Running scared` by Ell/Nikki. This couldn’t be  more different. Up to the second contemporary pop – think coldplay, cocteau twins with a dash of smashing pumpkins. Dead cool – Azerbaijan really want to win and they could with this. Qualification rating: 10/10

19. Greece `Watch my dance!` by Loukas Giorkas and Stereo Mike. A fusion of rap/bouzouki and Indie with a nod to the middle east. In my view one of the most under-rated songs of the contest and their campaign is just getting stronger. All the people on the ground think this is going through. Qualification rating:  10.

So there you have it. Have a lovely semi (ooh, matron!)

Posted by: John | April 5, 2011

Eurovision 2011: Have we found our winner Part 8

This year there are only two ballads so they are bound to stand out. Both are from Central Europe (Switzerland and Austria) with the Swiss sending a plain sweet song with stripped down production. On the other hand Austria are sending their best entry for years.

Nadine Beiler not only packs a lot of power in her voice the song is well constructed starting out as gospely acapella, on to a strong memorable chorus and main body of the song culminating in some anthemic soul with a gospel sounding choir at the end.

It ticks a lot of boxes for those that win:

1. It can’t be labelled

2. It’s a strong song

3. She has a good voice

Should easily qualify and could do well.



Posted by: John | April 1, 2011

Eurovision 2011: Have we found our winner Part 7

Macedonia have also sent an interesting pastiche song that is getting rave reviews. It’s post-ironic statement is winning plaudits all over Europe. Click the link

Posted by: John | April 1, 2011

Eurovision 2011: Have we found our winner Part 6

Everyone finds Eric Saade’s (I love the pronounciation – `erik sharder`) Swedish entry `popular`. It’s the epitome of bang up-to-date schlager as is some of the best down and dirty tongue-in-cheek homoerotic dancing ever. Should do well – including on its own merits!

Posted by: John | April 1, 2011

Eurovision 2011: Have we found our winner Part 5

I hesitate to say this but the UK could do very well with their entry. It’s by an established popular band with a song that is memorable enough to be in any serious pundits top ten.

Click the link

Posted by: John | April 1, 2011

Eurovision 2011: Have we found our winner Part 4

Keep on thinking about this song. It’s very contemporary and reminds me of the Danish group Mew. Think chilled out Coldplay meets Cocteau Twins and you get some idea. Songs like this win Eurovision now.

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