Our Eurovision entry has 'all the charisma of soggy lettuce'

Electro Velvet's video is an average, lacklustre performance and a truly terrible tune

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The Independent Culture

Already gaining comparisons with Birds Eye’s “waffley versatile” advert from the 1980s, duo Electro Velvet’s song “Still in Love with You” (this year’s UK Eurovision entry) is described by the BBC as “electro swing” – which seems to mean 1920s-style jazz with a modern twist.

I’m not sure where the “electro” bit comes in: there’s nothing remotely modern about the sound, which, if you were being kind, you’d liken to Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole’s version of Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right with Me”, except the lyrics are more like the bickering of an old married couple. Now imagine that Fitzgerald’s velveteen vocals have been replaced by the soulless tweeting of a reject from The Voice, and Cole’s part is played by someone with all the charisma of a soggy lettuce.

Electro Velvet didn’t exist before Eurovision. Alex Larke, a teacher from Welwyn Garden City who also performs in a Rolling Stones tribute act, and Bianca Nicholas, whose debut single “Hold on to Your Dreams” was a top 100 single and No 1 on the iTunes vocal chart, sound OK together in an instantly forgettable sort of way.

Their video – filled with Twenties references and faux-Charleston dance moves – conjures up an image of old world, Gatsby-esque glamour, but listen to the words and you’ll hear what transforms this average, lacklustre performance into a truly terrible tune.

Songwriter David Mindel has a career composing decent advertising jingles, and has worked with Olivia Newton-John, Barry Manilow and the Shadows, so it’s surprising that he’s risked a good reputation on such unimaginative lyrics. Lines such as “You’re bound to get sneezes or nasty diseases”, or “While I’m on vacation, you be a good patient, take your medication” are hardly the stuff of Dylan.

 

Perhaps Mindel had a rejected jingle for cold and flu medication lying around in a drawer somewhere and just thought “I’ll shove it in, pimp it up with some lines about love and scrub out that reference to Beechams –et voila! Eurovision 2015, here I come.” I’m on to you, Mindel.

The fact is, no one really cares if it’s any good. We’ve got amazing un-mined musical talent in this country and the fact that the BBC has selected this unmagical union to represent Britain just reflects the fact that as a nation we’ve totally given up hope of winning Eurovision ever again.

It would be nice not to have a completely embarrassing song for once though, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately this year’s entry is right on track to receive yet another “nul points”.

Nul points for the uk: Eurovision disasters

Already gaining comparisons with Birds Eye’s “waffley versatile” advert from the 1980s, duo Electro Velvet’s song “Still in Love with You” (this year’s UK Eurovision entry) is described by the BBC as “electro swing” – which seems to mean 1920s-style jazz with a modern twist.

I’m not sure where the “electro” bit comes in: there’s nothing remotely modern about the sound, which, if you were being kind, you’d liken to Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole’s version of Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right with Me”, except the lyrics are more like the bickering of an old married couple. Now imagine that Fitzgerald’s velveteen vocals have been replaced by the soulless tweeting of a reject from The Voice, and Cole’s part is played by someone with all the charisma of a soggy lettuce.

Electro Velvet didn’t exist before Eurovision. Alex Larke, a teacher from Welwyn Garden City who also performs in a Rolling Stones tribute act, and Bianca Nicholas, whose debut single “Hold on to Your Dreams” was a top 100 single and No 1 on the iTunes vocal chart, sound OK together in an instantly forgettable sort of way.

Their video – filled with Twenties references and faux-Charleston dance moves – conjures up an image of old world, Gatsby-esque glamour, but listen to the words and you’ll hear what transforms this average, lacklustre performance into a truly terrible tune.

Songwriter David Mindel has a career composing decent advertising jingles, and has worked with Olivia Newton-John, Barry Manilow and the Shadows, so it’s surprising that he’s risked a good reputation on such unimaginative lyrics. Lines such as “You’re bound to get sneezes or nasty diseases”, or “While I’m on vacation, you be a good patient, take your medication” are hardly the stuff of Dylan.

Perhaps Mindel had a rejected jingle for cold and flu medication lying around in a drawer somewhere and just thought “I’ll shove it in, pimp it up with some lines about love and scrub out that reference to Beechams –et voila! Eurovision 2015, here I come.” I’m on to you, Mindel.

The fact is, no one really cares if it’s any good. We’ve got amazing un-mined musical talent in this country and the fact that the BBC has selected this unmagical union to represent Britain just reflects the fact that as a nation we’ve totally given up hope of winning Eurovision ever again.

It would be nice not to have a completely embarrassing song for once though, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately this year’s entry is right on track to receive yet another “nul points”.

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