Friday, 2 March 2012
It's a shocking irony, a huge cosmic joke that in the week a shining star of the 60's dies, the undead should be announced as the UK singer for the Eurovision Song Contest. Engelbert Humperdink , infamously known for keeping "Strawberry Fields Forever" off the top spot in 1967, is to be our representative at this year's contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. Well someone else has to suffer besides us in hosting naff competitions this year.
In a sense Engelbert and The Eurovision Song Contest are made for each other. Both are way past their sell by date, both wear ludicrous costumes: all lace and lurex and both are found performing at the outer reaches of civilisation. Las Vegas and Baku.
It is a huge achievement that Abba should have won the 1970 Euro song contest yet went on to be really quite good. Other winners tend to either be at the fag end of their careers or are killed off by their appearances on that ghastly show.
Cliff Richard, when he finally meets his Maker, should be plunged into the lowest circle of Hell as punishment for the agony he inflicted on millions upon millions of innocents who have had the misfortune of seeing his excruciating performance of "Congratulations" back in the late 60's.
Mind you we never did light up the sky with our entries in the 60's, although some might say that in terms of chart placings (but not artistic quality) that was our most successful period. Who can forget Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson's "Sing Little Birdy Sing" (1959), Bryan Johnson's "High, High, High" (1960), The Allisons "Are You Sure?" (1961), Ronnie Carroll "Ring A Ding Girl"(1962), Matt Monroe's "The Little Things" (1964), Kathy Kirby "I Belong" (1965) and we've not reached Sir Cliff yet.
Kenneth McKellar set all our hearts a stirring with "A Man Without Love" in 1966 and "Barefoot in the Park and elsewhere" Sandie Shore with "Puppet on a String" in 1967. Then there was Cliff, Lulu and the 70's were heralded in (I use the term advisedly) by Mary Hopkins.
Later we only had any success if you lost the lower half of your clothes "Making Your Mind Up" or sported outrageous moustaches "Save You Kisses For Me".
No, on reflection Englebert is the perfect choice. A retread from the '60's who may rekindle our Eurosong 60's relative success.
Not 'alf, pop pickers.