Rai comments.

Rai comments.

I thankyou. And I’m here all week, gang – I have sunny afternoon North African music on and I might say a couple of things about it. Headline job done.

So taking a quick peek back at the ol’ Lingo pages, I can see an annoyingly sunny disposition seeping through the screen pages. But on afternoons like this, it’s hard not to – if you can see the sun, anyway. I concede I’m probably just getting de-mob happy leading up to time away from the studio – punchable holiday smugness seems to soak halfway across the calendar. So I apologise. ..Without being all that sorry, obviously BECAUSE I’M GOING ON SODDING HOLIDAY!!

Being irresponsible has a lot of benefits. Chief among them is the ability to walk away from your work responsibilities as a solo creative freelancer without a second thought to having any work to come back to, to help you pay off the holiday.

Well actually, the pile of work I’m putting off by typing this for five minutes would all have to go to press by the end of the month anyway, whether Momo’s Creative Director was whisking away the company secretary for a dirty spin round the Amalfi coast to a 70s-chic John Barry soundtrack or not. So nice work, boss.

Elsewhere in Europe, the delights of a singular cultural event have put music on my mind again – though cynics might say of a less meaningful disposition than the evocative tonsil stretching of Rai. Last night was the first semi final of the Eurovision.

You know well how I/we feel about this. All I’ll say in summary is that it was a relief that Norway made it through. Belgium’s entry may have been so loopily creative it deserved a firm place on FIP’s bonkers-eclectic playlist, but let’s face it, it was never going to get voted into the final. And the singing turkey was surely only ever a piece of squawking sock-puppet comedy vandalism for a very select, and Guiness-addled audience. Class, but not to the taste of watery beer-swilling middle europeans, I had always suspected.

No, though you do quickly adjust your quality goggles when reading the worth of a Eurovision entry (so that Good only ever means Not SO Shit That Words Have Really Failed You This Time), Norway – Nil Point Norway – provided a quiet little quality blinder.

Didn’t hit me between the eyes – and for that reason it wasn’t inconceivable that it would escape the notice of the Baltic voters – but Hold on, be strong, performed by Maria had begun to persuade me by the end that it was possibly a little Motown classic. Really. No, I think really.

Firstly, basics. The backing singers all looked like they came as a set. They didn’t look like so many Eurovision entries do, as though the lead singer had rounded up the fittest mates they could find and made them prat about behind them ill-fittingly. They matched. And they did simple little hand actions together, to reinforce the lyrics.

Secondly, the music. I can still remember it, kind of. Hum it at least. And it all seemed to belong.

So, er… I think I really rate it. In pop terms, for Eurovision. I think I might.

Norway – keep an eye on it. It will fail. But it might be the classiest thing in the final. Might be.

Sunshine’s magic is akin to music, of course. It cleverly dulls the feel of other things. Other bad things. And bloody rotten song contests are an especially effective diversion for us all.

But yes, behind our own summery mood, there are epically difficult things in the news, across the Far East especially. Bad things beyond understanding. But I don’t know how to talk about them. I can only sit and watch in silence. And thank God for the good things. For the sunshine outside my just-about-still-standing house this afternoon.

Nothing more you can say. No witty asides needed by aid agency workers. The CD’s just ended.

And Caroline’s just thankfully put on Kylie.

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