The Eurovision 2018 Review: Day 01

And so it begins. Between now and the beginning bit of May, Whoops Dragovic is going to get all review-y and look at each and every one of the 43 competing songs at Eurovision 2018 in minute detail.

Well, not minute detail. You’d be bored shitless.

Since we are unaware of any running orders, we’re going to go old-school and simply look at every nation in alphabetical order, so we start today with Albania and in about five weeks we should wind up with Ukraine and the UK. What larks.

Enough prattle. Shall we get on with it?

Bushpepa is an amazing name. It sounds like a lush squash cultivated in the Australian outback. Or, indeed, the surname of this year’s Albanian representative.

The official video for Mall is presented here which I’m a bit peeved about as the playback performance one doing the rounds in the weeks before this clip was released featured some lovely herringbone parquet that I’d quite like for our front room.

Anyway, we’ve swapped covetable floor coverings for what looks like a hot yoga class filmed in mono. Eugent, of course, is not foolish enough to join in the class because (a) he’s got a massive leather jacket on making heavy perspiration inevitable and (b) he’s far too busy mouthing the lyrics to his Eurovision entry to be bothered with the downward duck.

And that song could well be the most fruitful Albania has sent in years, the sort that bears a bushpepa in fact. It rattles along in rockfish fashion, never threatening to turn into a full-on rodent-guzzling Kalashnikov of riffs but a gentle, throbbing beat which gives everything enough urgency to stop you switching off halfway through (note to future Eurovision entrants; ensure you throb urgently on the Contest stage too).

The fact that Mall hasn’t made the leap from Albanian to English (or indeed any other tongue) is admirable but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to get it out of the traps with sufficient momentum to reach Saturday night.

There’s a folksy sway tucked away amid the swagger here which could find a sympathetic audience, like Guy Garvey working in collaboration with The Spinners. As the first song selected of the 2018 triers, Mall did cling valiantly on to fan opinion until around mid-February but as more and more of the favourites popped their head out the burrow, it’s faded slightly. Eugene still has the capacity to surprise but I’m going to be bold (one should always strive to be bold when making guesses about Eurovision) and have this as an oh-so-close non-qualifier. Yeh, pick the seeds out of that ‘pepa.

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