Filling the time

I have dearest best friend currently sitting on a train between Stockport (note my reflex action here typed in Stockholm) and Sheffield, who wants to speak to me on skype.  I want to speak to her too, so I’ll stay up rather than go to bed.

I’ve had a super-duper weekend of sorting out things – hopefully – and I needed it – yes, it is the traditional lull of activity around Easter as the Eurovision season is over, or just beginning, depending on how you look on it (over for me…no new songs).  Being all by myself has been ok, but I really miss the times when on an evening like this I would wander down to the college bar and have a couple of pints for £1.50 and be guaranteed good company.

Most amazing has been my songwriting.  I’ve not written a song this good, this full of power, full of clever lyrics (although, they are very Ben), and full of life ever.  It’s a true performance song in my style, in my image, in my way and I’m squishing it into that dastardly 3 minute rule.  It’s the one for MF 2013 and I’m in complete love with it.  I can see exactly how to stage it, what to wear, what to do – and the meaning of the lyrics really hits home.

At a glance, it’s anti-war.  This is important, such a waste of time and money and the resource of love that we don’t really have energy to waste on any more, and is becoming more important to watch out for in the battleground of 21st century economics with areas always in need of resource for success.

However, my days of writing anti-war stuff has gone, and it’s not my biggest concern any more.  Most anti-war stuff turns me off now.  This would too.  However, the second verse of this is strong and meaningful (aided by key changes – yes – changes) and actually gives this song a second meaning.  We’ve got to where we are today – and despite all the pain we’ve ended up in a very successful place.  Remind ourselves of that, pick up the pieces, and put things right.

War shouldn’t be the way to do that.  The way should be a greater realisation that actually we should be bloody glad to get where we are in humanity and let’s just battle to keep it there, it’s going to get harder and hotter (might take a few hundred million years – but I really do want to further our research into getting off this planet as we are in big shit about the future of humanity – which is geologically close enough to be scary).

I wrote the lyrics to the song by the water in Stenhamra.  It was far colder than it was and my hand got very numb and I was definitely on a caffeine high from the big Pepsi Max I bought, but the outcome from that peaceful place is me with words I am itching to try back on the piano, and a theme I would gladly present and I wish now more than ever before that Christer Björkman and his crew get webbjoker up and running and I get chance and plenty of help to record this beautiful song properly and give it the fair chance it deserves.

I’ve been making all these little jobs for myself.  They need to be done – booking rooms for MFKlubben (absolute nightmare and my lack of Swedish is not helping) – sorting out Eurovision competition in school (years of practice coming into use in a job is really handy) – and thinking about where I’m living and what I’m doing next year.  I want to have one more year – and I’m loving the work I’m doing but of course the MF stuff is definitely one factor!

I will quickly run through my favourite songs of this years Eurovision season for you:

Number 1: Serbia – Nije Ljubav Stvar – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3l-YVGRCow

No surprise here at all for anybody who knows me.  A superb piece of music – his best yet.  The sparing use of harmony and the inter-twining of the melodies strikes of a man with unfinished business in the Eurovision that has served him and with diaspora behind him, if the juries don’t put this top 3 they have given it the biggest injustice in Eurovision history.

Number 2: Sweden – På väg – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csQ3vrzohhY

The only song in all of Melodifestivalen this year that I went – ‘ah, perfect’ to.  Again, a real songwriters effort, and the use of melody is brilliant.  Maybe I I love that so because I know it is something I can’t do, but nevertheless when done so well, and with a surprise and working key change, I am a very satisfied boy.  Of course, I expect Loreen to do well in Eurovision – but this had real class and every second sounds so well thought out in the production – a real joy.

Number 3: Malta – Look at me now – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoP93iOzErw

See a theme here?  Similar style certainly – but it was let down a little by the mixing on the national final night – but I was still surprised Malta picked a Swedish song that wouldn’t even win Webbjoker, never mind MF.  I would love something more to happen going into that final chorus, but the chords up to the chorus first time give real power.

At this point dearest best friend returned!  Typing now on the bus to work!

Number 4: Sweden – Stormande Hav – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twdVuR0VZBo

I have to include this.  This was exactly what Timoteij promised with their schlager-ethno-pop hybrid with Timoteij and Irish elements everywhere.  I do think the way Eurovision has gone this would do very very well.  Of course one could argue that Timoteij could sing the phone book to me and I would still love it.  Perhaps true, and when I first saw this live I noted about 10 things that were wrong – it’s all trying to be a little too much in those cramped three minutes, but what it does do was right.

Number 5: Iceland – Never Forget – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8RS0eulXDo

Bear in mind again here that I really want Iceland to win the contest.  I’m a big fan of Jonsi as a singer – and this rather restrained duet style is very well executed.  This also ticks every criteria to be jury fodder – important instrumentals, two photogenic singers, real power building up and a big note to finish – expect top 5, but it shouldn’t be in the same league as Serbia

Number 6 – Norway – Elevator – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdHpw6XVPIU

This has so much potential in the studio version – and it defines contemporary music to a tee.  However, they were choreographed out of their minds so much and so cheaply that these were four lambs in the headlights when they opened MGP, they should have been rocking the place out, giving some attitude, rather than being a little innocent girl group all the same as each other.

Number 7 : Norway – Shapeshifter – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf7gvWZkTZI

Now this was the song that most made the difference from studio version to live performance in a positive way.  I really enjoyed this live and, closing a second MGP semi, thought it was a sure fire qualifier.  But no.  Rikke learnt loads over the last 12 months and this is a commendable effort.

There are the top 7 of the 2012 season.  Serbia should win the entire thing, if there is any justice.

Notable mentions to:

Loreen – Euphria

Danny – Amazing

Sean Banan – Sean den förste Banan

Molly Sanden – Why Am I Crying? (Which I stunned myself by in voting for in Globen)

Tooji – Stay

Eva Boto – Verjamen

Ivi Adamou – La La Love

Dima Bilan and that t.A.T.u girl – Back To Her Future

Mad Shop Boys – Music Thief

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One thought on “Filling the time

  1. Rob Cowlin says:

    That was such an odd read, and I am not sure why I read but; but also glad I did.

    You are a pretty good writer Ben. A great deal of (clearly genuine) passion and feeling in the words.

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