Last week, we described a set of circumstances that lead to Scotland competing as a new Eurovision nation in 2018. Or 2019, depending on administrative timing. We suggested that CHVRCHES would be a great debut choice.
If sending CHVRCHES (or Prides as was suggested in the comments) to Eurovision represents a Scotland with respect for the orthodox form of the contest and an acknowledgement that you have to adhere to the form in order to do very well, then Withered Hand would represent the Scotland that revels in cheekily subverting pomp and bombast. Withered Hand could potentially be Scotland’s Rambo Amadeus.
You might be familiar with the sad troubadour stuff from Withered Hand – extremely downbeat and melancholic, but with a gift for imagery and a perfect turnaround. However, on his 2012 album, there’s a song called Heart Heart which is, on the face of it, a big anthemic stadium rock track, complete with simulated crowd chanting on the massive chorus. Once you actually parse the lyrics, it’s possibly one of the most nihilistic sentiments you could send to the contest. ‘Listen to your heart’, that we can get behind, but ‘all I can hear is my body dying’ is pretty grim. Then there’s the bit about celebrating ‘mindless mediocrity’ which might be a bit close to the bone. However, I can totally imagine something like this ending up representing Scotland at the contest, especially if they do a National Final as part of the Celtic Connections winter festival.
But then there’s the actual process of being in the contest. The whirl of press activity, preview parties and “can you sing us a bit of your song?” would either be a wonderful opportunity for Mr Hand to gently take the piss or would give him something to be truly, truly miserable about.
The Scotland that would send Withered Hand probably doesn’t care about actually winning the contest. Although, even sending something that is actively alienating to the core audience doesn’t guarantee you failure in the topsy turvy world of the modern contest, so I think this would still outperform the rest of the UK.
(As an aside – what do we call the Rest of UK after Scotland leave? We can’t go for Former United Kingdom and it definitely wouldn’t count as Great Britain. Bosnia & Herzegovina prove that you can double-barrel but England, Wales and Northern Ireland is a barrel too far. Who am I kidding? It’ll still be called the UK.)
Anyway, Withered Hand are borderline qualifiers from the semi, but if the song was one where the black-hearted sentiment was even slightly difficult to parse, it would qualify and outperform the UK.