Tonight on Eurovision Scotland we’re going to look at a formula that I believe could lead to a victory, or at very least a top five finish. You’re going to have to use your imaginations a little bit, but you’ve all got very good imaginations so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Let’s start with the singer. At the time of writing, I have been trying for three weeks to think of the Scottish equivalent to Måns Zelmerlow, or even the Scottish Donny Montell. I’ve drawn a complete blank. I can’t think of a single member of a top flight boy band who is Scottish. I’ve had a look at the denizens of various reality singing shows and drawn a blank. There are plenty of awesome Scottish female pop singers, but the boys seem to be having an issue. So one of the first things that goes on the newly launched Scottish Public Broadcasting channel is a Friday or Saturday night that is looking explicitly for an amazing male or female Scottish pop star. They’re looking for someone with a great live singing voice, who is also basically unflappable, good-looking and a bit cheeky.
They’re going to need the cheeky twinkle because when they go to Krakow or Riga or Moscow or Stockholm (again) or wherever, they’re going to be singing a song by grumpy Glasgow songwriting legend Malcolm Middleton. He’s been persuaded to donate a bittersweet song about first love and the excitement of living in a party city by a combination of post-indy national pride and also the sheer insouciant hell of it. It’d be the only way a former Arab Strapper could top the absurdity of Belle & Sebastian as ‘newcomers’ at the Brits in 1999 (which still makes me giggle to this day). He’s a legitimately amazing pop song writer, although I have to admit I only recently realised that they were pop songs when I heard his album Summer of ’13. Up until then, songs like ‘A Brighter Beat’ had put him in the ‘Scottish indie miserablism’ section of my musical mindmap. I’m also going to suggest that the song is produced by Glasgow-based dance type Miaoux Miaoux, because they’ve done such a good job on this song. If an electropop sound can be both sophisticated *and* accessible, this is it.
I think that the combo of a hand-picked new pop singer, a Malcolm Middleton song and Miaoux Miaoux production could do extremely well in Scotland’s first Eurovision, because Middleton’s music is full of what Peter Robinson of Popjustice calls ‘Kylie Moments’. A Kylie Moment is where the melody and harmony takes a sudden turn to evoke a mixture of heartbreaking loss, dancefloor euphoria and hope for redemption. Eurovision loves a Kylie moment as much as it loves a key change. They make your heart twang.
The song I’ve posted at the top of the page, You & I, is the poppiest of the songs on the album and it’s full of wonderful Kylie moments – most notably the ‘I can’t stay in because it’s Glasgow and the sun is shining!’ bit. Imagine that song sung by Måns, imagine it sung by Poli Genova (by the way, it sounds great immediately after If Love Was A Crime) or your favourite big-voiced pop singer and we’re there. The golden glitter pyro curtain is deployed over the final repeats of ‘You and I! You and I! You and I!’ and it’s douze points all round.
Previously on Eurovision Scotland: