Let’s deal in hypotheticals for a moment. Let’s say that in 2017 the people of Scotland are offered the second referendum and go for independence within the EU. Let’s say that one of the first bits of nation-state paperwork that gets filled in is the application to join the European Broadcasting Union and let’s say that all the pieces fall into place so that Scotland can make its Eurovision debut in 2019.
For many new European nations, participation in the world’s largest and most sparkly musical entertainment show is often an important opportunity for building and broadcasting their brand new national identity, and there’s no reason why Scotland would be any different. (If you’re interested, Paul Jordan’s thesis on the Estonian & Ukrainian Eurovision experience is a cracking read)
So let’s assume that Scotland are about to prepare their first Eurovision entry. What approach should they take? How should they best express their independent spirit?
One option is to go for a solid Eurovision genre which consistently produces winners and fan-favourites – the female-fronted electronic pop song. At the time of writing, I think I would try CHVRCHES. You have almost certainly heard of CHVRCHES, because they’re very cool, very good and very popular, but once you rid yourself of the idea that a ‘major act’ won’t do Eurovision, and think of it more as an easy opportunity to beat the rest of the UK at something, I think you’ll find a lot of enthusiasm. CHVRCHES’ songs are a little bit more downbeat and minor than your traditional Eurovision fare, but they’ve got the ability to put a huge singalong chorus together.
Given their existing level of fame, their stage experience and their live vocals, how might they do for Scotland? Comfortable left hand side of the table, at least.