We Met At A Party – Apella

I’ve spent the summer coming up with ideas for a hypothetically independent Scotland to do well at their first Eurovision, but I’ve been overlooking the fact that there’s countries struggling with their Eurovision acts right now. Let’s talk about Ireland.

I think that the video embedded above shows Ireland that there is an amazing way to regain their Eurovision reputation. The band is Apella, made up of Dara Quilty, an extremely personable and determined musician & radio host (just listen to this super fun interview with him) and Ronan Nolan, drummer. The song is a 2 and a half minute power guitar pop single, which sits at the intersection of a Venn diagram including Blink 182, One Direction and Royal Blood. I know. It’s also got a chant along, stomp along chorus, a song structure that is a bit different to the usual Eurovision ABABkeychangeB thing, and there’s even time in the guitar breaks to do a run out to the satellite stage at the front and do some crowd interaction & rockstar posing.

So, maybe Dara and Ronan think that they might be a bit too cool for Eurovision? Maybe they saw what happened to Nicky Byrne in Stockholm and wouldn’t consider it?

Well let me put it to them this way: if you want the best part of 200 million people to see you sing your single then it is worth a shot. Even if you don’t win, look at the European career that the Jedward lads still have as a result of their Eurovision work. With Eurovision, you don’t have to take on Europe one capital at a time, you can get automatically beamed into all the capitals (and beyond!) at once. Also, I can assure you that lads as funny as yourselves would be a massive hit with the Eurovision press, which would give you a significant boost. So, if you’re reading this, Dara and Ronan, and RTE have asked you to give the Eurovision a thought, I say just do it. Do it even if RTE haven’t asked you yet. Come to Kyiv, it’ll be a laugh.

Unfortunately, the excellent single above was released before September 1st this year, so they can’t actually send this one. But I bet they’ve got a similar stormer up their sleeves. Just keep it under three minutes.

Apella are on Facebook

Apella have a website



Game on: France vs Ireland

Come on you Boys in Green! And other such exhortations to sporting endeavour!

For France we have the wonderful FM Laeti, whose song Sanctuary made me prick up my ears and say ‘woah’ like Keanu. For Ireland we have traditional music specialist Jarlath Henderson whose voice is ever so powerfully sad.

Who wins? France or Ireland?

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Sanctuary – FM Laeti [Splendidly dignified and majestic. Full of humanity and warmth]

Courting Is A Pleasure – Jarlath Henderson [Cutting edge interpretation of a traditionally grim folk love song]



Game on: Italy vs Ireland

It’s Italy vs Ireland and we’re all getting a bit exhausted by the permutations. This is the last batch!

For Italy we have a jaunty sorta-Motown love song which has a bit of a melancholy edge to it. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just Wednesday.

For Ireland we have some really spacey modern disco from a band that I bet are great live, Plutonic Dust. They play live disco music and have great videos made of chopped up old pop shows.

But which do you like more?

Which country had the better song? Italy or Ireland?

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Love Me Forever – Elisa [Really upbeat pop that somehow manages to also be unbearably poignant]

Triangulate – Plutonic Dust [This is DISCO]



Game on: Belgium vs Ireland

It’s Belgium vs Ireland and I’m going to introduce you to the biggest star you’ve not yet heard of.

Stromae is MASSIVE in Benelux and France. Seriously, look how many views Tous les mêmes has and boggle at how this is the first you’re hearing of him. Anyway, he can sing, he can dance, he looks good in and out of drag, what more is there for a pop star to achieve?

From Ireland we’ve got a really good band who play big band Jamaican ska, Interskalactic. They have such a lovely retro sound and they just seem happy.

Which did you enjoy more? Stromae or Interskalactic?

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Tous les mêmes- Stromae [Extraordinarily accomplished gender pop with amazing physicality]

Simmer Down – Interskalactic [The sunny sound of ska, authentically and enthusiastically interpreted]


Game on: Ireland vs Sweden

It’s the first of our special absolute heavyweight matches here. Who could possibly conceive of trying to decide if Horse Outside, by Ireland’s Rubberbandits is better than Petra Mede and Måns Zemerlow singing Love Love Peace Peace, which might have won Eurovision without even actually being one of the competing songs.

This is going to be TOUGH.

Which country has the best song, Ireland or Sweden?

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Horse Outside – The Rubberbandits [Genuinely brilliant, from Ireland’s favourite cultural commentators]

Love Love Peace Peace  – Petra Mede and Måns Zemerlow [The platonic ideal of Eurovision songs, possibly genius. No, probably genius.]