Dervish Eurotrash

Dervish Eurotrash

This has to be a big error of judgement by the Sligo band Dervish. I know Riverdance and all that money making industry started with Eurovision, but this is embarrassing rubbish. I’m not a fan of Cathy Jordan, I’ve always believed that the contrived style she employs is cringe-inducing, but now we have a new low to aim for. There’s a snatch of it here, more than enough to make me nauseous.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0217/eurovision_av.html?2220328,null,230

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Tell us how you really feel, Backer!

In the first few seconds I thought they were playing a Nanci Griffith song. And I like Nanci Griffith a lot. Then they pulled the camera back and you see it’s Dervish, and it’s confusing, because they don’t sound like that. I wouldn’t call it trash at all. It’s just very different, and not what we know and love from Dervish.

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Bring back Father Ted and Dougal and ‘My Beautiful Horse’ or whatever it was.

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Backer, sorry to disagree with you but surely this song isn’t really aimed at a trad audience, so what’s the harm? I mean, let’s face it, how many folk here are going to be glued to the Eurovision Song Contest on TV?

So I say good luck to them. Let’s hope they sell a skip load of all their CDs, all around Europe, after their appearance. It can surely only be good to have good musicians performing in the contest.

As for the song, I’m sure if they had been allowed to choose the song themselves, they’d have picked one more pleasing to our trad ears, but that’s the one they’ve been given, so I have no doubt they’ll be doing their best with it.

I seem to remember when Altan joined the ‘big label’, some folks thought they’d sold out in search of the big bucks, but $hit, these guys are trying to make a living after all, & I certainly would be the last to grudge them a few bob ……. so I say, good onya & to hell with the begrudgers!

After all, they’ll just go back to Sligo when it’s all over & still be fit to belt out great music in their own wee pub.

As for Cathy’s voice, I must admit I quite like it, although for me the finest female singer of an Irish song, Irish or English, was ‘Eithne Ni Uallachain’.

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Ah, but the whistle gives it class…I’ve got to say that, as I play them.

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Agree with Ptarmian 100%.

If you don’t like it, don’t watch it! Shame the song choice wasn’t better but at least the best song won out of the ones that were shortlisted.

Hopefully they will make it a bit more "Dervish" and a little less RTE by the time the contest comes round, but I wish them the very best of luck with it all!

Also, contrived is the last word I would use to describe Cathy. Not many singers these days sing so ‘honestly’ in their own voice and express themselves like she does. You’d be hard pushed to meet someone less contrived, decent and down-to-earth.

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ok re-wording the final sentence, you’d be hard pushed to meet someone so uncontrived, decent and down-to-earth as Cathy!

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Ah Lizzy, it is so refreshing to meet someone who is clearly so ‘wise beyond their years’ - you must be some sort of ‘child pridigy’! 😎

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Lizzy, I did say her style of singing is contrived, not the person. I’ve never been in her company, and I’ll take your word on her "down to earthness"
But the reason they were chosen by RTE (according to the producer Julian Vignoles) is that apparently, songs of an ethnic style have been successful in recent years.
"As for the song, I’m sure if they had been allowed to choose the song themselves, they’d have picked one more pleasing to our trad ears…………"

Now am I missing something or is there an awful irony here.

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Ptarmi, why is ‘Eithne Ni Uallachain’ in inverted commas? Glorious singer she certainly was, but are you suggesting she operated under an alias (or making a very subtle point about her father’s change of name)? 🙂

Much as I agree with Lizzy about Cathy Jordan’s personality I’m afraid her voice leaves me cold. I recall asking Finbar Boyle of Claddagh Records what on earth she was singing on the ‘hidden’ track at the end of the ‘Spirit’ CD. Neither of us had a clue. "It sounds like it’s in Irish," Finbar remarked, "but I think she’s making up her own words."

As for Eurovision, well, of course, it’s a simple money-making enterprise and nothing more. Dervish might possibly revive its recently stuttering career, but the song itself (and nobody’s commented upon the actual author yet, John Waters) is unbelievably naff.

By the by, if anyone’s tempted to buy the Dervish CD ‘Live at Johnny Fox’s’, issued on the Doonaree label (DNRCD 1003), please be aware that this has been issued without the band’s permission or, as I discovered when I contacted Brian McDonagh, its knowledge.

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No Geoff, no special reason for the inverted commas, other than the fact that I wished to highlight her name. I can’t pronounce Gaelic, never mind understand it!

Incidentally, I didn’t actually hear any of the songs on the short list but I did hear that Don Mescall had a hand in writing one of them? I’m surprised the good folk didn’t choose that one, cause I know Don has written some good songs.
In fact they should maybe have asked Don to sing instead! Ah well, maybe next year.

Perhaps we should invite you, Backer, to write a song for next year’s competition! 😛

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I asked on another thread if she was out of tune. Now you are telling me she just has a bad voice?

Not good, hadn’t heard them before, who usually sings?

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My Lovely Horse.. ;)

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I’m geting the pen right now Ptarmi ! Will you sing?

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Absolutely Backer …. but only if Cathy let’s me borrow her frock!

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I hate this thing where people say "it’s okay they’re only trying to make money". What if someone came up to you and said "I’ll give you 500,000 if you kill my next door neighbour"? oh yeah, that’s fine because you know, I’m a bit short of cash at the moment, and so I can justify doing pretty much anything because I’m a bit short of cash at the moment. Yes they probably are just doing this for the money, but as a fan, I’d rather they brought out a new CD better than the last one, because this Eurovision song is crap - what are they *doing*?! You can tell Cathy’s not happy doing it just by looking at her face as she sings.

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"Ni Uallachain"= Ull uh-han" With the ch pronounced like a German "ch" as in Achtung.

Anglicized to "Halloran".

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BUT at the end of the video when she shuts up it gets interesting! and the whistle all the time is awesome, come on it’s not so bad…

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why are you all so judgemental about how other folks choose to express themselves? and so what if it is just for a couple of $$$..not saying it is, but so what? you gonna go and pay their bills for them?

Why not enjoy what you like about them and ignore the rest?

and it’s not like killing your next door neighbor fer chrissake.

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…but honestly, I think she’s only copying the Dixie Chicks…..

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Is that contract on your neighbour still available?

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Sunnybear, it *is* like killing your next door neighbour! It’s disgraceful and unforgivable, and they should definitely be imprisoned for what they’ve done. Don’t tell me the Dervish band members can’t pay their bills - they’re the most successful Irish band of their generation. They’ll be loaded.

By the way, when you said "why are you all so judgemental" you didn’t mean me, did you?

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I’m still with Ptarmy, Lizzie et al on this one. Anyway Dow, where the hell did YOU find £500,000 to bribe the woman next door to me to set fire to my house? You’re probably on the take with Dervish.
Yep, good for them even if they are the most successful trad band of their generation. Even if the song is fairly dire, from the snip we heard. It’s still sounds better than the rest of the usual Eurotrash. I’d just be interested to see how they get on. Apart from that I don’t take this whole thing at all seriously and it most certainly is NOTHING like murdering your neighbour. Though I can appreciate the point your attempting to make by taking, or twisting, more like, your argument to its logical conclusion, absurd logic though that is.

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The woman next door hates you so much that she offered to set fire to your house for free, Danny.

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Wow! That’s actually close to the truth, Mark.

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Oh, the humanity!

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Poor marketing decision. This will likely hurt them in the long run.

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it won’t hurt them as much as "spirit" did. THAT is far more deserving of scorn. At least with Eurovision you’re starting from a very, very low taste-base. There is no such excuse for "spirit".

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LOL. Yeah.

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…and what IS you point, Oblio??

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Whatever happened to Cathy`s Gipsy earrings and hair scarf? She looks like she just went 10 rounds with the make-up room.Sounds like Maura o`connell singing "can`t stop the girl",except for the tinker intonation in Cathy`s voice.It won`t do for Eurotrash!!

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Typical conservative ‘committee’ type decision to get Dervish to do the Euro thing. The usual ballads we enter were going nowhere in a competition that is increasingly a stage show. So throw in a bit of Irish ‘culture’ that the other Europeans might empathise with - so a step sort of in the right direction if the country actually wanted to win the damn thing again. But a half hearted limp of a step, bound to failure, mediocre songs to choose from and very little life on stage.
They really have to go the whole hog: a few catchy lines, a catchy polka or whatever in between and a few dancers ina fast moving strip show. Nothing whatsoever to do with ITM but if you going to draw on people’s stereotypical views of the Irish, you may as well go the whole way and swing it. But who cares ………

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oh god… can’t believe what i read on this website half the time.. i saw the show on friday night and yes, it was rubbish. Have a look back at it and watch Cathy’s eyes especially at the end of the songs; they aren’t idiots and one could see the embarrassment as they mimed through it.

But what is crucial to remember is that we were not solely listening to dervish. If we were it would have been brilliant. To begin with, on a compositional level, it was flawed because the song writers didn’t know who they were writing for as the song selection competition took place before the band was chosen and so, and I’m sure Cathy would second this, the songs didn’t suit her very specific style of singing nor voice: so limitations of her voice were exposed and possibilities not explored. It is also arguable that the ‘song writers’ simply didn’t have the talent even if they did know who was singing…

Then there was the musical arrangement. Dervish didn’t even get to do all this themselves either, and again if they had have done, it would have helped immensely. For example, a big part of popular music is padding which amounts to chords on a synth. The accordion could have done this, which would have given the sound much more depth, but instead it played fill ins as they’re called…

I myself (shock horror, call trad police) have done many gigs playing music in the popular idiom; covers of u2, oasis, cranberries etc. and recording origional songs in that style also, and i can tell you that there are huge possiblities from traditional instruments. Musically it’s neither simplistic nor inferior to trad and in many aspects has much more in the way of passion. Btw, I don’t sing it! Just arrange and accompany it!

Challenge me on the musical specifics of it if ye will but it’s my experience that people prefer to make comments, especially negative here with out any specific musical reference about what they’re talking about. (‘But I said I didn’t like her singing’, specific would be pronunciation, range of voice, delivery, is she in tune etc.) What is it you don’t like? It’d be the basis for a more mature discussion at any rate.

Secondly is the idea of commerciality, somebody mentioned riverdance also… the term commercial when mentioned in relation to music, is music that sells. The term is not indicative of quality. Tell me that you have perceived everything or most of what is musically there in bill whealans riverdance, and on spirit, which I think is one of the best trad albums of all time, and I’ll allow ye to degrade it.

I know this comment is going to be argued on the grounds of peoples right to an opinion, and it’s fine to say how you FEEL about music. We all can feel, even Cathy Jordan 🙂 but isn’t it time, you started thinking about what your saying? I think it undermines trad music to talk of it as just something we only feel, we get emotionally moved by all music. There is so much wonderful thought and positivity to be got out of perceiving the immense thought and years of development of someones style. Spirit and riverdance are actually ground breaking in this sense.

so in conclusion, great band, unfortunate decision. They took a chance and it didn’t work out, sh!t happens. But to take it as an opportunity to point out the bleeding obvious, which only serves to alert people state side who didn’t see the late show and cause further negativity, then this thread is perhaps the real lapse of taste.

Martin Tourish.

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It was great and I loved it, then.

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🙂

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Nicely put, Martin!!

I wouldn’t put Riverdance and Spirit in the same sentence though.

and Backer, I know you were referring to her style of singing but my argument is that she sings ‘how she is’ and thus is not contrived… Just my dha pingin…

What is it people don’t ‘get’ about Spirit? Sure the long instrumental trip at the end is a bit ‘out there’ compared to previous stuff they recorded, but the rest of the album is fantastic - I’d compare it more to recent Altan albums in that it’s slightly ‘slicker’ than their older stuff, but it’s full of good solid tunes and the songs are incredible. The ‘hidden track’ is a newly composed song by Brendan Graham; "Ochón An Gorta Mór" recorded in a Roscommon church, I believe.

ANYWAY getting sidetracked!

Lx

p.s.
Ptarmigan I’m no "Child Pridigy" ;)
Also I read, for some reason, "wise beyond their ears", which amused me for some time…

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With no disrespect to Bill Whelan intended, as I think he’s an amazing composer

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I think its great to make money off music - hell - you get to do what you love, tour and get paid and get beer. I amnt allowed to drink beer at my real job………I couldnt see the video ps - so I’ll take your words for it that its sh*te…..

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Hey, playing the way you do Lizzy, you are certainly not - "wet behind the ears"! 😎

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This can only get Dervish’s name more widely known by a new audience, some of whom will become fans and follow them back into ITM.

If Dervish produce good music in the future, I can’t see fans of ITM being put off, and saying "You remember that dire song they did for Eurovision? No, I’m not buying their stuff anymore, they sold out".

IOW, any publicity is good publicity, and Dervish must have agreed to perform Eurovision with this in mind.

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I think many people are taking it too seriously. Poor Dervish got a right slagging on RTE’s live line today, mostly by ignorant Irish people who know nothing of trad music and the hard work these touring bands undertake.

The top groups in this country are the real ambassadors of Ireland and the ones who have helped tourism to this country.
If they had to rely on an Irish audience they wouldn’t be able to live.
Instead they go away from home for long periods of time - okay they are doing what they love (playing music) and getting paid for it but it is not as financially beneficial as it sounds.

The bulk of Irish people take trad music for granted and think paying to see a band perform is a waste of time when they can see the same thing in the pub session for free…..unless your name is Sharon Shannon they haven’t got a clue.
I wish the irish would wake up and see the wealth of talent that is in the country no offence to Sharon but she had to sell out a bit to make a name for herself!

The begrudgery and small mindedness of Ireland is one of the things that has not been lost in the progress following the Celtic Tiger, why can we not support the like of Dervish and look at the possible positives?
OK, it might not work out for them, they are a trad band with a good following and they might help to promote trad music by doing Eurovision and bring the music to a wider audience or they might ruin things for themselves…they are the ones taking the big chance here and have been in the business long enough to be able to make that decision for themselves…..

Even if you don’t approve of the song we have to vote for them - not only are they the Irish entry they are representing trad music too!


…sorry for the rant - had to get that out of my system!

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I just had a thought—-what if the song becomes a hit and they have to start playing it in all their concerts?

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Boy, but we’re sensitive today, but if facts are faced, Dervish must have seen this coming.
The song(s) were submitted AFTER the band was selected
http://www.rte.ie/arts/2006/1114/eurovision.html
The "ignorant Irish people" referred to above are the people that Dervish will represent in the contest.

Martin t "it’s my experience that people prefer to make comments, especially negative here with out any specific musical reference about what they’re talking about"
Is it wrong to express one’s dislike for a particular recording/band without going into musical specifics? Many , many people all over the world like trad music for countless different reasons, most of them don’t have a clue about the nuances within the music, and similarly many people dislike trad music for no particular reason. Does that mean they’re ignorant?
"so in conclusion, great band, unfortunate decision"
I rest my case.

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I have no objection to people doing Eurovision, Riverdance, the White House on Paddies day, or whatever, or whatever reason, be it money or fame.
I was objecting to the singing. Is she always like that?

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I also have no objection to people doing Eurovision, Riverdance, the White House on Paddies day, or whatever, or whatever reason, be it money or fame, but I wish Dervish wouldn’t.

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And no matter that The Chieftains did Long Black Veil, eh?

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Are Dervish supposed to be special?

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the songs were subitted after the band was selected, ok, slipped up on a small fact. didn’t matter though because most if not all of the songs were composed not specifically for the eurovision, but maybe years before and as said on the show, are just shelved composositions sent in by anxious managers. - not using those exact words incase you want to check!

and if the songs were selected AFTER the band was already chosen, then they couldn’t have heard what cr*p they had to play.. i wish they could change it and play anything from spirit on the spur of the moment out there..

in relation to the rest of your comment backer, people of course are entitled to say what they like or dislike…freedom of speech is a good american and human virtue. here’s an exerpt from anchorman: the legend of ron burgundy.

Brick Tamland: I love… carpet.
[pause]
Brick Tamland: I love… desk.
Ron Burgundy: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?
Brick Tamland: I love lamp.
Ron Burgundy: Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?
Brick Tamland: I love lamp. I love lamp.


so yes, people should know what they’re talking about.. it’s generally a good rule for a specialised conversation…

i love ITM
I love Dervish
bye 🙂

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I have all respect for people trying to earn a crust and tweaking their music to suit an audience or playing less than classy venues. However, I do think it is a sign of the times that money is deemed by some as a good excuse for *anything*. I mean, *that song* on Eurovision. Come on. There are limits.

And it’s no excuse that they didn’t know beforehand which song was going to be chosen. What serious artist will commit to perform any song from a pool of bad songs without even knowing what it will be?

Reminds of a Jackie Daly story. Sadly I cannot remember who said it about who, but one musician stood and listened to the elaborate show-off ystyle of another and commented: "Keep that up. The real thing doesn’t pay."

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"here’s an exerpt from anchorman: the legend of ron burgundy"
???????????????

Martin t, I have no idea what you’re trying to say here, except maybe it was a bit late when you typed it, and I think we already knew your views on Dervish (which incidentally you are entitled to hold 🙂 )
And by the way I like them too, well most of the time!

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I love this quote: “No discussion of the Irish music scene can be complete without reference to the annual Eurovision Song Contest.”!

http://www.irish-showbands.com/eurovision.htm

One way or another, Dervish will be added to the illustrious list shown on this page - soon.

I saw the tail end of a repeat, on RTE last night, of the show which featured the final four songs & I was rather surprised to hear the female judge on the night [ & I’ve seen this woman judge other musical contests, too ] say that when she heard that Dervish were going to be singing in the Euro., she then asked everyone she met, who this group was & whether they thought this group would do a good job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is that weird, or am I just expecting too much from someone who is involved in the popular music scene in Ireland.
Come on, let’s face it, Dervish are a BIG name in Ireland ……. aren’t they?
Or maybe us ITM dudes are just more catholic in our musical taste!

Let’s put it to the test, here & now, can anyone here name five top Irish Showbands, five top Irish Country groups, five top Rock & Pop outfits & five top Irish Opera singers?

NO! Duh, I don’t want any answers, it was just a rhetorical question!

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Just noticed that Sweden’s entry this year will also feature traditional instruments - "the Nyckelharpa and Benju":

http://www.worldmusiccentral.org/article.php/20070212080333312

I wonder, is this the start of a trend towards countries actually entering music which really represents their country, instead of the tired old, bland, World pop songs that we’ve come to expect?

It could only be a step in the right direction, don’t you think?

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I could nearly answer that Ptarm, apart from the Rock and Pop. I had heard of Dervish, but never heard them, until now, sadly, which is why I was seriously asking if they were normally good, in the singing department.

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Bodhran bliss : Naturally, singing always depends on personal taste.

But in my opinion the answer is a resounding YES.

Listen to "Midsummer’s Night" (1999) or "Live In Palma" (1997)

…and prepare to be blown away…

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I went on to youtube but it was all tunes. I hope she can sing, because the bodhran…………

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because the bodhran….is just like any other bloody bodhran :D

Dervish in the Eurovision…….bad idea….actually anyon ein the Eurovision is really a bad idea!

On the other hand their cd Live in Palma, is actually quite good.

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Everything ever entered in Eurovision is total and utter Cr*p. In terms of Dervish - their first few albums were ground breaking. In terms of Cathy Jordan’s singing. I’ll be honest - I dont usually listen to many trad songs. But when ‘I courted a wee lass’ comes on (by Dervish, Cathy Jordan) I cry every time. Its just beautiful and she does a great job. And if I had to listen to singers, then she’d be up there. She has great soul and feeling in her voice (to quote the many here who always go on about soul).
Also individually - they are all great musos - I mean Tom Morrow for fecks sakes! And before him Shane MacEleer for fecks sakes!

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What if every European country started to respect their nation’s Trad music, so much so that they all started entering songs which used their trad musicians & promoted their region’s music? Cool or what!

Were that to happen, I for one would certainly start taking a keen interest in the show & it could happen because, let’s face it, the present format is tired beyond it’s years & is in danger of dying a death unless something new happens.

Just maybe, Trad Music is the secret ingredient that could save it?

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Hmm!, what is Nordic trad music like? Must be a good following in those countries. I hear that a group of Swedes and ITM afficiandos in Naas do some sort of cultural exchange - the Swedes are coming here in July this year. Then our local school in Wicklow is doing a trip to Finland next autumn - they’re taking over both the school band and the school trad group. Didn’t Noway win the Euro thingy a few years ago with a sort of vernacular music: Secret Garden with the Irish violinist, was it Finola Sherry? I think but could be wrong that they also ‘wrote’ that You Raise Me Up song which is patently based on the Derry Air/ Danny Boy.

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Hussar, here’s a site with video clips from northern and eastern Europe—-some fascinating stuff there:

http://www.tvfolk.net/

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Lovely stuff kennedy, thanks for that link. You can see from a couple of the videos on my own ‘MySpace’, that I am very fond of this type of music too.

http://www.myspace.com/ulstermandragora

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Kennedy, can you just imagine a Eurovision Song Contest made up of groups like those on that link, from every country - what a fascinating idea & what a very different contest that would be!

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That would be my idea of *real* musical excellence. Trouble is, you couldn’t really say one was better than the other, because all the traditions are beautiful. It would be a fabulous idea for a festival, though. I think they have a few that come close, but not for every European country. Wanna put it together, Ptarmigan?

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I don’t know why Norway was famous long ago for getting "nul points" again and again, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was for doing trad.

I wonder if another Iron Curtain would arise between Western and Eastern European music traditions if Eurovision went trad. Some Eastern European music sounds as if the instruments have all got drunk and started a fight. As a Westerner, I’m more used to the idea that that is what the players do.
But sometimes quality will out: I thought those Bulgarian women singers ("Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares") were sublime in the late 80s.

All the Swedish music I’ve heard has been slowish fiddle music, usually two or more playing together. It can be a tad reminiscent of huge, mournful mosquitoes commiserating, but basically it’s OK, it’s kosher.

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Some of the best instrumental groups I’ve heard are Swedish - e.g. Vasen and Hedningarna. can be a bit melancholy at times but that’s cool too.

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Thanks for the links. I think the visiting Swedes are playing locally at some stage so will look forward to meeting and hearing them.

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Was amused by Royale Madness’s clip in the Friends section of the Vasen blog cited by Conan, above!

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I love Dervish, I love Cathy Jordans voice, yet I was horrified when i heard they agreed to do Eurovision. The main reason for this is because they are a seriously talented bunch of musicians and Eurovision is nothing but a bad joke. It demeans a group as talented as Dervish that they will be up on that Eurovision stage singing that awful song c0-written by John ‘I take myself far too seriously as a lyricist’ Waters.

Look at the list of Eurovision entrants Ireland had over the past 20 years or so, Linda Martin, Johnny Logan, Brian Kennedy, all a bunch of cheesy crap and now Dervish have brought themselves down to that level. It was clear from what I saw that they weren’t into it and so perhaps they are just doing it for the money. If that’s the case well I hope they make a lot of money but it’ll take them a long time to recover their credibility.

For Gods sake look at last years Eurovision, Brian Kennedy took it sooo seriously and went on about how great his very average song was and then who won the Eurovision?!!!

A Finnish Cartoon Death Metal Band!

This is the kind of thing Dervish have set themselves up for.

In the end I really like Dervish and I’m just sorry they had to reduce themselves to the Eurovision but the fact is that they are probably all at the stage where they have family and feel the need to provide for them and as such they have gone down the old realiable money making road of the music industry. This happens all the time so what can we do but just let them embarass themselves in front of millions of viewers around Europe. I’m sure they’ll attract a new audience but you can be sure a large amount of that new audience won’t be interested in hearing them play The Swallows Tail.

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Aww, Man, Dude! Too pitchy!

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It’s Eurovision- it’s not meant to be good that’s the "charm" of it (and why I used to bounce up and down in front of it when I was a baby lol).

At least if Dervish are playing for Ireland we already know they can play and sing rather than the frequently out of tune performances the UK seems to get every year- HOW do they even get through to the main competition???!!!!!

I can’t listen to the song because my internet is rubbish but I’m going to watch the whole damn thing tonight 🙂 as it gets me out of revision and I’m voting for Ireland anyway hehe.

Just enjoy the show and accept that it’s not meant to be good!