Monday, 5 May 2014

What does Europe mean to you?: 7

As we speak, the annual competition "choose an Archaeological Dig Anthem", which most TV pundits still refer to (in rather outdated terms) as the Eurovision Song Contest, is making preparations for the first of two semifinals, with the final, in Copenhagen, set for Saturday May 10th 2014...'s all very exciting.

Every dig needs an anthem: a wildly insane 3 minute burst of hectic energy with (ideally) enthusiastic trumpets, a rousing chorus and, with any luck, a good handful of 'hey, hey, hey' s to be played on a constant, teeth grinding, hair-raising, brain-melting, mattock-wielding loop. Transmitted on tannoy systems around the site, nothing gets the picks, shovels and wheelbarrows moving more effectively than a loud and sanity-free slice of Europop.

This time, no doubt, all journalistic eyes will be on the bigger political game (more so than usual anyway). In previous years it's been refreshing to see, across the European Superstate, neighbours vote for neighbours, allies for allies, old enemies for new friends. Better, I've always thought, to see badly-dressed representatives from the Balkan states each giving one another 12 points rather than the alternative (immaculately uniformed representatives from the Balkan states laying into one another with bullets). This year, however, Europe seems more divided than ever. For the last 3 years, the Russian entry to Eurovision has been booed by the crowd (surely their songs weren't that bad?), so how Russia and Ukraine get on in 2014 as they share the same stage, is quite frankly anyone's guess. Finger's crossed that inspired lunacy wins the night (although I suspect that whatever the result, there won't be much celebration on the streets of eastern Europe).

Last year, Greece’s entry Alcohol Is Free (sung by Koza Mostra, featuring Agathon Iakovidis) won the Big Dig Anthem prize:

Although the unofficial voting system broadcast by the BBC claimed they only came 6th (with a mere 152 points), behind Russia, Norway, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Denmark (none of whom had men in skirts, trumpets or a single 'hey' in the chorus - thus disqualifying them all on a technicality).

Who will win the coveted 'Big Dig Anthem' prize for the 2014 season? This time next week it will all be over so dust off your spandex pants and buff up your's showtime.

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