Alvan & Ahez
France were instrumental in founding the “Concours Eurovision de la chanson” (and securing funding from the CIA for what was seen at the time as an important bit of pro-Western propaganda), and to this day insist on bits of the presentation on the night being read out in French (hence “Douze Points” and your Nan being confused at us being called “Roy and Minnie”).
But right from the early days of the contest when it consisted of 5 countries, Katie Boyle and “Boom bang a ding a dong” they were pissing about being aloof and snooty. Every other country that’s joined Europe’s biggest party has realised it’s all about bright colours, and key changes, and flashmobs, and fire curtains, and sequins, and exploding cubes (can Eric beat the cube) and prosthetic devil masks. France, on the other hand, rolls out a culturally significant piece of art every year, shrugs its shoulders and goes home again. They’re like a rock solid gold guaranteed toilet break country.
Except that year when they had that bloke with his weird camera angles and Golf Buggy. That was ace. Or like that year when a sort of dayglo anti-capitalist Jedward came gleefully last. Or like that year when they had a great song that everyone (ie me) thought could win until they saw the staging and then realised could also just as easily come sixth. Or like last year when they had a stunningly good off-the-shelf G:son Boström earworm power ballad sung by a jaw-droppingly attractive man who has a side hustle in comedy sex skits.
In recent years a number of Eurovision fans seem to have been ageing into their pretentious music journalist phase, eschewing factory fodder pop for “something that sounds more authentic”. The problem is that the result is acts like Alvan and Ahez – Alvan is a multi-instrumentalist electro artist who “loves to mix different genres organic elements in his hybrid compositions”, Ahez is “a traditional vocal group who aim to showcase their regional heritage by writing and singing in their native language, Breton” and the result is unlistenable as it sounds.
Officially the song tackles the Breton legend of a young woman who emancipates herself from societal norms by dancing at night bathed in the light from a bonfire, but in reality it will provide you an opportunity to emancipate yourself from the front room for five minutes to take a piss, grab another beer and check on the british tapas you’ve been rustling up in the oven before it burns.