London Eurovision Party – Sunday night saw 300 lucky Eurovision fans party the night away at the sold out Shadow Lounge in Soho. Several of this year’s acts performed their entries for 2012 as well as other songs, and past representatives were also in attendance. Eurovision Times was there to check out the acts…
The event was hosted by Paddy O’Connell and former UK Eurovision entrant Nicki French (2000). Unfortunately Donny Montell from Lithuania didn’t bother to turn up, no-one appears to know why. So opening the evening’s events was Omar Naber, the Slovenian representative from 2005. Now living in London, Omar, clad in leather trousers, opened with his 2005 song, ‘Stop‘, before performing one of his latest songs, and also did an acoustic version of his 2009 attempt ‘I Still Carry On‘.
Carrying on with the Slovenian theme, the expectant crowd then got their first performance by one of this year’s entrants, 16-year-old Eva Boto, who gave a very beautiful performance of “Verjamem” and was very sweet and charming. She also sang ‘A si sanjal me‘, her other song from the national selection this year. The hosts presented her, and all the other acts for 2012 with a gift; a copy of their minipops icon for this year.
Portugal’s Filipa Sousa was on next and oozed confidence. She sang Portugal’s song for this year’s contest ‘Vida Minha‘, but then also delivered ‘Conquistador‘ from the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest and then rather wonderfully Jade Ewan’s ‘My Time‘ (UK 2009). The crowd loved it and sang along enthusiastically. Her mum and dad were in tow and accepted the applause from the crowd after they’d taken their first flight ever to be there.
Last on before the break was Hungary’s Compact Disco. It was a tight squeeze getting them all on the tiny club stage, especially after the piano was carried on! But they managed to give a good performance of ‘Sound of our hearts‘. Singer Csaba Walkó was wrapped in his country’s flag and actually smiled and looked like he was enjoying himself for a change instead of being so serious. That may have been the free drinks though. They also played a new song, called ‘I feel the rain‘.The crowd gave them a decent reception.
There was a short break and the DJ had the dancefloor packed as he played Eurovision hit after hit from previous years as well as 2012. Jedward‘s ‘Lipstick‘ had plenty singing along, and Loreen‘s ‘Euphoria’ saw the club go wild.
The crowd were then entertained by the lovely Nikki French, compare, who sang a medley of UK songs throughout the years including ‘Congratulations‘, ‘Making Your Mind Up‘ and ‘Love Shine a Light‘ as well as her own entry from 2000, ‘Don’t Pay that Song Again‘. A lucky guest then won 2 free flight tickets to Baku… good luck getting a hotel!
The second half of the night started with one of the big five. Anggun, from France, surrounded by a whole gaggle of men hanging on her every word and camera crews, performed ‘Echo (You & I)‘. Live vocals, which were very strong, and an absolutely beautiful dress which she jokingly checked we all loved before she would start singing.
Valentina Monetta from San Marino, who had been dancing like crazy in the VIP area most of the night, was on next. She sang her song twice… the Social Network Song version and naughtily, also the Facebook version! She also did an amazing an Italian jazz number scat style, ‘Una giornata bellissima‘, showing off her real vocal talent and skills.
Sabina, from Azerbaijan, then glided onto the stage in a beautiful ballgown to stun the crowd with her beauty and lovely strong vocals on her entry this year, ‘When the music dies.’ She charmingly welcomed us all to Baku and then won us all over by singing some Englebert Humperdinck!
There was then a blast from the past as the lovely Kati Wolf from Hungary sang her hit from last year’s contest, ‘What about my dreams‘ to the delight of the crowd who all sang along and hit the high notes with her well.
The amazing Kaliopi from FYR Macedonia closed the evening in style. She performed this year’s entry ‘Crno i belo‘ , ‘Sami ti‘ from 1996, her latest song ‘I love you‘ and then “Black and white” on the piano, showing off her amazing voice and musical talents, whilst winning over the crowd with jokes.
It was time then to drag Anggun back on stage and sing her Happy Birthday and present a cake to her for her 38th Birthday. She happily blew out the candles to end a fantastic Eurovision night out.
Well done to all the organisers for a great night out, and thanks to sponsors and supporters BMI and escXtra.com for enabling it to happen. See you next year!