Poles Aloud Show – 8th & 10th May 2016 (Eurovision semi-final 1)

What’s big, loud and happens every May? Well #Eurovision of course! Join us for some pre semi-final overview of themes and acts taking place in Stockholm this year (scroll down, it’s a long page, but keep going!).

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SEMI-FINAL 1 PARTICIPANTS (videos watched before the semi-finals on the Stockholm stage took place)

Finland – Sing it away

It’s definitely a catchy tune, but I’m not sure about the singer and dancers’ outfits, not to mention the mysterious figure on the horse. Yes, I realise it comes from the child’s drawings, but still – leaves me feeling puzzled. Fashion tip: those feathers like sleeves might be this season’s top thing as similarly modelled by Iceland’s representative.

Greece – Utopian land

Bit folky, I do like that. I prefer songs that bring some of their own culture to the Eurovision vibe. What I don’t like is the hip hop thrown into the mix, it doesn’t complement it well in my opinion. Maybe that’s why this poor half naked guy keeps on running away. I would too.

Moldova – Falling stars

It starts as a typical Eurovision pop song with a female singer and a wind machine (never enough of those :) ), but after a minute changes into a dance track. I could happily dance away to in the car. Someone throws some glittery stars on the girl trying to sing while having a photo shoot at the same time. At one point she even sings in front of a galaxy projected onto a screen. Hmm…I know, she’s applying to be Brian Cox’ assistant!

Hungary – Pioneer

It can’t be a bad song if it’s got light sabers, right? Well, half sized light sabers and a dancing monk playing a giant drum, and some seriously blinding light effects. Could definitely benefit from a light saber fight though, the singer versus the backing singers. Bring it on!

Croatia – Lighthouse

A futuristic video showing an alien (must be some twin planet as the alien resembles humans) making her way in a tiny spaceship towards Earth. She’s received a beacon from a human (a flashy red hole in the human’s palm, must be painful!) and is trying to save her. But fails, the human (aka the singer, who is the alien at the same time, very deep stuff) gets arrested and taken away. No traffic in the air, yet she was completely late.

The Netherlands – Slow down

It’s chill out time with the Netherlands; sit back (or grab a guitar), have a sip of beer and watch the world go by. It’s got some country vibe to it. I’m so relaxed now I might not make it to the next post. It might be Armenia’s turn, but who cares – I’m just chilling.

Armenia – LoveWave

Missed biology lessons in school? No worries, thanks to Armenia’s entry you’ll find out what the heart looks like, the insides at least. Or is a stomach or maybe bit of lungs, they don’t really do the boring explanations teachers usually do, so you can’t be sure.

San Marino – I didn’t know

This track stands out for a few reasons; it has a mature singer (should be more of those), who sort of speaks-sings in a really deep voice. This reminds me of Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady who was allowed to “Speak Sing” his parts. And then there’s that Saturday Night Fever era vibe to it. If you fancy bit of boogie, this is your song. You need to use your elbows though to squeeze through the crowd around the singer later on.

Russia – You are the only one

A very striking use of visual effects, can’t miss them. It’s like they saw Swedish entry last year winning with the interactive effects, so now they’re totally going the same direction. There is a story to the song; a pair of lovers is separated by an abyss, trying unsuccessfully to reach one another. The tune is catchy and this song could easily take the trophy home. But wait for the Ukrainian entry, a definite statement – we haven’t forgotten Russia what you did few summers ago!

Czech Republic – I stand

I don’t think the singer liked her diary (though it was pretty), as she threw it into the lake. Then she rolls over different surfaces (including plastic grass, come on it looks fake!) and is covered in glitter and flowers. She sings about “standing” (I stand) yet she’s definitely in a lying position most of the time. It’s a typical Eurovision power ballad. I hope this glitter washes off.

Cyprus – Alter ego

A rock band playing in the fields, this song has a rocky and heavier vibe to it (not too heavy though), people wearing long coats with hoods and occasionally driving a mustang. Pretending to be some bad ass. And there’s a wolf too (“howling for moonlight”). The wolf stands in the field, looks at the camera, walks away, what a charmer. Wait, wait a second. What sort of a wolf would not leg it straight away when left on its own in a field?! The kind of a domesticated one aka a dog, got you Cyprus! I do like the song, really.

Austria – Loin d’ici (Far from here)

An Austrian entry sang in French this year, now that is surprising as we know how well French entries normally do (not well at all). Austrians are not keen on hosting the event next year then. I’m being mean :) The singer walks on a treadmill (I guess) to give the impression of walking amongst the flowers and fields appearing on screen behind her. It’s bright, very colourful, fairy tale like. I hope it’s synchronised properly as I would hate to see her flying off that treadmill…. someone press the button :)

Estonia – Play

A minimalistic set with a young male singer singing in a really deep voice (could have just had a voice mutation). Traditional use of lights, backing singers and not much more. Still, it reminds me of a James Bond theme song for some reason, must be his smart suit. It’s a good song, but unfortunately Eurovision isn’t “a less is more” competition.

Azerbaijan – Miracle

A female singer singing to the mic in a basement like venue, with no one around – could this be prophetic? Noticeable use of lights, strong voice and nobody to take her back home. I’m concerned, can someone get her a taxi please?

Montenegro – The real thing

Warning: flashy backgrounds, not good to watch if you’ve got epilepsy. It’s a heavy beat with a DJ mixing some electronic tunes. An unusual choice for an Eurovision entry, but let’s not forget that in 2006 a Finnish heavy metal band won the competition. Hit harder Montenegro, you might have a chance.

Iceland – Hear them calling

This country is desperate to win. They mixed together at least 3 winning themes from last few years; firstly Loreen’s moves (Euphoria in 2012) at the start of the song, secondly Emmelie’s winning melody (Only teardrops in 2013) and finally Mans’ interactive visual effect (Heroes in 2015, but most acts copied it this year). Will this winning mixture bring them the long awaited trophy? Oh and don’t forget the fashionable sleeves (just like the ones Finnish representative has).

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Ljubav Je (Love is..)

Set up in a church or some other old looking building, sang in their native tongue, this song really caught my attention. Until the half way through it they brought in a hip hop artist for this modern spin on the good old classic performance. Why?! It’s not early 90s where this (rapping, hip hop lyrics) was almost obligatory. And he had the cheek to sit in the cellist’s chair, the poor woman had to stand for the rest of the song.

Malta – Walk on water

This song grew on me, I found myself listening to it more often than I’d expect. A female singer accompanied by a male dancer at the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, changing her outfits numerous times within the three minutes long track (will she be able to do it on stage?). She never manages to do the “Jesus thing” of walking on water; I’d recommend to change the song title.

DISCLAIMER: Loved all the songs, any light-hearted criticism wasn’t there to hurt anyone. More songs and comments to follow shortly.

Poles Aloud Show – 15th & 17th March 2015

In Britain we celebrate the Mothering Sunday on 15th March this year, in Poland it’s still a while to go before the chocolates and flowers are handed out to mums – Dzień Matki is an annual affair always celebrated on 26th May. Much better weather prospects 😉

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Today we’re going to introduce you to a Polish phrase “Matka Polka” (Mother Poland) and try to explain its ambivalent connotation in the Polish language and social life.

Another important date in May this year is Saturday 23rd May – the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest, we can’t wait! Seriously. So, we’re going to discuss the English and Polish entries for this year and what chances they have for a victory (let’s hope better than last year).

All that with our standard blocks “World Weird Web” & Polish for beginners and plenty of music – stay tuned.

Somer Valley FM – every Sunday at 5pm (97.5 FM)

Bradley Stoke Radio (BSR) – every Tuesday at 1pm (103.4 FM), repeated Sundays at 1pm.

Don’t forget to check us out on facebook & twitter.

Poles Aloud Show 30

Every Sunday at 5pm on Somer Valley FM & Monday at 1pm on Bradley Stoke Radio 

“Life in the UK” test – how easy or hard is it to pass the test, which is one of the requirements for the British citizenship. Revision, helpful guide books and the 45 minutes to answer 24 questions on the British history and culture. Scary!

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Eurovision 2014 – we’re looking forward to the finals next week in Copenhagen and in the meantime discussing chances of winning for Poland and Great Britain. For any Eurovision enthusiasts out there, follow #JoinUs on twitter to get the latest updates.

10 years on – last week we started talking about Poland joining EU back in 2004 and today we carry on discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this move.

Plus the usual mix of news, music and language (Polish for beginners) – check us out on facebook & twitter.