It was the Eurovision Song Contest last Saturday evening. A smorgasbord of sing-song which in recent decades has allowed European nations (and recently our Australian cousins) their annual opportunity to humiliate the less creative end of the UK’s song writing industry.

I’d like to think our continental cousin’s motives are deeply ingrained envy, born from a fact that over the last century Grande-Bretagne has kicked their collective asses in the field of quality musical ingenuity. In all reality, though, it’s unlikely spite is the basis for this paucity of voting benevolence; moreover, they just don’t vote for us Brits as we haven’t submitted a decent entry since the 1970s.

That being said, whatever the reason other European nations bear such distain for chanson Britannique doesn’t register high on the Gary Strachan angst scale. Despite fully respecting an individuals right to watch, enjoy and hold Eurovision parties, I’m utterly indifferent to viewing the annual live BBC broadcast.

My apathy a consequence of what I deem to be substandard songs, along with bitterness born decades ago from a UK Eurovision selection panel’s repudiation of my refrain ‘It’s Better to Know, Than Not!’. A tuneful and skilfully constructed musical composition I entered for selection as my nations entry for 1987 Eurovision Contest.

Sadly, the committee refused to embrace the song; subsequently meaning that my band Paul Madeley & The Socktags missed out on our celebrity day in the sun. Our should I say four minutes live on stage at the Palais du Centenaire in Brussels.

It wasn’t just me, who played lead air guitar and supplied the tune with a moving whistling accompaniment, whose nose was put out of joint by the panel’s rejection of our art. Paul Madeley & The Socktags gluttonous drummer Neil ‘Bam-Bam’ Bartley was so upset he went on hunger strike. An occasion when, in his fury, for fifteen minutes after hearing news of the snub he refused to eat any food product containing the letter ‘x’.

Bam-Bam wasn’t the only band member who was irked at the panels slight. Our acoustic guitarist Ed Theakston, an eccentric who played his instrument by idiosyncratically blowing into it, was so apoplectic at the decision he controversially converted his garage into a tea room and changed his name to Mr Spoons.

Abba ……. According to my aunt Gladys and her dog Truffles, the only decent act ever to win Eurovision! 

Sadly, a wider audience than the UK’s Eurovision selection panel never got to judge the song I co-wrote with bass player Marcus Troutbeck. Well, apart from my aunt Gladys whose garage we practised in. She may’ve been biased, but was gushing in her praise at the structure and arrangement of the song writing. It’s just a chuffing shame she wasn’t one of the UK’s Eurovision selectors. Her efforts to join them hampered by the fact she was tone deaf.

I’ve not watched Europe’s primary song fest since the 1970s. A decision based purely on  the fact I don’t find any element of this musical ‘feast’ entertaining. I concluded decades ago if I wanted to subject myself to insipid and uninspiring music I’d listen to the compilation album ‘Now That’s What I Call Insipid & Uninspiring Music’.

I’ve no idea who won last Saturday’s competition, and am completely indifferent to making the effort to find out. To be brutally honest I don’t care. As long as it wasn’t the French, the Armenians, the Germans, the French (I really don’t want them to win!), the Aussies, the Latvians, the Danes, the French (have I already mentioned them), the Croats, along with any old Russian or Czech republic nations…… In fact, any country apart from the UK and Ireland! ……. Actually scrub Ireland and the UK as well!

If anyone thinks the paragraph above makes me appear xenophobic, I can assure you I’m not! ….. I’ve got nothing against the Xen’s……… In fact, I hope they won the bloody thing!