ASFE is back in business!

Over the past few weeks, I was so caught up in the (pardon the pun) euphoria of the Eurovision Song Contest that the blog took a backseat. Add to that Sweden’s convincing victory and ‘A Song For Europe’ was, unfortunately, completely overlooked.

BUT, I’m back in business and positively bursting at the seams with excitement at Sweden’s fifth victory as well as the prospect of them hosting the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Check back for my upcoming editorials on the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and all the latest happenings in European pop.

Remember, it’s only 348 days left till the next Song Contest!

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The world comes together for Spain & ‘Quédate Conmigo’.

Music is truly the universal language of the world and this is something the Eurovision Song Contest and its fans joyously celebrate. I just came across this absolutely stunning video of singers from all corners of the world covering Spain’s 2012 entry Quédate Conmigo as a show of support for Spain and Pastora Soler. And its just… wow.

Watching this just reminds you of what a truly incredible thing music is, to be able to bring people from all around the world together in song and in one voice.

This right here is why we love the Eurovision Song Contest.


Tooji unplugs the fireworks off of ‘Stay’.

I’ve always believed that the mark of a good song is its ability to translate and crossover into different languages and genres. You know a song is good when it still works in hard rock, country or even acoustic. Norweigan pop star Tooji has done just that, performing an acoustic version of his fiery hit Stay. What was initially just a one-off TV performance has lead to the possibility of actually recording and releasing this version. Check it out below:

Even has an unplugged ballad, Stay still works and for me, this proves how much of a great song it really is. Everything from the melody to the lyrics is now hauntinginly beautiful. And Tooji sounds better than I’ve ever heard him! I really hope they record this version for real.

And check out the original version of Stay for comparison, in all its blazing glory: 

Hard to pick, isn’t it? Which version do you prefer?


The Trackshittaz shine a light!

Check out this really cool video of Lukas Plöchl, member of Austrian pop/hip-hop group Trackshittaz, performing the song Love Shine A Light, the winning song of the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest originally performed by Katrina & The Waves. It’s a great, updated rap version complete with a gospel choir and synchronized elevated hand movements!

Also, check out this performance of One Night In Bangkok, one of my favourite songs composed by Eurovision Song Contest-winners Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, under the guidance of one of my favourite singers, Kate Ryan who herself is a former Eurovision particpant for Belgium. I sense a pattern here…

So now it should come as no surprise that Lukas, together with Manuel Hoffelner as Trackshittaz, have finally made it to the Eurovision stage. They will be representing Austria at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with the über catchy, utter zany song Woki Mit Deim Popo, loosely translated as ‘Shake your booty’. This is going to be a breath of fresh, fun air to the proceedings I reckon.


Melodifestivalen 2012: The stage has been set.

With Melodifestivalen over for another year, its nice to still get updates and ‘backtrack’ through the past edition so that we don’t make like Peter Jöback and life doesn’t feel so Hollow. I recently found this time lapse video by Gustav Nyberg depicting how the stage of the Melodifestivalen 2012 was constructed. Check it out, its pretty awesome!


Watch: Engelbert Humperdinck picks up his microphone and the Union Jack.

The United Kingdom was the last country to unveil their entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and it is a warm, graceful ballad with a great sense of nostalgia and melancholy.

United Kingdom 2012: Love Will Set You Free performed by Engelbert Humperdinck

It reminds me of old Western movies from the 1950s, due in no small part to the Spanish guitar.

Personally, I think that Love Will Set You Free, performed by timeless crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, is a lot better than I had hoped for and the British public ought to be proud of their entry. Yes, there are quite a few ballads this year but none that sound quite like this. Drawn to open the Grand Final, ‘The Hump’ will no doubt deliver a noteworthy performance. And a little bit of Eurovision-geekery, the last time the United Kingdom was drawn to perform first, it was in 1976 with Brotherhood Of Man performing Save Your Kisses For Me, and we all know how that turned out.


Watch: Switzerland hopes to be ‘Unbreakable’.

The music videos for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest entries are flying in thick and fast and the latest one comes from Switzerland. Check out the band Sinplus looking better than ever:

Switzerland 2012: Unbreakable performed by Sinplus

Unbreakable is, in my opinion, amongst the best contending songs in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and this music video only serves to highlight that. Set in a futuristic world where everyone lives in a Matrix-like state, Sinplus attempts to free everyone by harnessing the power of music and the message of their song. It is a bold, clean-cut video with a striking attention to detail and very vivid cinematography. One of the best videos this season.

All in all, the alpine nation has a really strong, tight package. I can’t wait to see Sinplus “rock, rock the place” in May. Good luck lads!