Wall of Sound head honcho Browny is attempting to get the hashtag #GetParkwayToEurovision trending after seeing this year’s entry for Hungary, AWS. Since Australia has been officially part of the competition, we have sent ex-reality show competitors to Eurovision with a reasonable amount of success (5th in 2015 with Guy Sebastian, 2nd in 2016 with Dami Im, 9th last year with Isaiah Firebrace, and 20th this year with Jessica Mauboy), but there has always been a large percentage of the population throwing more alternative, metal and rock names into the mix, with T.I.S.M being a crowd favourite to send since 2015. Sending less mainstream acts is nothing new to Eurovision and has in the past lead to some memorable performances and, unsurprisingly, awesome results. Here are my favourite rock, metal, ska, punk performances in Eurovision.
#7 – Terasbetoni – ‘Missa miehet Ratsastaa’ (2008)
After the unparalleled and shocking success of Lordi in 2006, anything alternative and metal was seen as an advantage in the years afterward. So, Finland decided to send power metal band Terasbetoni, who only placed 22nd. Maybe it was metal fatigue, maybe the song isn’t that great, maybe it was because the performance was a little static, but it did leave an impression for being different and a nice change from the pop, dance tunes that year.
#6 – AWS – ‘Viszlát Nyár’ (2018)
The Hungarian entry that inspired #GetParkwayToEurovision, shows that hardcore and screamo is alive and well in Europe. With crowd surfing (which NEVER happens in Eurovision), flames and an energetic performance, this is one entry that will definitely remain in the minds of those who like their Eurovision heavy. Unfortunately, they only placed 21st in the end.
#5 – Wigwam – ‘In My Dreams’ (2005)
This was one of the first entries that I remember for being totally unexpected. 80’s glam rock apparently has a place in Eurovision; the silver spandex, huge sunglasses, falsetto and guitar riffs, it was like Norway had only just discovered Aerosmith, Motley Crue and the like. Not my favourite, but definitely memorable and catchy. The band eventually placed 9th in 2005.
#4 – Athena – ‘For Real’ (2004)
Speaking of entries, I vividly remember, Athena was the first band that made me go “woah, Eurovision bands can be something other than pop?” And it was a ska band! I loved every moment of it, while my father was not much of a fan. I still love this song and play it regularly. They placed 4th and made Turkey proud.
#3 – Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis – ‘Alcohol is Free’ (2013)
What do you get when you take a traditional Greek singer, sexy men in kilts and ska music? Koza Mostra! Mainly sung in Greek, with the refrain “alcohol is free” sung in English, this was a surprise hit in 2013. It had the arena jumping and made me a fan of Koza Mostra (seriously, I bought their album, first and only time in 20 plus years of watching Eurovision and I have only ever done that). They took out 6th place that year.
#2 – maNga – ‘We Could Be The Same’ (2010)
Turkey has a habit of sending the unexpected to Eurovision and the melodic rock sounds of maNga’s song was no different. The track’s tone was complemented by the visuals on stage, a metallic robot using an axle grinder. Losing out to Germany’s Lena, this was a close second and a real awesome tune.
and the winner is
#1 – Lordi – ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ (2006)
Seriously was I going to put anything else first? Lordi, the Finnish demonic hard rock band absolutely slayed at Eurovision in 2006. It was not only great to see a metal band win, but to see Finland, who had previously never won the contest and was one of the biggest losers of Eurovision previously (finishing with zero points three times and coming in last 10 times since 1961- 2006), win. All hail Lordi!
Other honourable mentions: Hanna Pakarinen – ‘Leave Me Alone’ (Finland, 2007), Max Jason Mai – ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ (Slovakia, 2012), Elderine – ‘One More Day’ (Georgia, 2011), Zdob Si Zdub – ‘Boonika Bate Toba’ (Moldova, 2005)
I unashamedly and without irony love Eurovision. It may be a source of ridicule and embarrassment for its cheesy pop and dance numbers, but Eurovision is a place for metal, punk, ska, hardcore and rock. Best of all, those who are slightly different, but still have talent, have previously done extremely well, so why not send in Parkway Drive or another metal, punk, rock band to represent Australia?
Sound off below on who you think would be a good representative for Australia!
Written by Carys Hurcom