A Voyage from Perth to Liverpool: Wall of Sound’s 2023 EuroVision Song Contest Preview
Long time Wall of Sound readers probably know there are a few of us here who are tragic for the EuroVision Song Contest. It’s not without reason – the contest has regularly thrown up the weird, the wonderful, the artistic and the anthemic.
Who can forget Finland’s Lordi’s epic win in 2006?
The last few years have also seen rock stars break out big time – Italian winners Måneskin have gone supernova since winning the contest in 2021, while 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder’s ‘Space Man’ was even performed at the late Queen’s birthday in front of Buckingham Palace.
And this matters for Wall of Sound for one very special reason – this year Australia is rocking out!
Australia’s entry – Voyager
Perth prog band Voyager were selected by SBS to represent Australia with ‘Promise’. You might know them from their appearance on Educate Ebony: The Prog Edition (Listen here). You might know them as that band with the keytar. Having finished a close second in 2022’s Australia Decides contest, the band put their band up and had the tune to take on Europe. The WA government helped with the promo video, giving the band an epic backdrop for their epic song.
The band have done the yards too – heading over early to participate in the pre-event gigs, parties and festivals. The buzz is building so I asked AussieVision co-founder Dale Roberts (@Euroozdale) about Voyager’s chances:
Firstly, Voyager are going to go off in their semi-final. They close the show and not only do I think they’ll qualify, I think they have a chance of winning the semi. The Grand Final will all depend on their running order … at this stage, I’m predicting just outside the Top 10 but I think they can definitely get in there!
The biggest plus for that song is the build up to that dramatic final minute where it can be an absolute show-stopper. Danny knows how to perform and the band get how to play to both a TV and live audience which is imperative to Eurovision. Public will like the easy chorus and juries will like the changing structure of the song.
But overall, it’s a cracking entry that I am quietly confident about. The buzz for them has been building ever since they started performing over there, they’ve gotten to see what we already knew- Voyager are an incredible live band that can win any crowd over, even all of Europe.
And then we got a look at their rehearsal on the stage at Liverpool. Yes, they have a car on stage.
What’s great about this for Australia is that we are trying something different, foregoing the TV contestants and booking an experienced recording and touring artist.
Germany unleash the Lords
Germany finished dead last in the 2022 Grand Final so they’ve gone a totally different direction for this year. Like Australia, they’ve left their pop failures behind and decided to rock HARD.
Enter industrial metalcore band Lord of the Lost with ‘Blood & Glitter’. We first got to meet the band prior to their entry with their album Fallen Idols, and their presence in the scene makes perfect sense why they’re giving it a crack.
I don’t know what you think but after getting zero points from the jury and just six televotes from viewers, it’s worth blowing it up and going metal.
Previous winner Loreen is the big star. Having won with the amazing ‘Euphoria’ in 2012, she’s won the Swedish entry contest to represent again with ‘Tattoo’. It’s a banger, she’s a magnetic stage presence and that’s a formula for a second victory.
Fellow Scandinavian act Käärijä from Finland is another favourite with his hip hop flavoured ‘Cha Cha Cha’. After Sam Ryder’s second place finish, the UK have come back with Mae Muller’s ‘I Wrote a Song’ which might be catchy enough with the Liverpool crowd behind it to be among the top vote getters.
One to watch is Austria’s entry ‘Who the hell is Edgar?’ by SALENA & TEYA. Comes off as a silly little ditty but actually is pretty savage in the lyrics. It might not get there on the big stage but it’s worth paying attention to!
Sadly Subwoolfer couldn’t make it back from the moon this year and overall, there’s not much overtly weird shit in 2023. There is, however, shock rock band Let 3 from Croatia whose ‘Mama ŠČ!’ is all sorts of crazy. They read a little like a Croatian TISM (they once released a new album with no music – total silence). Australian viewers will get it but it might miss the wider votes needed to make the Grand Final.
Ukraine band Kalush Orchestra won last year with a historically high score but with the ongoing war in their homeland, hosting duties have passed to second place UK. The shows will be hosted by British singer Alesha Dixon (Mis-teeq), British actress Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina. The two semi finals will feature a split of 31 competing countries, with Australia drawn in Semi Final 2. This year the semi final results will be determined solely by televoting from viewers. The top 10 from each semi will go through to the Grand Final where they are joined by the Big 5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) and Ukraine (previous winner). The usual tradition of both jury (expert) votes and Televoting from viewers will determine the winner.
Australian can watch via SBS or their streaming service OnDemand
LIVE early morning broadcasts on SBS and SBS On Demand
- Semi Final 1 – Wednesday 10 May at 5:00am AEST
- Semi Final 2 – Friday 12 May at 5:00am AEST ** FEATURING VOYAGER**
- Grand Final – Sunday 14 May at 5:00am AEST
Prime time broadcasts on SBS and SBS On Demand
- Semi Final 1 – Friday 12 May at 7:30pm AEST
- Semi Final 2 – Saturday 13 May at 7:30pm AEST ** FEATURING VOYAGER**
- Grand Final – Sunday 14 May at 7:30pm AEST
Australians wanting to vote need to up bright and early for the live shows. We can’t vote for Voyager but you can ask your friends, relatives and colleagues in Europe to vote for them while the voting window is open!
Don’t forget to vote in our EuroSound Song Contest for the best heavy song from Europe in the last year!
Words by Euro-Tragic KJ Draven (Twitter and Instagram) who will be tweeting during the live shows bright and early.