The Alternative Eurovision

The Eurovision entries are not entirely representative of a nation’s musical output – here are some stranger, cooler or eccentric variants.

As the spectacle of The Eurovision Song Contest – and the inevitable win for Ukraine this year despite the quality of their entry – descends upon us once again, let’s remember that just as the UK entries rarely represent that country’s long musical pedigree even by a snifter, so the entries for other nations don’t tell the whole story. This isn’t to diss individual tracks from various nations, many of which have been rather more magnificent than you might imagine (and are rarely the winners, but that’s another story). But while the British love to sneer at Eurovision, we need to remember what it is and not get into the belief that it in any way covers the whole of a nation’s musical output. If it did, then British music would all be like this:

So as an alternative Eurovision, here’s a selection of European acts – pop and rock, past and present – that offer an alternative to the contest entries. You might still need to open your mind and cast aside (or, in some cases, perhaps ignore) petty nationalism to enjoy them but we encourage that anyway. The songs are presented in Eurovision 2022 finalist performance order.

Czech Republic: Wanastowi Vjecy – Slecna Anna je za vodou

Romania: Trooper – Destin

Portugal: Dulce Pontes – Canção do Mar

Finland: Kati Ran – Suurin

Switzerland: Eluveitie – The Call of the Mountains

France: Alizée – J’en Ai Marre

French bonus: Mylene Farmer – C’est une belle journée live

Norway: Aurora – Runaway

Armenia: Arevatsag – Bibul

Italy: Elodie – Bagno a mezzanotte

Italian bonus: Goblin – Profondo Rosso

Spain: Phoenix Rising – Phoenix

Spanish bonus: Susana EstradaRock ‘n’ Roll Mix

Netherlands: Golden Earring – She Flies On Strange Ways

Ukraine: The Hardkiss – Makeup
(yes, it’s very hard trying to find a Ukrainian band that hasn’t at least tried to be the Eurovision entry at some point…)

Germany: Soni Liebing – Jugendliebe

German bonus: Nena – 99 Luftballons

Lithuania: Gjan – Melagé

Azerbaijan: Sirr – Yoruldum

Belgium: dEUS – Roses

Belgian bonus: Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi

Greece: Rotting Christ – Χ Ξ Σ (666)

Greek bonus: Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horsemen

Iceland: Ólöf Arnalds – Surrender

Moldova: Banarus feat. Kapushon – Moldovan S-asa

Sweden: Tove Lo – Talking Body

Australia: The Veronicas – 4Ever

Poland: Tulia – Narkotyk

Serbia: Lepa Brena – Sanjam

Estonia: Kerli – Walking on Air

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