Saturday, 12 February 2011

61: Belle and the Devotions, “Love Games” (no.11, 1984)

And this, my friends, is why we never finish in the top ten at Eurovision any more. A pitch-perfect pastiche of the Motown girl-group sound - in its particular decade, rivalled for authenticity only by Diana Ross’s “Chain Reaction” (and Ross was in the Supremes, so she was cheating) - that finished a disappointing seventh in the 1984 contest held in Luxembourg: the booing you can hear at the end of the clip being the most vocal manifestation of local hostility towards the English football fans who’d rioted in the host nation’s streets (causing estimated damage of £45) the year before after failing to reach the European Championship finals. (Even back then, we had our reasons - “excuses”, you might call them - for failing to win Eurovision. Of course, the football fans in question should have just flown over Luxembourg on their way back from the game: that way, they could have passed the Duchy on the left-hand side. Any excuse to do that joke.) Lead Devotion Kit Rolfe went on to sing backing vocals on another Eurovision entry - fellow one-hit wonder and future Queen Vic barmaid Samantha Janus’s “A Message to Your Heart” (no.30, 1991) - and teamed up with Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards on non-charting track “Fly Eddie Fly”, an attempt to cash in on the crap ski jumper’s fame that resolutely failed to get off the ground.

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