This year’s batch of entrants to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Content is an unusual bunch, not least because during Friday night’s The Late Late Eurosong 2023 Special on RTE, John Lydon and PiL will be competing and performing to be Ireland’s entry at the Liverpool Arena on Saturday May 13th.
Ukraine won the competition last year but is unable to host due to ongoing war with Russia so it’s in Liverpool. Of course, Ireland will compete in the semi-finals first, on either Tuesday May 9th or Thursday May 11th.
The six acts to represent Ireland in May are, in alphabetical order:
ADGY – ‘Too Good For Your Love’
A cheesy dance pop song by Andrew Carr, aka Donegal artist ADGY. The song was originally conceived as a piano ballad but Carr worked witth producer Boksay on this more EDM version. ‘Too Good For Your Love’ certainly fills the cheesy dance quota and people who aren’t people like me love this stuff.
Connolly – ‘Midnight Summer Night’
Galway Jennifer Connolly is a student in her 1st year of Creative Music Production at IADT / Sound Training College in Dublin and wrote the Scandi pop-meets Coldplay ‘Clocks’ of ‘Midnight Summer Night’ when she was 17 during the pandemic.
“The song conveys confusion and overwhelming detachment, but overall the song implies that nothing bad lasts forever, delivering a sense of hope,” said Connolly.
Wild Youth – ‘We are One’
Normally, a band who have nearly 100k monthly listeners on Spotify, and who can sell out venues in Ireland and the UK, and have notched up supports for Westlife, Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi would be the biggest band in the shortlist for this competition, but Irish pop band Wild Youth aren’t the most well-known on this list internationally – we’ll come to that in a moment.
With the success of Italian band Måneskin, bands who maybe would have never thought of entering the Eurovision might be considering for the first time. In fairness, Wild Youth always had an ultra-pop sheen to their music, and ‘We Are One’, co-written with Grammy-nominated songwriter Jörgen Elofsson, hits the marks in terms of unity sentiment and anthemic quality.
Leila Jane – ‘Wild’
A Dublin-based artist with London and Donegal songwriter Leila Keeney who recently featured here with the more ’60s-folk and soul- indebted ‘Dance With Me’, here makes a pitch for Eurovision glory, with the piano pop ballad with dance undertones ‘Wild’.
“All Eurovision songs need a strong message, and Wild is an empowering song about the strength of a woman’s spirit,” Leila Jane said of the song written with Estonian songwriter Liis Hainla, Finnish producer Arto Ruotsala, and British songwriter Aaron Sibley.
K Muni & ND – ‘Down in the Rain’
‘Down in the Rain’ from Longford duo K Muni and ND, Kofi Appiah and Nevlonne Dampare is an Afropop song about brushing off adversity. This song lacks the production dynamism of some of the other songs, but it’s refreshing to have a tune representative of youth on the list. It will be interesting to see how this places.
Public Image Limited – ‘Hawaii’
When it was announced that former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and his band Public Image Limited (PiL) had entered the Eurovision to represent Ireland, it sounded like a joke but, it’s true.
Lydon’s mother was from Cork and his father came from Galway.
‘Hawaii’ is not exactly representative of what normally makes it into the Eurovision, a gentle ’80s band ballad, in contrast to the other songs here, specifically written as love letter to Lydon’s wife Nora Forster, who has been living with Alzheimer’s since 2018. Lydon is her full-time carer.
The song is reflects on a time the couple spent together in Hawaii, and as can be seen this week on This Morning, it’s something very personal for the normally cantankerous character, who by conforming with the entry of a Eurovision competition, has said his intention in entering is to raise awareness for the affliction that Alzheimer’s disease can be.
The televised competition will take place from 9:30pm GMT on Friday, February 3, 2023 on The Late Late Show and can be live streamed on the RTE Player.