My Top Five Tips For Eurovision Glory 2015!

So we failed to get to the final of the 60th Eurovision. Sniff. Ireland would have been in this list too (And not just because I’m biased I swear. :-)) It would have been six songs because six I really liked. Still I think we could have another really good winner this year and I’m looking forward to it tomorrow night. Check out my tips for Eurovision glory 2015!:

Belgium

Loïc Nottet from Belgium is singing Rhythm Inside. It’s really quite catchy and quite modern too. A definite strong contender.

Australia

Guy Sebastian is Australia’s first entry for Eurovision with Tonight Again. Again very catchy, has a Bruno Mars vibe. Really strong.

Austria

The Makemakes are representing the host country with their song I Am Yours in a bid to win the contest two years running after the success of the wonderful Conchita Wurst last year. It has a wonderful subtle feel, quite bluesy. Really like it.

Cyprus

John Karayiannis is representing Cyprus with a beautiful song called One Thing I Should Have Done. Possibly a dark horse in it.

Serbia

Bojana Stamenov is representing Serbia with Beauty Never Lies. It’s got a great message and is a really good song as well.

Best of luck everyone! :-)

My Thoughts On The Marriage Equality Referendum

Tomorrow it is going to be a huge day in Ireland. A huge day for politics and a day when hopefully love, positivity and equality will win out over negativity. Of course I’m talking about The Marriage Referendum which will be taking place.

I remember the first time I realised that gay people couldn’t get married in Ireland. I was about 11, 12, 13 and I was writing a story and my main character was getting married to his boyfriend and my sister had to tell me that it wasn’t in the law. And I remember been incredibly sad about that. It had just never crossed my mind that stopping two people of the same sex from marrying would be a law or be even allowed to be a law. It was an eye-opener to the horribleness and prejudice that existed in laws and from then I’ve been on the Yes side but it’s only now I can do something about it.

I have heard so much about the No side feeling persecuted during the campaign. I find it quite amusing and ironic considering I don’t think the No side knows the meaning of the word persecution. Every time I see a No poster I get a pang of pain in my stomach. It’s just been faced with that moment each time of knowing there is people who campaign to stop people from been happy. There is just something so cold and distant about a person who could believe that two people in love who want to get married shouldn’t be able to because the person they love is the same sex. It feels like they have a lack of goodness and I know that because someone from the Yes side would hate themselves if they thought like that. I certainly would. On the other hand every time I see a Yes poster I feel happy because there is people who campaign for goodness, love and equality and thankfully for me there is more Yes posters up in Bray! Although two of the Yes posters have been vandalised by black marker with one saying “No” and the other saying “No. Bad Example.” As much as I hate seeing the No posters I’d never write on them. Didn’t like that sort of behaviour at all.

I do have to comment about something I read someone from the No side saying recently. Something along the lines of christians been persecuted if the Yes vote wins. I think that is a ridiculous comment. I’m Catholic and I am certain that not everyone thinks we are all against everything. After all the majority of the Republic of Ireland is Catholic so if the Yes vote goes through I think it’s safe to say a good lot of the voters who would have voted Yes would have been Catholic.

I remember hearing a guy I knew once who was gay talking about his future wedding. I think the guilt hit home with me because I don’t really mind either way whether I marry or live with the man of my dreams when I meet him but he did. And I found that upsetting because I had that choice and he didn’t and he clearly wanted to marry more than I did. It isn’t right. An adult should that choice regardless of their sexuality. We all have the right to happiness and by voting No people are attempting to take that happiness away from people. And there is no excuse, whether it is religion or whatever the reason is, for taking that away from people. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion but we are also all entitled to dislike a person for an opinion they might have when it’s as serious as this is and it’s difficult for me to like a person who could do that to another human being while they are happy and it not even flicker on them. Of course I’d be polite to a No supporter and I’d like to think that they’d be nice to me too but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be hanging out, let’s put it that way.

We are all born equal and we are still all equal even when we aren’t always treated as such and while I don’t know what it is like to be made feel unequal in terms of my sexuality I know what it is like in so many ways that I have lost count. Tomorrow people of Ireland let’s do this. Let’s make Ireland equal for everybody of every sexuality. Let’s do away with this prejudice law set up years upon years upon years ago. Let’s be kind, decent people. Let’s vote Yes. I certainly know I will be.

Stuart Bingham Bings To Victory To Win World Snooker Championship!

The night was tense and not just for Stuart Bingham and Shaun Murphy! I had a bet on Stuart Bingham and at 15-15, the nerves were as bad as 16-16 with Judd Trump in the semis! :-) But he got across the line in the end with an 18-15 victory at the Crucible to win his first World Championship.

The 38-year-old from Basildon, Essex held his cool when the pressure was on to become the oldest snooker world champion since Welshman Ray Reardon won the title at the age of 45 in 1978. Murphy, 32, had previously won the title in 2005.

Having led 14-11 coming into the last session, momentum swung Bingham’s way once again after Murphy drew the match at 15-all when the pair engaged in a tactical battle which Bingham won to go one frame ahead. As well as the title and cup, Bingham won a cheque for £300,000 and moves up from tenth to second in the world rankings.

Former Shanghai Masters winner and now World Snooker champion Bingham said,

“At one stage at 15-15 I thought I was going to do Shaun’s [runner-up] speech. It was a 64-minute frame to go 16-15 and that really calmed me down. It gives everybody hope that it can turn around. We don’t know if he truly believed he could win this two weeks ago but he played like he did. When he needed to be focused, by the end he was calmer than anyone in the room. It shows that nice guys can be winners. To beat Shaun in the final tops everything off. Twenty years as professional – blood, sweat and tears on the road. Qualifying in places like Prestatyn and Malvern. So many family and friends have backed me. It is unbelievable.”

On the way to the final Bingham, nicknamed Ball-run Bingham, bet Robbie Williams, Graeme Dott, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump on the way to the final.

So happy for you Stuart. Very well-deserved indeed! Well done! :-)

Placebo Placebo Review!

Placebo by Placebo (1996) is a stunning debut album. Ah, the debut album of Placebo! A real joy to hear the start of a band who have become so influential to so many people including me. There is quite a bit of this album I can relate to because I am around the age that they were when they brought it out. Packed with what was to become their trademark sound of emotive and thought-provoking lyrics, incredible instrumentals, Brian’s outstandingly unique voice and very catchy songs all-round with fantastic hooks that swirl around happily in your head and stay there. Their songs have definitely since become more mature-sounding as you’d expect and it’s great when you hear this album to hear the start of that musical journey.

Come Home

Rousing instrumentals and striving strong vocals make this another Placebo winner.

Teenage Angst

Emotive and strong. The lines are like poetry and stem out stunningly from the track. The instrumentals also have a 90s’ grunge feel to them which fits perfectly with the song.

Bionic

Thundering, strong and catchy. Excellent instrumental command by the band. Brian’s vocal is soaring and powerful.

36 Degrees

Very original and catchy. Wonderful song with a very catchy chorus. Brian’s vocal is brilliantly presented. The way this song flows from the various different parts is very well constructed and crafted.

Hang On To Your IQ

Very storytelling with an instantly catchy hook, “Hold on to your IQ. To your ID.”. Brilliant. Very imaginative and original. The instrumentals are understated brilliance and Brian’s vocal is stunning.

Nancy Boy

One of my favourite Placebo songs. The chorus is so catchy. And the verses are brilliantly put together. Brian’s voice is very storyteller-like on this track too which brings so much life and energy to the song combined with the outstanding instrumentals. Stunning. Stunning. Stunning.

I Know

Very good lyrically. It’s kind of poetic. And very catchy.

Bruise Pristine

Very powerful and catchy. Thundering and passionate. Brian’s vocal is amazing throughout the song. There is also an amazing break into an even faster rhythm in this song and the chimes leading up to it brilliantly flow into the faster segment.

Lady Of The Flowers

This is brilliant. The sexual, seductive sound in Brian’s voice on this number just draws you in. He’s got such a come-to-bed voice. It’s intoxicating.

Swallow

The opening music is very haunting and it builds up wonderfully. It’s brilliant instrumentally and goes well with the spoken pieces.

Patrick Donoghue Wins The Voice Of Ireland 2015!

Dubliner Patrick Donoghue was crowned The Voice of Ireland winner for 2015 on Sunday evening. He was part of Team Una and the Dunnes worker was Dublin’s first winner of the contest. Fellow Dubliner Emma Humber who was part of Bressie’s team was second with team Rachel finishing third and fourth. Clare’s Sarah McTernan was third while Ballymena’s Kieran McKillop was fourth. And we slightly helped Patrick on his way to victory with a few votes although I’m sure he’d have won anyway. :-)

Donoghue, who was the very first contestant at the Blind auditions this year, sang Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and Jessie J’s Mama Knows Best to claim the title and a recording contract from Universal Music Ireland.

All four finalists have each released their favourite song from the series on iTunes which are as follows:
Patrick Donoghue – Jessie J’s Mama Knows Best; Emma Humber – Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work; Sarah McTernan – Jessie J’s Who You Are; Kieran McKillop – The Script’s Together We Cry.

Well done Patrick! :-) Very well-deserved! Best of luck! :-) And good luck to the other finalists too! :-)

Record Store Day And Record Store Gay 2015!

Recently was the annual Record Store Day which was founded in 2007. Taking place on April 18th, the day which vinyl lovers worldwide gear up to was yet another success.

Record Store Gay was also back for a fourth year on the 18th raising money for the Yes Equality campaign for the Marriage Referendum on May 22nd and was once again successful.

Áine Beamish and Andy Bell of Record Store Gay.

Áine Beamish and Andy Bell of Record Store Gay.

Wayward Prince Begins Reign after Scottish National 2015 Win!

Wayward Prince won the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday. The Hilary Parrott-trained and owned along with T J Parrott 11-year-old won with jockey Robbie Dunne onboard at 25-1 in the prestigious race. Wayward Prince won by three-quarters of a length over Irish raider Goonyella priced at 16-1 while Benbens came in third at 33/1 and Amigo was fourth at 28/1 while Catching On came in 5th at 14/1.

Hilary Parrott said of the win,

“It’s a dream and he’s loved every minute of it. He does get looked after like a baby and we all love him. He did very well when trained by Ian Williams, then he lost his form and I thought I’d have him. We’re a small yard, so he gets a lot of attention. He goes out every day and is very happy. I can’t believe it. He’d never gone four miles before, but he did fall in the Grand National last year.”

Goonyella’s trainer Meath’s Jim Dreaper said,

“He showed again he’s got great stamina. His lack of pace is just shown up a bit more on that ground, but that was very good. The plan is to try to get him into Aintree to beat the ballot. He’s missed out two years in a row and maybe he can do it next year.”

Wayward Prince was brought to the attention of Pricewise followers when the Racing Post tipster advised the winner at 40-1 in Saturday’s newspaper. I actually had €2 on him because I was going to do a horse that was a non-runner. I didn’t pick him exactly. I just closed my eyes in the bookies and ran the pen down the race and wherever it stopped I’d bet on the horse and it was Wayward Prince. :-)