The British Eurovision fan club, OGAE UK, have announced the guests that will attend the annual get-together convention Eurobash 2008, to be held on October 4th at the Jury's Inn Hotel in Birmingham: Bill Martin, composer of UK's winning entry in 1967 Puppet on a string and Gemma Abbey, one half of pop duo Jemini, UK's representatives in 2003 with the song Cry baby.
Bill Martin is one of the best known songwriters in the United Kingdom. Apart from writing -together with Phil Coulter- the country's winning song at Eurovision 1967 Puppet on a string, sung by Sandie Shaw, Martin is also responsible for Congratulations, sung by Cliff Richard who missed out the Eurovision triumph in 1968 just one point behind Spain's Massiel. Two years later, Martin reached the first place again, this time for Ireland, with All kinds of everything by Dana. In 1975 he tried again with Toi, the Luxembourger entry sung by Geraldine.
Bill also had hits with the likes of Elvis Presley, George Harrison and Cilla Black, and, interestingly for a Scot, he wrote the 1970 English World Cup Song – Back Home.
Gemma Abbey, a half of the pop duo Jemini, represented the United Kingdom in 2003 with the song Cry baby. This act will be remembered by Brits as the first ever UK's Eurovision entry to get nul points. Nonetheless, the song went on to reach top-20 positions at the time and today the song is one of the most popular British entries of this decade.
Gemma and Chris Cromby, members of Jemini, met at Liverpool’s Starlight Stage School, and spent two and half years touring clubs and pubs performing Stevie Wonder, Randy Crawford and Motown covers as well as their own compositions.
Both Bill and Gemma will talk about their Eurovision experiences with fans in a one-hour long chat. All those attending the event will have the chance to ask questions to the guests, as well as find out the backstage gossip and discover what really happens at the world’s most famous musical competition.
Paul Marks-Jones, one of Eurobash’s organising committee members stated: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Bill and Gemma to the Eurobash to hear about their involvement in the Contest. I am sure their anecdotes will be fascinating and revealing, and I know those coming along for the day will have plenty of questions to ask them!”
Nicki French, who represented the UK in 2000 with Don’t Play That Song Again, will also make an appearance at the Bash, as co-host of the annual ‘Stars in their Eurovision Eyes’ contest, which sees the more extrovert attendees ‘becoming’ their favourite Eurovision stars. The day will also include a quiz and the ever-popular disco.
Eurobash will take place on October 4th at the Jury's Inn Hotel, in Birmingham. Tickets are already sold out, but anyone wishing to be included on the waiting list should e-mail [email protected].