13. Experience and Youth : Croatia's rehearsal

by Richard West-Soley 63 views

Dado Topic and Dragonfly both represent different things in the music industry; on one hand experience, and on the other fresh, young talent. The two come together on stage for Croatia's 2007 entry Vjerujem u ljubav, and today was the first chance to see how the song looks on the Eurovision Song Contest stage in Hartwall.

The stage is quite darkly lit for Croatia's entry, although with quite striking illuminated cells behind the stage – appropriately, like a dragonfly's wings. These go through various shades of amber and red, against a black background. Star formations also glide around in the screen behind the group, at stage centre.

Dragonfly seem at first relegated to the position of backing singers, on stand mics behind Dado. Despite this, they kick off the song as Dado strums the guitar up front, and later, one of the girls joins Dado. The three are joined by a bass guitarist, another guitar player to compliment Dado himself, and a drummer.

Effortlessly stylish
Croatia's song is another from today's crop of entries which seems to suffer from a lack of firm direction on stage; the song limps along, the performers amble around the stage and nothing much happens, except for one half of Dragonfly leaving the backing mic to sing together with Dado. However, the rocky bopping that the girls partake in does give the whole performance a kind of cool, easy-going feeling, which adds to the smoky bar vibe that the dark lighting creates. In fact, Dragonfly manage to look unself-consciously cool on stage, in casual white, black and denim for today's rehearsal. Despite their youth, Dragonfly perform well, with perhaps a little room for a stronger vocals in the next rehearsal. In contrast, Dado is obviously an old hand on the rock scene, and delivers the goods effortlessly. The presentation seems to be aiming for 'cool' – it is almost there, but needs a little refining at its next outing on Saturday.


The youth- experience split was pointed outat the press conference, although Dragonfly see it as nothing but a positive thing: "we are not so successful yet, but Dado is a legend in our country – it is great to perform with him". Dado, in fact, has experience not only of the music industry at large, but also of national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest. Talking of his previous attempt,he was positive about the future: "I hope this second song will be more successful". And there are no regrets about losing the first time round: "I wouldn't do anything differently". In fact, one of the members of the support group has experience of the actual contest as well, having been a backing artist, so Eurovision almost runs in the blood of the group.

The group were keen to showcase the tools of their trade, and pointed out the array of colourful guitars which accompany them on stage forVjerujem u ljubav.One in particular lent itself to very confident feelings on the part one member of the support group: "I love this guitar – I bought it at the LA Guitar Centre. I hope we win with this guitar here in Helsinki." Dado's own guitar will be donated to the winner of an official Eurovision competition to devise a welcome message for the group in Helsinki.

The Head of Delegation concluded by inviting everyone to the live gigs the band are giving during their stay in Helsinki, and the press hall was treated to a rousingacoustic version of Vjerujem u ljubav with Dado on guitar.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.