Laura and the Lovers took to the stage for their first rehearsal for the Semifinal of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest this morning. Second on the list for the day, the Lithuanian group performed the song a total of four times before moving upstairs to delight the waiting journalists at their first press conference.
The Lithuanian entrants at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest completed their sound checks quickly and were soon performing their routine for the Semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest, a total of three times. At first, they stood in a group, ensuring the vocals and microphones were in sync, before bursting into their routine for the show.
The first full run through of Little by little gave us a good taste of a bouncy performance, with Laura striding across the stage, some nice turns and choreography that very thinly disguises it's Swedish origins. The Lovers, are of course the backing group of three boys coupled with two beautiful backing singers, Caroline Jönsson and Sonja Aldén (who translated Shirley Clamp's Melodifestivalen 2005 song Att alska dig into English and supported her on stage). They help Laura to provide a performance that complements the song well. The performance became visibly tighter in the second and third run through, and looked good on screen too.
After the rehersal, the group, accompanied by Billy Butt, the writer, Bobby Ljunggren, the composer and the head of press for Lithuania. Billy Butt opened the conference with a greeting to journalists present and thanking the host nation of Ukraine for their warm welcome to the city. The floor was then opened for questions.
Asked about her musical background and heritage, Laura said “I have been singing since I can't remember when, I graduated from music school with vocals and piano. Laura and the Lovers have been a group for six years now but we were not very famous until the Lithuanian selection finals”
Asked about the best advice that Laura had received before leaving for Kyiv, she responded “Do not refuse to try the vodka”. She also answered the question on everybody's mind: Why the name Laura and the Lovers? “Look at them” replied Laura, pointing at her backing group! “They love beautiful music and they love a beautiful woman. Billy Butt said that the name was actually his idea. He was driving through Stockholm when the band were starting out as Laura and the boys. He heard the song 'Tell Laura I love her' on the radio and the name was decided!
On the subject of the Eurovision Song Contest, Laura says “The most important thing is to represent our country. We are happy that the contest is in Kyiv because the people are very nice and also they speak Russian as we do… and we like Ruslana very much…Lithuania have not achieved good results in the past and now the public want to do well…This year there are many styles of music at the Contest and it's very interesting. Maybe rock will take first place this year”.
The Lithuania press pack this year was a grey laptop computer bag, containing a little surprise… Lovers' condoms!!!These are to promote the name of the group and to ensure that people look after their lovers. Unsurprisingly, the awaiting journalists in typical Eurovision style, created a scrum to grab the few available bags and they were soon gone.
The conference concluded with a photoshoot, with the band looking relaxed and happy. Laura was happy to take personal photos with the journalists and fans that had made it to the press conference hall.