On Tuesday, a host of Eurovision fans descended on Maynooth University for the first ever Eurovision Conference. Amongst those in attendance was Ireland’s Eurovision 1992 winner Linda Martin.
We caught up with her for a wide-ranging chat, discussing the Irish plans for Kyiv and of course her own career.
Linda holds Brendan Murray — Ireland’s 2017 — representative in high esteem.
He’s got the voice. He’s got the look. People do like him, because he’s a lovely young fella. The song I do like very much.
And Louis Walsh isn’t the only one looking after the Irish entry. Linda reveals that she’s chosen five backing singers to support Brendan on stage. Excitingly, his stage show will be designed by none other than Nicoline Refsing, who’s worked with the likes of the Common Linnets, Aminata and Dami Im in recent years.
I’ve got five backing singers going with Brendan because I was asked to pick them. I’ve got five big voices going with him. They provide a gospel type choir in the background. Staging is being done by Nicoline who staged Australia last year… That’s going to be quite spectacular. And RTÉ are actually spending money!
But will he be able to end Ireland’s three year non-qualification streak? Linda is hopeful.
If Brendan can sell his soul on that stage, I think he has a good chance of getting out of the semi.
As for where it’s gone wrong for Ireland since the 1990s glory days, the “Why Me” singer cites a number of reasons. There’s no variety or cabaret shows to nurture new talent, high calibre songwriters are unwilling to submit songs, and record labels don’t see the contest as financially viable.
But enough on Brendan and Ireland, what about Linda? The singer tells us how she started out gigging, before being inspired by Dana to enter Eurovision. With nine entries, she holds the record for the most participation in the Irish national selection. And she wasn’t going to stop until she made it to Europe.
All these years later she still loves Eurovision. And it’s been very good to her.
Watch the full interview below. What do you think of Ireland’s Eurovision 2017 plans? Let us know in the comments or react using the wiwibloggs app.