It’s day 2 of our Irish trip, and the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – have decided to spurn the traditional pint of Guinness in favour of a visit to a classy piano bar and a listen to Patricia Roe’s “Don’t Hold On”. Are we impressed? Read on to find out.
Angus: This song shows why age isn’t necessarily a problem at Eurovision. Niamh Kavanagh proved that veteran performers could make it out of the semi-finals and “Don’t Hold On” seems to echo 2010’s “It’s For You“. Beautifully restrained and eloquently crafted the song has real class to it. Unfortunately it’s just a little too dated. It lacks the drama of more recent mature ballads in the contest like “Et S’il Fallait Le Faire” and almost certainly won’t be sent to Eurovision. But I love it and the saxophone solo.
Katie: Well that, was bloomin’ dreadful! Not only was it a boring ballad that sounded like something Pete Waterman would compose when he’s drunk, but I could hardly understand the singer! I don’t even know whether all of that song was in English. Saxophones are normally great, but that one added to the cringiness of the song.
William C: This song is okay. The start is a bit boring, but once she gets into it, it becomes a lovely ballad. However, it’s annoying that she keeps repeating the same 3 words. Like people said in the comments, I think this would have won in the 90s, but not now. I also like the sax player, he’s quite good.
Anthony: Leaning towards the power ballad category, Patricia Roe could be the one for the more mature Eurovision audience. Vocals are pretty good. The use of the saxophone is a nice touch to the entry, but fans are more likely to associate it with Moldova’s Epic Sax Guy. My concern for Patricia is that “Don’t Hold On” is one of those entries which could end up being lost on viewers who are not Eurovision fans.
Sami: Isn’t this like … 20 years too late? It could’ve been winner in 1993, but I don’t think it would have any chance in 2014. It’s very boring and makes me sleepy. That’s the only emotion I get from it. There’s nothing really to even say about it, it’s just bland and lame.
Deban: On the 8th listen, it slowly started to resonate. However, the reality is that most listeners would only hear this track once. It’s modelled on the songwriting 101 formula, and lacks gusto at every turn. This year, I have judged all the Irish pre-selection entries as audio soundbites. Without any visuals, “Don’t Hold On” simply bites the dust.
Patrick: Welcome back back to 1993 where Patricia Roe won the contest…. Ahhhh it was Niamh Kavanagh. I’ll stop joking now. I’m in love with this song. She has this strong voice which gives me goosebumps. I really liked the Irish ballads in the 90s and I love this song too. The dramatic lyrics and beautiful tone turn it into a masterpiece. However, I have fairly big doubts as to whether the song will represent Ireland this year, because it may be too outdated for some people. I’m sure the jury will love it but there is still the public vote. She would be a winner for sure if we were back in 1993.
Padraig: Patricia is by far the most experienced of this year’s finalists. And it shows, as her vocals pack a real emotional punch, which is somewhat lacking in the other entries. As Patricia told us, “Don’t Hold On” is all about heartbreak. We can hear the accompanying anguish and confusion, as she alternates between singing “don’t hold on” to “hold on”, while the sax brings an added touch of the blues. But I’m not sure how this will work on the Eurovision stage. It’s more of a song you’d listen to on full blast as you drown your sorrows with your good friends Ben & Jerry.
Zach: It’s certainly the classiest of Ireland’s choices, and I must say I really like Patricia and her song. Like Angus pointed out, it has traces of Niamh and “It’s For You”, however I feel like Patricia could really rock the song onstage and do much better than Niamh. Vocals are sublime really, the saxophone was a nice touch, and with the right live show I think she could leave a big impact. Maybe up the tempo a tad for good measure.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.72/10
You can read all of our reviews and rankings for Eurosong 2014 by clicking here.
Do you think Patricia Roe should represent Ireland with “Don’t Hold On”? If you do, make sure to vote for her in our poll before 26 February. And keep up with all the Irish news and interviews by clicking here.
Photos: Patricia Roe