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Immigrant Song Contest

Sarah McDermott | 18:15 UK time, Friday, 8 May 2009

STARTING TONIGHT

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Forget Eurovision, on Monday we kick off our inaugural Immigrant Song Contest.

We've scoured the country to find the cream of immigrant musical talent. Going head to head are six bands, with six very different stories.

They are: Font from Iran; Zimbabwe's Mann Friday; Hashmat from Afghanistan; Poland's Why Not Here; Somalian Dhalad; and Ya Freddy from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night's programmes we will meet the bands - two on each night. You will hear the stories about why they came to Britain, see their
rock'n'roll prowess and, above all, give a face to the millions of immigrants who come to live in this country and who generate so many headlines.

Then on Thursday, one of them will be crowned Immigrant Song Contest champion by our panel of three judges and get to play out Thursday's special programme on immigration.

Throughout this week we will be updating this page with films of the bands' perfomances and we want you to help our judges out by telling us what you think, who your favourite is.

The judges will read your comments and take them into account, but they will have the final say in selecting a winner.

They will decide based on a wide range of criteria consistent with the BBC Code of Conduct on Competitions and Voting.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Nice. 'You' have scoured the country to arrive at at shortlist. How did that work? Perhaps in the same way as those headlines get generated in some quarters? So far, other than a ton on links on technology and rules I can find nothing that makes much on this story any the clearer. Who will the judges be? Musicians? Or Trevor Phillips? Phil Woolas?

    I have a Singaporean Chinese wife who is an amazingly talented performer. Guessing she's too late to apply, but if we're in the room with her I am presuming the rest of our non-immigrant family may be allowed to at least watch?

    It's not April 1st is it? Or has the joined-up team who organised Air Force One's New York community bonding flypast been put on the case here now?

  • Comment number 2.

    Sorry. Well somebody would have done it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svR3iXKTJvc

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 3.

    Post One Interesting
    2 B continued

  • Comment number 4.

    I got modded for putting a link to Immigrant Song by Led Zepplin.

    "So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
    For peace and trust can win the day
    Despite of all your losing".

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 5.

    Ting Ting, but she doesn't live here.

    http://www.robpongi.com/pages/comboTINGMEADOWS.html

  • Comment number 6.

    nn has lost its why when it starts hosting a song compo? what next ballroom dancing? clearly NN has too big a budget if it can squander its resources on non investigative news? [a rare thing in the uk these days]

    how long does one stay a 'new member' on the boards?

  • Comment number 7.

    #6 Ha,ha bookhimdano, next thing there will be a thread "what are you currently listening to!"

    Robert Wyatt ;-)

  • Comment number 8.

    The Waterboys This is the Sea

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k91xtAWWZGg&feature=related

    If you go to the Pan Within, there is almost a line similar to the last line of Barrie's comment.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2009/05/newsnight_friday_8_may_2009.html#P79742816

  • Comment number 9.

    Newsnight Immigrant song contest - boom bang a bang everybody

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hBYTkI-sE

  • Comment number 10.

    Interesting... we now get a video segment added subsequently, and without explanation of why it was missing before, that actually adds very little more, save to tell us...' this is the week the country IS (will be?) captivated'.

    Not from what I have heard, it won't. If they are six of the best, I'd hate to hear the worst. And still wonder why Newsnight is doing a bad parody of "Britain's Got Agendas To Enhance". On, from what I can see... a 2s 6d budget, so kudos only wasting a small amount this time.

    Ah well, even if my missus has missed this opportunity by dint of contestants seemingly having been decided from within with no one knowing about it*, as I this morning watch my BBC Match of the Day highlights she might have a chance with some... again possibly less than inclusive... 'Asian Soccer Idol'.

    That is... unless, like the last census, what the Government and its various organs understand by 'Asian' is slightly different, and more narrow, than what she does, or indeed any glance at an atlas might suggest.

    A case of "We are more multiculti, but when boxes need ticking some are more multiculti than others?"

    I'll be fascinated what the eligibility form looks like.

    Actually, if these current weeks are about anything, it is more the discovery that plots not only got lost, but were discovered to have not existed in any coherent form in the first place.

    Please, tell me, it is just another April Fool.

    *Will the public voting be a BBC emerging truth situation as well? Again?

  • Comment number 11.

    I dont understand why you are so indignant and so against these kinds of programmes. We came to this country to look for a better life, which was unfortunately not provided by our own country.
    Probably lots of you guys did exactly the same, maybe your parents did.
    So, where does all your dislikeness come from ??? We work here, we pay taxes. We live and we try to bring up our kids properly. We try to integrate with you, what is really difficult quite often.
    Maybe its worth it to give us a chance ? Us immigrants.
    At the end, part of us will become British citizen and believe me, not every Polish is a sponger who just wants to steal from British economy or take jobs from British.
    As a member and vocalist of WHY NOT HERE band, since we got down to this contest, Ive had lots of worries. How will people take us ? Are they going to laugh ? Will my English and my accent be good enough for them ? Weve been given a great opportunity and we just took it. Why you try to ruin our joy and happiness ?
    Where is this famous British cosmopolitanism ?
    Maybe you should appreciate that someone wants to learn your language and work for your country to its glory. Just give us a chance. Without enviousness, aggression, without silly comments and abusement. We dont ask for anything else.
    Pawel
    P.S. To JunkkMale: Im sure your wife is very talented and her hard work will be appreciated one day.
    P.S2. If someone would like to find out a bit more about our band, heres a link to our web: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 12.

    JunkMale (#1) "Or has the joined-up team who organised Air Force One's New York community bonding flypast been put on the case here now?"

    :-).

    streetphotobeing (#9) "Newsnight Immigrant song contest - boom bang a bang everybody"

    I was expecting that to be ditty from the revisionist group 'Hiz-gut-diarrhoea'.

  • Comment number 13.

    Nos12

    Ah well Martha was kind enough to acknowledge us trekkies at the end.
    So this one's for you, Crick hasnt got your lovely smile :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIdIqbv7SPo&feature=related

    Live long and prosper Martha

  • Comment number 14.

    #13 Streetphotobeing

    2 years ago I was working on a fruit farm with 250 Poles many didn't speak English and me no Polish. We put a roof on a polytunnel and I said Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone. One sung the next line back.

    Some of the Poles had learnt English by listening to blues etc. That one song was the start of many learning english and me some polish.

    If I hadn't said that line I wouldn't have got the next line back, and we would never have known we could communicate from lines of songs to start off with.

    A very appropriate choice for me in the context of this thread.

    Leo the Lion

  • Comment number 15.

    To moderator. I placed comment to this news, and it was yesterday. May I know why you still block it ?

  • Comment number 16.

    This is pathetic.
    Typical BBC, ruin and make the Eurovision a laughing stock...no wonder we dont win it!

  • Comment number 17.

    They will get the same a the UK entry - nil points..................

  • Comment number 18.

    JunkMale (#10) - might it be common decency - if your ire really does pertain soley to the conduct of this contest by the BBC - for you to save slating the current contestants' entries for a different post, as it doesn't do your argument any favours?

    The very titling and nature of this contest has interesting ramifications. If we're talking about inclusiveness then this contest in in fact exclusive by it's singling out of particular populations, and maintains the notion of the immigrant population as 'other'. However, I still believe this to be necessary process for some individuals through which they can be heard.

    I would be interested to know how the current contestants feel about being entered into a competition with such a title. I know when I lived in Japan, in a rather different context, that while I found the 'foreigner' label amusing much of the time, it did reach the point of 'well-meaning-but-offensive' on several occasions, where I was asked to dance the 'other' dance and reassure everyone that they're doing ok just as they are.

    Cosmopolitanism in expressive arts is about far more than giving people their own contest to perform in. It's about the cross-pollonation of creativity that can rarely be orchestrated.

  • Comment number 19.

    They are all crap

  • Comment number 20.

    This has to be some spoof April 1st type thing surely? No possibility a serious news programme would come up with an immigrant only song contest. Pure BBC PC bigotry if not.

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear Newsnight,

    In 2006 I made a tv programme called Fame Asylum in which we formed an asylum seeker boyband. I attempted to enter the group - Status - as the UK's 2007 Eurovision entry, but the Beeb turned us down:

    http://www.channel4learning.com/support/programmenotes/micro/fameasylum/index.html
    http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk/Events/Examples+of+Refugee+Week+events/Refugee+Week+Blog/Richard+DeDomenici.htm
    http://dedomenicitemporarywebsite.blogspot.com/2008/09/fame-asylum-archive-faq-emails.html

    Is your Immigrant Song Contest in any way related?

    I think we should be told, etc.

    Regards,

    Richard DeDomenici

  • Comment number 22.

    While l admit that this is of candid nature, l fail to see how we immigrants are suppose to intergrate when we have events that alienate us from the very community that we want to be part of.
    Are we not further isolating ourselves?

  • Comment number 23.

    The BBC must be having a joke right?

  • Comment number 24.

    I see #21 is allowed to leave name and contact details via links. I suppose some are more equal than others.

  • Comment number 25.

    Will be interesting to see if the Polish band are still influenced by Ryszard Riedel or if they ploughing an entirely different furrow.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOSMpwebC9s&feature=related

    Leo Lion

  • Comment number 26.

    Wow, 'Immigrant Song Contest'? Seriously?

    Why not 'White British song contest'? My god, these people come to the UK to live here, not to be so separate from the rest of us that they have their own contests.

    We say how we want people to integrate, yet we set up events like this apparently just to alienate people, why?

  • Comment number 27.

    Forgive me, but the BBC is surely insensitive as to how most people feel about Immigration right now - or not?

    I think a little better understanding of feelings would be in order:

    The BBC has specific Radio Stations for such as Carribeans & Asians etc - fair enough - yet so many programmes specific to these people are also regularly transmitted on many other BBC Radio Stations - especially Radio 4 & 5.
    I should say that 'enforced' acts such as these, only increase bad feelings. Is the BBC being so unsensitive / naive to public feelings?
    A little realistic consideration for all should be considered.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well, what a miserable bunch you lot are! :oP

    I think there's some great raw talent here and having logged onto myspace to investigate further would have no qualms paying out my hard earned money to go see Mann Friday play live...again!

    I caught one of their shows in London a few weeks back and they were awesome! It's a rare ocasion when i'm surprised by live music but their stage presence and chemitry whipped the crowd up into a veritable frenzy of fun, with lashings of feel good factor. I'd love to see the oher bands live to compare fairly but i fear that may not be possible by the deadline!

    It's a real shame that someone's wife hasn't had the opportunity to showcase her own talents here and that some of you feel the title of the contest isn't favourable to either side of the immigration argument...but in the grand scheme of things lets get a grip! These people have obviously brought themselves to the attention of the beeb in one way or anoher and for that they should be congratulated.

    Good luck to everyone in the running...but Mann Friday to win! :)

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    Music is a very important tool and a universal language that all humankind understands. Please let give these people a chance.

    Hats Off to Ya Freddy, who is talking about what happening in his country, the DR Congo, people are dying on a daily basis in this part of the world, yet nobody dares to speak loud about it.

    Good luck to everyone may the best man win.

  • Comment number 31.

    Yet another waste of licence fee payers money.

    You can bet this wil be repeated again and again as the programmes are.

    Do you people really have nothing better to do with our money ?

  • Comment number 32.

    How about having an illegal immigrant song contest next?

    Or perhaps an asylum seeker song contest?

    All in the interests of diversity and inclusiveness, of course.



    .

  • Comment number 33.

    This nonsense makes me so weary.

    With painful inevitability the BBC feel once again the need to tout their politically correct credentials. Their latest ruse, for ruse it is, is to try to manipulate us into believing that because a handful of immigrants play music this somehow means that all immigrants are wonderfully gifted people, enriching our culture blah blah.

    All of this will no doubt happen under the guise of 'urban rap' or some other peurile synthesis of real music. And yes, I do play music myself, both Synths and guitar, and I'm wise enough to know that musical talent is best developed and nurtured in its country of origin. I rather like South African pop guitar, but I also know that experiments to transport it into the UK have quickly devolved into something 'urban' and cheap. No immigrant music has ever bettered the likes of the Beatles, The Who, The Animals, etc. They have nothing to teach us. It is true that really good ethnic music has emerged from America, such as Funk or The Blues. But nothing of ethnic origin of any quality has ever developed in the UK.

    I'm sorry for being negative, but this odious 'correctness' is corrosive. I don't believe that immigrants have something 'special' to offer. I'm not interested in their music (its unlikely to be anywhere near as good as my own British musical heritage), and I don't want to hear their story about how they payed several thousand pounds to be transported by a 'people-trafficker' so they could then go to the top of the list for a free council house. All wrapped up, of course, in an edgy (but not too edgy as this is the BBC) 'rap' parcel. Expect lots of political self-congratulatory, self-justifying comment and little musical talent.

    Immigrants, according to liberal BBC doctrine, are somehow elevated above the rest of humanity. They are victims of some kind of ethereal oppression, never quite stated but always intimated that it has some kind of colonial roots, and as such have ABSOLUTE MORAL AUTHORITY. This is the view of the liberal elite, and we must all accept this agenda despite being contradicted by our lying eyes. Fine.

    But I don't want to pay a BBC tax for this nonsense to be rammed down my throat.

    Where the Hell is Paxman? Surely he's not going to pander to this tripe?

  • Comment number 34.

    18. At 3:32pm on 11 May 2009, Boonmasterflash

    First up, its JunkkMale, as were into matters of how matters should be addressed properly.

    And might... might not there be a light dusting of frost on the ears of that horse you are sitting astride so nobly?

    My comments pertained to a few things, but I obviously did not realise that for one to apply it had to conform to a consistent set of rules across all... set by such as your good self. Any more than I think an MPs misdeeds can be claimed to be negated by the manner of their exposure (to pop in a topical news analogy onto what used to be a news blog hope thats on topic mods:).

    And yes, this is a blog. Where you share opinions. Often, by invitation: Throughout the week we want you to help our judges out by telling us what you think..

    Though often this can result in an unfortunate reaction when the sell is more than a little over: this is the week the country is captivated'/the cream of immigrant musical talentvia a shared love of cheesy [covers] music. If some say so. Now, where did you have in mind for me to add my other thoughts?

    But yes, I offered some personal feedback on what has been offered up. You, however, seem more concerned with personal feedback on what I wrote. Fair enough, its a free country. Hardly on topic, mind. And, IMHO, rather weakens some pretty good points you are making, ironically, rather in keeping with those I share. Though I do note that you have no opinion as to the standard of musicianship being presented.

    I suspect we are both are a little intrigued as to how this effort serves the cause of multi-cultural harmony, or what its doing on the main news section of a political news programme and blog, but have perhaps chosen different ways to express ourselves.

    Suffice to say that I consider this to have been poorly judged editorially and not exactly slickly reported thus far.

    But as it is out there, and there has been a call for comment, plus I have an interest in things political, media, musical and the conduct of competitions in general, I do think Ill continue to exercise my right to free speech here and not a different post, ta very much. With luck, youll get further distracted by the contribution from BoaMan now?

    On reflection it was a mistake to use the missus situation simply to make a point, especially without first asking her what she thought. Which was pretty much that she didnt feel the association with such an exclusive initiative would be worthwhile, no matter what the any publicity is.. benefits might be. Shes a performer, who just happens now to be in the UK. Complementing thousands of others, from all demographics, irrespective of anything beyond the music and talent. Though to be sure there is also competition, and via awards, and these often can help. Especially when the PR value of national broadcast can be very useful, when the talent gets exposure and if, hopefully, for the all right reasons.

    But lets not forget that this competition has been created by the UKs national broadcaster, representative of one and all. And as one with more than passing experience in the pr and promo surrounding such things, as well as one who takes an interest in many of Auntys blogs, I am still keen to find out how it has been and will be conducted. The BBC, you may recall, has had difficulties when it comes to such things in the recent past.

    Sadly, I can recall no mention of the mechanisms leading up to this final anywhere, and certainly not on the Newsnight blog, before we arrive, with less than a weeks notice, at a series of semi-finals with selected entrants already in place. This I feel at best fails to serve the interests of the participants and eventual winners as much as anything else.

    And again not, IMHO, too served well in complement by such as this: The judges will read your comments and take them into account, but they will have the final say in selecting a winner and they will decide based on a wide range of criteria consistent with the BBC Code of Conduct on Competitions and Voting., which, as far as I can judge (sorry:), seems to apply almost exclusively, and irrelevantly to contests inviting a public vote.

    I still have no real sense of who these judges are, either. An unusual collection tonight, we are promised...why 1/3 through?). Any more than I did/have the criteria for selection, etc. It has all just appeared. But as a national broadcaster I think the public has a right to know what processes and thoughts have lain behind all that has got us to this point. If only not to undermine public trust in the BBC and ensure the public will be treated with respect, honesty and fairness, confident that all [interactive] competitions and votes are handled with rigorous care and integrity.

    I have nothing personally against any of the bands or the individuals in them, but I am afraid that I remain very concerned professionally with the agenda behind this competition and the way it has been so far conducted, especially considering the sensitivity of the umbrella theme it has been created under. Having a bunch of folk sprung from nowhere, hyped up and shared on a niche, but significant national broadcast news programme... with clear invitations to comment.... seems to have been asking for some controversy. Great for ratings perhaps; not so good for harmony?

    Yes, I did and do weaken my argument a tad by then being unable to resist offering two, very personal, highly subjective, 2 cents on what I have been presented with as a viewer musically, but then as performers you need to get to grips with the reality of audience feedback. And what can I do if the blog post has not been split between the immigration and pure performance issues.

    I have found the Font (a very engaging group of young men) story intriguing, but as were on the theme of appropriateness in tying discordant issues, I think their experiences in Iran are not well served by the mood of this contest.

    And how did they end up with Cliff Richard to cover, as it seems they were barely aware of him and his music? Were they, as a rock band, just issued the poppy Congratulations (really banned in Iran? And heavily punished here too.. ha ha. Is that former at least a verified fact?) on a producers whim? Did they not choose? To walk in the footsteps of Radiohead? Id have been more interested in their original work, which was only a tantalizing backing track and a few poor audio clips at best. Not helping the public assessment too well. Ya Freddys talents were better served, but not by much. Another engaging young, er, again, man (I am sure there will be some ladies in lead to come), with a sad story to tell. I fear I could get no sense from the piece of what he was capable. If it was about the music. So far this seems more about serving the producers agenda rather than the bands' musical careers as they are vying for glory.

    Also it is worth noting that the clips via the dedicated hyperlink are heavily edited from the main programme slot including, for some bizarre reason, the actual song performance in question. That I had to find via iPlayer... and endure the whole darn its a rotten system parade by our MPs first.

    Maybe I have been too hasty in my initial critique, but it is my experience that teasers tantalise and invite audience return by sampling the best. Is that what has happened, musically, here so far?

    But as some have put it, if a tad ironically considering the knee-jerk comments in defens(iv)e... Good luck to everyone, may the best man (Mann?) win.

    At least the Asian Football Idol initiative, though I also feel poorly judged in the message it sends, as a competition has had clear publicity and will enjoy a long period of local heats up to the finals.

    So.... the best use of the license fee in support of either original music, UK live performance talent or community harmony? I was, and still am not so sure.

    And hence, by association, what does this tell us about our country, and the priorities and abilities of its national broadcaster?

  • Comment number 35.

    How about a born and bred English, white, hetrosexual and male song contest.

    No thought not. This is just another example of divisive stupidity. If you REALLY want people to be equal this sort of thing must stop.

    But then no-one will read this as you'll no doubt say it breaks one house rule or another. You always do when I mention white and hetrosexual in the same line without ever giving a reason. What happened to free speech?

  • Comment number 36.

    I feel compelled to say that in this case, the BBC are doing themselves no favours with this.

    The Government 'opened the floodgates' to extreme Immigration - much to the concern and anger of the majority of Britons. They ignored the feelings of the masses via 'PC' Rules etc.
    Now the Government are realising the anger that these actions created.

    Unfortunately and advisedly, the BBC is now pushing the 'PC' pedal too hard for it's own good. BBC, please learn a lesson that Government did not - be reasonable - not so overt in your 'PC' atitude. We are sick of 'PC'and will not have it forced on us.
    Just read the Comments here...

  • Comment number 37.

    On the basis of last night's two performances, I'd prefer an immigrant band to preserve something of the spirit of their home countries in their interpretations. I found it a pity - especially given Iran's very rich traditional musical culture - that Font could have been a wanna be indie band from anywhere. I know that Pink Floyd and other British bands are hugely popular in Iran, and that the country does have a vibrant (and frowned on by the authorities) indie scene, but I don't think the interpretations travel particularly well "backwards". Whereas Ya Freddy and his crew did a super hilarious reinterpretation of Puppet on a String with Congo vibe and spirit. I have also been much taken with the Zimbabwean entry's preview, charming performance, lovely voice.

  • Comment number 38.

    34. At 10:45am on 12 May 2009, JunkkMale wrote:
    "the BBC and ensure the public will be treated with respect, honesty and fairness"


    Oh really? Then why did they censor my comment earlier? I don't see how linking to a Daily Mail article about Jeremy Paxman's use of Romanian immigrants breaks any rules.

    And the other question still stands: Will the "impartial" BBC balance out this pro-immigration agenda by airing a load of anti-immigration songs next week? Of course they won't, because the BBC doesn't do balance. (but they will do censorship)

  • Comment number 39.

    Is this a plot to get rid of newsnight? How many regular viewers of NN are the BBC budgeting to lose by airing this quite ridiculous and moronic twaddle. I am now sitting watching the playoff semi-final between Reading and Burnley, because I just can't watch this rubbish. It's not clever, it's not funny, it's not "multi-cultural", it's pathetic rubbish, aired on the major world news programme of the BBC. Who are the patronising, overpaid, out of touch fools who came up with this????? Do the license payers a favour, save some money and sack them. Of course us regulars are highly a resilient bunch, and we will be back for the whole programme when it returns to being a serious news programme, in the interim, thank god for the remote control. Also Jeremy, very surprised you, as a serious journalist have agreed to be associated with this nonsense - get a grip man and sort these fools out.

  • Comment number 40.

    I turned on Newsnight this evening and just couldn't believe what I was watching...an immigrant singing contest? Surely it is some sick joke. How can the Newsnight production team make an article in such poor taste. The BBC royalty in their ivory towers completely mis-judge the mood of the nation. Instead of celebrating this ideologically driven nightmare which the labour government has forced upon us, Newswnight could do us all a better service by explaining in detail just how anyone from any quarter of the globe can just walk into Britain and make themselves at home. None of us really know and the BBC does nothing to investigate it either. The money spent on this mis-guided programme is just sheer waste of public money. BBC journalists could provide a better service by illustrating exacly what mechanisms are at work in our society to give us such an open door policy. Showing us programmes of immigrants fiddling while Rome burns is quite frankly apalling. And while the public have an eye to politicians wasting money, how much are these BBC reporters getting paid from the public purse for this programme?

  • Comment number 41.

    With a few exceptions, you really are a miserable lot. Do you not feel encouraged that these young people from overseas are willing to play the Eurovision game in order to get their music and life-stories heard. Their english is good and their attitudes are positive. Personally, I would ship some of our own layabouts off to Africa to carry water from the swamp for a few days of holiday experience. We could divert some MP expenses to pay for the fares.
    And Jeremy Paxman's Newsnight has maybe in a slightly quirky way highlighted the serious issues of the repression suffered by so many countries around the world. Freedom is what puts the Great into Britain.

  • Comment number 42.

    I can understand and sympathise with Janet_B's willingness to be generous to all the world's troubled souls but the fact is that the country's administration has gone to sleep. Our open door policy has meant that we all now live on high security alert and all of our activities are incrasingly monitored. This is not good for us or for anyone we allow to live in UK. Newsnight reporters, like all the others, do not have the intelligence to ask the questions or see the patterns. They are either caught in the adversarial jousting, like Paxman, or they merely indulge in these occasions of joviality, like this singing competition. Generousity is to be applauded but when it is misguided and idealistic then only trouble will result for everyone, resident or immigrant.

  • Comment number 43.

    My first thought was that the Beeb had set up this competition as a surprise birthday present for Jeremy Paxman.

    My second thought is that it is a good thing to do, but not on Newsnight. A longer, perhaps not adversarial, programme about how music making can flourish and give comfort even in the most appalling political conditions, with rather more music than talk, and music from the cultures in question rather than rehashing past Eurovision songs - that could be well worth watching.

  • Comment number 44.

    What !! no link to Zeps immigrant song, the granddaddies of ROCK. Bonham would be spinning. "John, your spilling your drink, Hendrix is on and your still at the bar..."...the beeb won't link us man!"

  • Comment number 45.

    Janet B, you may like this rubbish (and it is rubbish), but the big point you misss - it should not be on NEWS NIGHT. I'm not sure either that getting people from very different cultures (5 of the six) to play bad songs written for white singers is right. Smacks strongly of cultural imperialism, getting the foreigners up to play Euroutrash songs. A big big mistake.

  • Comment number 46.

    I enjoyed the fusion of 60s British pop and Congolese dance music that Ya Freddy made with Puppet on a String.

    There's a lot of serious comments on this board and I guess if we all watch Newsnight we have pretty serious streaks in our make-up. Nonetheless, I found it very enjoyable - and that's something that music is supposed to be. But couldn't Newsnight find even one immigrant girl band or one immigrant diva?

  • Comment number 47.

    Just saw the latest programme and was very pleased to see WHY NOT HERE. I saw them by chance at Dingwalls last tuesday night at the semi-finals of the Emergenza battle of the bands. They were great and the audience loved them. They very narrowly missed out on getting to the final - they came third and only the top two bands went through.
    I have to admit I was at Dingwalls to support another band (The Winter Kicks) who did get through to the Energenza final, but Why Not Here would have been my second choice!!! Go guys - you Rooooockkkkk!!!

    I have listened to all 6 band on here and I also really like Font, but all the bands are better than the real Eurovision that's for sure.

  • Comment number 48.

    Would somebody please post the Hasmat video on YouTube. Thanks.

 

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