Hell Bent For Metal joins forces for the second time with Riot Act, the alternative music podcast, as host Steve Hill joins Tom and the returning Matt Rushton to present you with the LGBTQ+ metalhead guide to the Eurovision Song Contest.
For anyone unfamiliar (which is a lot of people – it's huge in the countries involved, and not really seen anywhere else), Eurovision is a song contest (obviously) held every year, with most countries in Europe plus some further afield competing. Each enters an original song to be performed on the night, there's some voting, and in the end, there's a winner.
It's a celebration of kitsch, camp, and occasionally, even includes a good song or two. It has long had a huge queer following, and it's even flirted with metal from time to time – usually with either spectacular or disastrous results.
The hosts (the two who actually like Eurovision, anyway) present their favourite ever performances, which range from the sublime to the ridiculous, from huge winner to disastrous flop, and from the absurdly metal to the profoundly not. They, naturally, they also pick out some of their most hated.
There's obviously plenty of chat about the biggest metal moment in the competition's history (which the video below should help explain), a discussion about a queer pioneer winner, some… "interesting" entries the UK submitted/regretted, and the biggest act ever to come out of the contest – themselves a massive gay icon.
Plus there's a round up of a couple of news items from Riot Act's world, and the Hate Crew Gaybar is open once again, with albums from Muse (at Riot Act's suggestion), Ether Coven and Soilwork going in.
It's an epic show, but for a 66-year-old competition that's iconic for the queer communities of entire continent, it's comparatively restrained. ("Comparatively" is doing a lot of heavy lifting, but it still works.)