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Friday, 9 March, 2001, 18:02 GMT
Breaking the Eurovision mould
Tony Moore and band
Tony Moore: Determined to represent Britain at Eurovision
Yes, it's that time again - the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entry is to be chosen on Sunday.

The winner will go forward to represent the UK in Copenhagen - hoping to do better than last year's entry, placed 16th.

One of Sunday's four finalists is That's My Love by songwriter Tony Moore who, unusually for the competition, has reached the final without any music industry backing - for the fourth time.

Moore has worked as a songwriter and performer since he left school at 16, and in recent years has managed the songwriters' talent showcase the Kashmir club in London's West End.

Most Song For Europe finalists have the support of a music publisher or producer, which helps them progress to the final round.

Uphill task

But, like many without a recording or publishing deal, Moore has had to make his own way in the music world.

"Sometimes it can be an uphill task if you are outside the industry," he told BBC News Online.

"But because of the experience I've had with the Kashmir club and as an independent songwriter and producer, I enjoy the freedom it's given me to be able to do my own thing."

Moore is optimistic about his chances on Sunday.

"I want to win - this is the fourth time I've been in the British final and I'm very proud of that," he said.


It's about songwriting more than marketing or promotion

Tony Moore

"I haven't been backed by anyone, not at all - I've put it all together and it's an unpublished song.

"I wrote the song a year ago - I wanted to wrote a song that both lyrically and melodically was a celebration of a very pure kind of love, something spiritual, something to aspire to."

Showcase

He thinks the Kashmir club was vital for London. "London needed somewhere like the Kashmir - somewhere songwriters could be heard.

"Songwriting is a truly international art - the ability to create music that will succeed all around the world and can be covered and stand the taste of time.

"The Kashmir is more than three years now and we've seen artists get major record deals as well as having unannounced sets from people like Mick Fleetwood, Muse, Dane Bowers, Kiki Dee, Mikey Graham - and the other night, Sheryl Crowe."

Goddesses

Moore has used the Kashmir's talent pool to put together his Song For Europe band of pianist Julie Thompson, guitarist and bassist Kirsty Newton, acoustic guitarist Astrid Brook and drummer Tasha Baylis (not pictured).

"They're all wonderful musicians and songwriters themselves who have played at the Kashmir club, and I'm honoured they've agreed to perform for me.

Tony Moore
Moore: aiming for the mainstream

"They sing like angels, play like demons and they look like goddesses."

Moore has made his own way for a long time but is hoping that a good result on Sunday will rekindle music industry interest in him.

"I'm surprised I haven't been approached before now but sometimes life is about timing.

"Maybe some people think I don't want a deal - maybe some people think I already have one.

"Maybe before David Gray proved that it's about songwriting more than marketing and promotion, it was harder.

"From a record company point of view I understand that my material is much more mainstream than most.

"But the view of mainstream songwriters working for an older age group is changing - because of course that's where the album sales are and long term income is."

Changing perceptions

Mainstream or not, there are some who would say that any association with Eurovision is potentially damaging to a budding career.

But Moore disagrees.

"I genuinely believe that if everybody was to enter songs written with a passion and feel at the British end, then slowly but surely the standard of the competition would rise," he said.

"The songs this year are all very good.

"Maybe we can change the perception that it's a bit kitsch and a bit tacky and turn it into a competition for new songwriters that have yet to be recognised, as well as a place for established songwriters to prove that a great song is a great song."

The other songs in Sunday's final are:

  • "Just Another Rainbow" performed by Lucy Randall and written by Peter Kirtley, Tim Hawes and Liz Winstanley;

  • "Men" performed by Nanne and written by Kimberley Rew;

  • "No Dream Impossible" performed by Linsday Duncan and written by Russ Ballard and Chris Winter.

    Song For Europe, 1645 GMT on BBC One.

  • See also:

    14 May 00 | Entertainment
    Danes win Eurovision contest
    12 May 00 | Entertainment
    The politics of Eurovision
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