The Eurovision Song Contest is no stranger to rock music, but this could still have been a very surprising entry. Simon Neil, frontman of Scottish alternative rock group Biffy Clyro, confessed to being a Eurovision fan who even tried to enter the contest once.
In an interview with The Sunday Times (reported by NME), Neil explained how he came to fall in love with the contest, with the help of some, uhm, enhancements: “Eighteen years ago a friend and I took some acid and watched Eurovision, and it was one of the greatest nights of my life.” He further mentioned that he once attempted to be a Eurovision contestant with his side project, Marmaduke Duke, noting: “You have to dream big.”
Neil has actually discussed his Eurovision dreams in the past. In 2014, the rocker revealed Marmaduke Duke’s plans to represent Scotland in the contest, should it be granted independence in that year’s referendum: “We have formulated a plan and I know what I’m going to be wearing.” The referendum, of course, resulted with Scotland staying in the United Kingdom, which might be why the world has never seen Marmaduke Duke’s entry.
Had Neil and his Marmaduke Duke partner, JP Reid, carried on with their plans, they could’ve joined a small group of Scottish performers at the Eurovision. This list goes back as far as 1966, when Kenneth McKellar represented the United Kingdom (in a kilt!) with “A Man Without Love.” Other members of this lineage include Lulu, whose “Boom Bang-a-Bang” was part of the four-way tie of winners in 1969; Scott Fitzgerald, the runner-up at the 1988 contest with “Go”; and Rikki’s “Only the Light” from 1987, which holds the honor of giving the UK its worst Eurovision result in the 20th century.
But Simon Neil seems to keep himself busy even with his Eurovision aspirations on indefinite hold. Biffy Clyro are due to release their new album, A Celebration of Endings, on August 14, and a new Marmaduke Duke record is also nearing completion. And with Biffy set to headline Download Festival in the UK next year, Neil’s schedule is surely too full to plan a whole new Eurovision entry. So maybe they could just join as an interval act instead?
Would you like to see Biffy Clyro or Marmaduke Duke at Eurovision someday? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!