There are only a few minutes left for the rehearsal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, if we speak to The Black Mamba on the day they perform in Eurovision. The second semi-final of the European competition will take place this Thursday, May 20th. From 20 hours you can follow everything in the broadcast from RTP1.
Tatanka’s band Marco Pombinho, Rui Pedro Pity, Miguel Casais and Guilherme Salgueiro came to the Dutch city on May 10th. The country is in a more suspicious state than Portugal – it is not mandatory to wear a mask on the street, for example – but the Black Mamba are in the festival bubble where everything has to go well.
Because of this, almost all of these days have been spent in the hotel where they are staying. During this time, they had several rehearsals and tests in the Ahoi Arena so that the performance and event went smoothly – either on an artistic level or taking into account the pandemic panorama.
With 3,500 people tested on the benches without the need for a mask or social distance, this could be one of the largest pilot events in Europe since the pandemic began.
“All eyes in the world will be on this event. It is a pilot event that can open many doors to other doors of this type. It can serve as an example, so these restrictions must all be very strict, “says The Black Mamba to NiT, who is already dressed for the performance this Thursday and in which ten interpreters are for the grand finale on Saturday, May 22nd, will qualify. You can hear other competitors’ tests in the background.
The Black Mamba hope that Eurovision, for example, can open doors to some of the biggest festivals in Portugal. “We can help each other too, this year and last year, for example, we lost Rock in Rio, which we wanted to do, and other festivals. If that goes well, it could open up normally for the year. “
Not only were they tested in Covid-19 every two days, but Eurovision only authorized them to leave the hotel two times in their free time: They drove to the port of Rotterdam, the largest of its kind in Europe; and visited an iconic local gin factory as well as passing the beach. “So that we can leave the hotel for a while and not turn around for two weeks,” says singer Tatanka.
The Black Mamba dressed for the Thursday performance.
If they are caught on a patio or take a picture of an exit not approved by the organization, they can even be excluded from the competition. Iceland, for example, will no longer participate in the event, but because one of the members of the country’s representative band tested positive for the new coronavirus. Along with the French and Swiss song, the Icelandic theme was a favorite of The Black Mamba.
Since they had some free time in the hotel, they had the idea – in collaboration with Arlindo Camacho and Daniel Mota – to record a video clip of a single that they will be releasing this Friday, May 21, regardless of whether they pass the exam or not not Eurovision finals. It’s called “Crazy Nando” and promises.
“We were closed there and had a lot of fun. It’s already a very weird song, and the video clip still takes the music to another level in that sense, “says Tatanka. “We can guarantee you a nice laugh.”
“The hotel is cool, but it looks a little flawed. It’s out of date. And they managed to transform that … you’ll think we’re at the Sheraton [risos]”Adds pity to Rui Pedro. “And it’s the cheapest music video in history, at least for this band. It costs 65 euros plus VAT. “
Regarding today’s semifinals, they say they see Eurovision as the competition, but they are also just trying to have a different experience – especially after a year of pandemic where they were practically stopped.
“We cannot escape the origin of this event, it is a competition. We didn’t see each other doing scenes like this a while ago. It happened, we accepted it with great joy and pride and ended up here in this context. Obviously there are a number of other things that can enrich us and that will be safe. And, ready, let’s try to make the most of all of these things that happen to us here. And we hope to do the best we can. In this context of the competition we would very much like to qualify today and then give our best in the final, ”says Tatanka.
Some members of the group, such as Guilherme Salgueiro and Miguel Casais, admit that they paid more attention to online bookmakers’ projections. This Thursday afternoon, The Black Mamba ranks 17th according to Eurovision World, the main website that collects data from the various digital bets. This makes it likely that they will make it to the finals.
“Yesterday’s rehearsal went very well, which was no longer a rehearsal. It was a jury show. In other words, half of today’s result already relates to yesterday’s performance, as the jury in each country voted yesterday. It went very well, it added some relaxation to what the TV show is for today. Yesterday was a good performance and that gave us encouragement and relaxation to face what is coming ”, summarizes Tatanka about the current state of mind.
The Black Mamba say these days in the Netherlands were useful for getting used to the Eurovision environment. “Every time we feel more at home and everything is going very well. We were received very well, we are very happy. “Even if they don’t make it to the final, they won’t return to Portugal until Sunday 23 May.
“Otherwise, it is important to adhere to the requirements that have already been set and always try to improve performance, since what must happen every second is already very precisely outlined.” This is very different from the more spontaneous experience of giving a simple concert.
“We’re not very used to it, it has to be the second here. This part is complicated for wild animals like us, but we are also humans with their minds in place who know how to stick to what is adopted and try to work together as much as possible to make it good for everyone. Because this isn’t just for those on stage. “There are already some new songs in the pipeline that will culminate in a record called“ Last Night in Amsterdam ”, which was inspired by the 2018 international tour. Before that, it’s time to win the audience with “Love is on My” page.