03. “No More Babes on the Dance-Stage”: The Changing Modes of Spectatorship in Athenian Live Music Nightclubs

IOANNIS TSIOULAKIS


 

1. AngelikiIliadi, “Ego milaome tinkardiamou” («Εγώ μιλάω με την καρδιά μου» – “I speak with my heart”)

 

Music by: Kostas Miliotakis, Lyrics by: Ilias Philippou.

 

 

The video features a performance of AngelikiIliadi’s hit song in 2008, at a daytime-TV music and talk show. The singer is lip-syncing to a fully pre-recorded track, as is the convention for many of those types of performances, even though the instrumentalists that accompany Angeliki in nightclub performances can be seen in the TV studio. The central audible and visible presence of a string ensemble, and the heavily ornamented way in which they perform in the recording, is indicative of the Turkish and Arabic influences of laïko music at that time, with similar aesthetic and sociocultural connotations as Turkish arabesk. The song was featured in Angeliki’s performance in the Mousses nightclub, which is covered by my ethnographic account in the chapter.


 

2. Sakis Rouvas, “Irthes” (“Ήρθες”)

 

Music by: Dimitris Kontopoulos, Lyrics by: Yiannis Doksas.

 

 

This is a video of the performance of the song “Irthes” (“you came [into my life]”), at the live show of the TV franchise “The X-Factor”, in which SakisRouvas was the presenter/host in 2008. The song was released that year to coincide with the birth of Sakis’ daughter, an event that media had covered in sensationalist ways. The song was featured prominently in all of Sakis’ performances that year, including those at the Starz nightclub that I discuss at length in the chapter. In this performance, Sakis sings live over a pre-recorded backing track, as is the convention for many TV performances of this type. The backing track was also used for performances in the Starz nightclub, but augmented through the use of live instruments on stage.


 

3. Sakis Rouvas, “This Is Our Night”

 

Music by: Dimitris Kontopoulos, Lyrics by: Graig Porteils & Cameron Giles-Webb.

 

 

This is the official video of the live performance of the song “This Is Our Night”, the Greek entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, sung by Sakis Rouvas. The choice of Sakis as a national representative for the highly-anticipated spectacle of the Eurovision, was indicative of the visibility that he was enjoying at the time in mainstream media. It coincided with his role as a host of the Greek version of the international franchise show “The X-Factor”, his successful series of appearances at the Starz nightclub, and the birth of his first child, which was widely covered by media. The song “This Is Our Night” was also performed every night in the nightclub, and it was the sole song of Sakis’ originals that was sung in English (but was complemented by many covers of Anglo-American popular hits).