Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Eoghan Quigg: Alive and kicking after 'the worst album of all time'

You probably won't remember Eoghan Quigg, who finished third behind third behind Alexandra Burk and JLS in the 2008 series of X Factor.

I remember him because I once posted a description of him by Charlie Brooker just because it was so striking:

Weird. Eerie. Like the spectral figure of an infant chimney sweep that suddenly appears in an upstairs window, gazing sadly at your back as you walk the grounds of a remote country mansion on a silent Christmas afternoon; alerted by an indefinable chill, you turn and, for the briefest moment, his wet, sorry eyes meet yours... and then he's gone.

And I remember him too because of a damning Guardian review of his first and only CD. It was not just damning of Quigg's talent but of the cynicism of the music business too and this evening I found it again:

Ironically, in 2009 we are so numb to hyperbole that totally appropriate phrases like "the worst album of all time" effectively divert attention away from how bad this album actually is. But this album really is phenomenally bad. 

On first listen it's tempting to say that no effort went into its creation, but on closer inspection it strikes a very clever balance. It is an album which at once satisfies demand for one Eoghan Quigg album and ensures that there will never ever be demand for a second. It's an important balance for X Factor albums like this. 

If produced cheaply enough (and the karaoke CD backing tracks show that this album has not been an expensive one) there's potential for modest profit on a debut album, but that profit would certainly turn to loss if ploughed into the promotion of a follow-up.

Despite this experience, Quigg has not given up singing - in 2014 he finished second in the contest to choose Ireland's Eurovision entry. But these days he is better known as a sportsman.

He has played soccer for Coagh United and Portstewart FC in the Northern Ireland Football League and now plays Gaelic football for Doire Trasna in the Derry county leagues.

How do I know all this? From Wikipedia and an article in The Irish News.

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