The Portuguese performers, Homens Da Luta are not your normal music band, since they come from comedy, "but we take music very seriously". Come to think of traditional portuguese music and most people would think of fado, but that's not their only kind of music. "The music we play is Portuguese traditional music, and we want to show Europe something of our traditions".
Fado is very sad, and our music is much happier
According to one of the singers of the band, Neto, the band had to be reduced in order to comply to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, which only allow six people on stage, and the band officially has eleven members. "In our concerts we don't use synthesizers, all the music you can hear is played by us; no computers in this song!"
The title of the song A Luta E Alegria translates as The Struggle Is Joy. "We've translated this to almost every European language for our signs used on stage".
After their polemic victory at the Portuguese selection they want to stress that the lyrics are not against any politician, party or ideology. "They hold an important message for the people, the struggle is against fear, people are feeling depressed and scared because of the economic crisis.
So, what is the message they want to convey? "We want to bring joy and say that you can make your struggle with pride and with hope for a better future".
Men of Struggle
Homens da Luta (Men of the Struggle) is a collective of traditional Portuguese music of an interventionist style. Inspired by the musical universe of the period after April 25, 1974, the band is led by the unavoidable Neto and Falâncio (brothers Nuno “Jel” and Vasco Duarte), and first appeared on TV five years ago in a comedy show.
However, soon they were travelling through the cities, towns, and villages of Portugal, spreading their music and their sense of humour. They bring A Luta É Alegria (The Struggle is Joy) to the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, inspired by the tradition of collective singing, which was so fashionable in the late 1970s.
The music conference
With their message of joy it was only natural that during Portugal's first press conference what they offered to the press was just that: joy.
After the host of the conference Sonia Kennebeck asked to introuce themselves, the leader of the band Neto asked his brother Falacio to play some live background music as he was speaking, and that's how they answered to every question. A very enjoyable press conference after a long day of rehearsals.
Then after the answer was done Homens da Luta would raise their voices singing some of their mottos like "Luta luta! Camarada luta, contra reação! (Struggle struggle! Comrade struggle against reaction!)"
Homens da Luta talked about the demonstration that took place in Lisbon only one week after they won the national selection. "During six hours people consciously protested, with joy, with no political parties involved. 400,000 people attended and there was not even one broken glass".
After some journalist renamed them as the socialist Village People, Neto went on explaining the six characters in the Eurovision version of Homens da Luta: the soldier, the intelectual, Falacio that represents the popular singer/songwriter Zeca Afonso, the beautiful farmer representing agricultural people, the African descent worker representing their community, and Neto the man with the megaphone, a revolutionary dandy!
Homens da Luta are trying to keep the balance between being serious and joking, but they don't really care about the results as they shouted on their megaphone: "Our victory is being here with you!" But they have some other plans in profiting from their trip to Germany: "Yesterday we went singing on the streets and got almost 100€!"