Fancy some Moldovan folky ska action for a Saturday night? No, I’m not sure either, but here we are. My heart always sinks a little when I hear the obligatory regional Eastern European entries that come every year. But thinking about, despite their limited crossover appeal, these countries are usually send songs that represent their nation, and why the hell shouldn’t they?
Perhaps mindful that they can’t keep up with the flashy productions of richer nations, they do what they know, and hope that one day Europe will give it the thumbs up. In contrast to terminally-hapless FYR Macedonia, Moldova seem to be getting a reasonable amount of success at the moment. They’ve yet to really demonstrate themselves as Eurovision titans in their 7 years in the contest, but they are often dark horses in the line-up. Who thought Zdob şi Zdub had a shot at the final last year? I certainly didn’t, but a shrewd artistic direction and a relatively rock-light lineup saw them come 12th.
The bottom line is that Moldova will one day refine their formula and reap the rewards from more nations than just Romania and Ukraine. Maybe not this year, but I am certainly not against the idea of seeing them in another final if they get the staging right.
With a curious frontman looking like a younger mix of Ed Norton and Gary Oldman, this is pretty catchy. Not really sure what to call the sound, there’s a bit of folk, some slowed-down ska maybe? If a Western country were to try this, I can’t imagine it not sounding unbearably cheesy (Denmark would probably do that) but it sort of works. Broken English but not enough to stop you getting the chorus. It’s quite simple but there’s just something about it I really like.
I could take or leave them in the final, I’d be happy to see them there, but it’s probably not in my dream team.