Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Albania 2021 - Evi Reçi - Tjerr

This year's Festivali i Këngës has gone a bit Covid strange. Rather than the usual cosy confines of the Pallati i Kongresevem they've dragged everyone out into Italia Square, built a massive great open air stage, and have swapped the orchestra for a Eurovision-style backing track. But what it's lost in that delightful old school quaintness it's certainly made up for in oddness points.

For a start, it must be pretty nippy out there as you can see a considerable amount of steam coming out of the contestants' mouths as they sing. And for another, the vast performance area has brought out a kind of showbiz in some of the acts that is rarely seen during a traditional FiKmas. 

We'll have to say though, when we saw the initial screengrabs of the songs we expected this one was going to be a bit silly. With a stern looking lady in a gravity confounding outfit and big old veterinarian's gloves looking a bit moody alongside two fellas who weren't trying especially hard to escape from some loosely tied rope, we were expecting some kind of pumping S&M turbo pop. But instead what we actually got was an incredible cool and measure slink of a song that everyone would be going nuts over had it come from somewhere more Western. We're not expecting this to win, as there are a handful of more traditionally histrionic Albanian songs on offer. But it would be a most welcome departure for their more usual fodder if they did send this one through.

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