Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dora 2007: He Will Rock You?

There's no sign of Goran Bare, as it happens, but the list of contestants for the 2007 edition of Dora, Croatia's contest to choose a representative for Eurovision, is still verging towards the upmarket - albeit the usual sprinkling of complete debutants and reality TV show cast members.

Several of the performers have Eurovision experience, including Vivien Galletta and Naim Ayra (both members of Put in 1993), Claudia Beni, Goran Karan, and Feminnem, who competed for Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2005. There's a fair smattering of swing (the Sick Swing Orchestra and Marko Tolja), and a couple of names who interpret 'folk music' in quite a different sense to Severina's Moja stikla: Klapa Maslina (responsible for one of umpteen versions of the Dalmatian standard Da te mogu pismom zvati) and Miroslav Evačić, an ethno musician who mixes blues and Podravina folk music, making him the mid-noughties answer to Istrian-jazz doyenne Tamara Obrovac.

In fact, the list as a whole might look like two and a half dozen attempts to define the antipode of ┼átikla if it wasn't for the incongruous inclusion of a certain Sinisa Vuco - a singer whose association with 'turbofolk' is even more ingrained than Severina's. Vuco's repertoire, with emphasis on the pleasures (or otherwise) of drinking, sex and supporting Hajduk Split, musically might not be too dissimilar to Marko Perković Thompson's, only with less historical mythology and much more accordion. (In fact, here are the two of them in the company of Dalmatian diasporic singer Dražen Žanko.)

In all other respects, though, the two singers have taken paths as diverging as the average Jeffrey Archer plotline - Thompson inclining towards the patriotic (and vowing never to perform in Serbia), while Vuco has since signed for Lepa Brena's Grand Productions and regularly appears on TV Pink or duetting with Serbian-based singers. (They include Vesna Zmijanac, Neda Ukraden, and Mitar Mirić, with whom Vuco covered Queen's We Will Rock You as Volim narodno - I love it the folk way.) For much of the 1990s, indeed, Vuco claimed that his music had been banned by the then management of Croatian Television (HTV) because of its similarity to folk from Serbia and Bosnia.

However, it looks like Vuco's performing with a 'rock composition' by Fedor Boić, rather than with one of his more narodnjački compositions. Which might be just as well. Would HTV really want to go through that again?

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At 11:01 am, January 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine, your blog is an education unto itself. Every time I drop by here, my eyes grow wide as coffee saucers. This is some kinda music journalism.


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