Malta may be one of the smallest countries at the contest, but they’ve got one of the biggest hearts. They’ve come close a few times, and were one of the main contenders just two years ago with Destiny. A poor result last year, but can they bounce back with their 2023 artists, the three cheeky chaps who make up The Busker, their first male representative since 2014?
The Busker are an indie pop band who have been around since 2012, though as has been the case with several of the group entries this year, the membership has changed over time and the lead singer has joined relatively recently. They won the seemingly interminable national selection, and proved quite a surprise in doing so being neither a female solo artist nor a ballad nor a song written non-Maltese (i.e Swedish) songwriters. Dance (Our Own Party) is thus very much a homegrown effort and very different to previous Maltese entries – a funk pop song with heavy use of saxaphone, dance breaks and focused on fun rather than a vocal.
There is something endearingly fun about this, and it feels very authentic rather than manufactured. I love the use of the saxaphone in it – and the little breaks/pauses in the track work well. The boys really throw themselves into it, and certainly suffer for their art – they “may feel better in their sweater” but it’s jolly warm in them. We saw the lead singer (who has the most gorgeous hair) upstairs in the VIP area at the London Eurovision Party after they had performed; we had a photo with him and he apologised for how sweaty he was. Needless to say we didn’t mind! We had also seen them before the show started and all three were sweet and charming – you can’t help but root for them!
I enjoy this obviously and it is something a bit different as well. I think perhaps the dance breaks in the song might stretch a little too long for a three minute performance but I hope they’ll do something fun on the big stage in Liverpool. Qualifying is going to be a real challenge though. They’ve got second in the running order, coming after a big fan favourite and it’s that semi final of doom. If they had been in the second semi-final I would have fancied their chances, but I have to be realistic – this could be one of my top 20 that doesn’t make the final. Am sure they will have a lot of fun along the way though.
Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1971
Appearances (excluding this year): 34
Best result: 2nd in 2002 and 2005
Last year’s result: 16th in semi-final (did not qualify)