Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Baking up a Latvian storm

It started as a joke, but now the joke's on me.

Initially, I really didn't like Latvia's Eurovision entry this year, entitled "Cake to Bake" by a group called Aarzemnieki (oddly enough fronted by a German).

The tune is jaunty enough, but the lyrics left a little bit to be desired in the content department.

For example:

I melted the ice of the polar caps,
found the raiders of the lost ark,
solved a case for the genius from Baker Street,
helped to clean the Central Park.

I created the plan for the Chinese Wall, 
went to desert, made it rain,
swam through a shark tank bloodily,
found Atlantis, by the way... (but today)

I've got a cake to bake - I've got no clue at all (cep, cep, cep, cep, cep kuuku)
I've got a cake to bake - and haven't done that before (cep, cep, cep, cep, cep kuuku)
don't be proud, mate please don't bother,
go, come on and ask your mother,
how to bake, how to bake, bake that cake...

To prove my point, I played the song to work colleagues to get their opinion.

Sure enough, the tune is now firmly stuck in our heads.  Needless to say they're thanking me profusely for introducing them to this invasive tune.

It's playing in my mind when I wake up and it's there when I go to sleep.   I'm not sure if this is a sign that "Cake to Bake" is in fact a great song or whether I'm going insane.

I've now come to enjoy "Cake to Bake" in all its weird glory.  But will Europe think the same?  

We'll know in the next 12 hours as the first 2014 Eurovision Semi-Final unfolds in Copenhagen.  "Cake to Bake" is the second song to be performed; will it be a sweet success and make it to the Final, or will it be burnt?

While I wait to learn the fate of "Cake to Bake", I'm reminiscing about my visit to Riga, Latvia's capital.  It's a city that has an historic heart, but also with a strong Soviet influence.

According to the betting odds, it's unlikely Eurovision will be held here next year, but as you see it's not a bad place to spend some time (and bake?).

National Opera House 
Old Town

Old Town skyline

Monk's face in side of St John's Church

Sculpture of the Town Musicians of Bremen

Clock in Town Square

Riga streetscape

Freedom Monument

View from top of St John's Church

Spot the Stalinist architecture

Latvian Riflemen Monument in Town Square

Riga streetscape

Art Nouveau

Pilsetas Kanal

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