The Ukrainians
28th April 2024 - 7:30 pm
The Deaf Institute

A night to celebrate three decades of music by The Ukrainians. Expect an exciting set with the best songs from thirty plus years of performing Eastern Folk Punk.

Using their British born Ukrainian roots, the band mix eastern and western culture – singing in Ukrainian, using eastern ethnic instruments, but backed up with a western rock rhythm.

The Ukrainians were formed in 1991, the year Ukraine regained its independence from the Soviet Union. ‘Oi Divchino’ was the band’s first single, which became an NME Single of the Week, and the video for it was shot in Kyiv. It was the first pop video to be produced in the east for a western band.

The first album, ‘The Ukrainians’, established the group as the world’s major exponent of a new hybrid of traditional Ukrainian folk and British Indie-rock music. The band subsequently played festivals and tours throughout Europe, including Glastonbury and WOMAD in the UK. Sportswear company NIKE then approached The Ukrainians to record the soundtrack for a TV ad to accompany footage of Ukrainian world champion pole-vaulter, Sergey Bubka, which was screened globally.

In 1992 the group next released its ‘Pisni Iz The Smiths’ EP, which included Ukrainian language versions of classic Smiths songs. It was voted no.1 ‘Single of the Year’ by Berlin DJs. The ‘Vorony’ album followed, extending the Ukrainians’ popularity to almost every country in Europe. As a result, The Ukrainians played a 110 date tour from Western Spain to eastern Ukraine. In Ukraine, as guests of Ukraine’s Ministry Of Culture, the band played to a crowd of 75,000 people in Kyiv’s Independence Square. The next album, ‘Kultura’, was influenced by the band’s experiences on that tour.

The Ukrainians’ fourth studio album, Respublika, contained mostly traditional Ukrainian folk songs and captured a post-punk urgency reminiscent of Peter and Len’s early Wedding Present John Peel sessions.

In 2009 The Ukrainians released ‘Diaspora’, the concept of which was migration: the heartbreak of leaving family and homeland coupled with the excitement of starting a new life. The album had a strong resonance at a time when a wave of young Ukrainians were moving to the West.

2014 saw ‘Never Mind The Cossacks’ on vinyl for Record Store Day 2014. It featured the bands unique versions of classic Sex Pistols songs and sold out in one day.

In 2015 ‘A History of Rock Music In Ukrainian’ was released, featuring The Ukrainians’ re-workings of some of their favourite classic British and American rock and pop songs. It was exciting stuff, and made you wonder how rock music might have sounded had it developed in the east rather than the west!

The Ukrainians’ most recent, and arguably best album, ‘Summer in Lviv’ deals with themes that reflect the Ukraine of today: conflict, populations on the move, immigration, and a struggle for identity. It is also – like all Ukrainians’ albums – bursting with fabulous danceable tunes!

Most recently, The Ukrainians have been involved in numerous benefit gigs to raise money for refugees from this terrible war. There will be an opportunity to support refugees at the gig both financially, and by cheering on the artists who support on the night.

You can expect to hear songs from each of The Ukrainians’ albums, and this is sure to be an eastern night to remember!

(The Ukrainians – Ace of Spades) (The Ukrainians – Koly Ya Tantsyuyu ( When I Dance ) Коли Я Танцюю


The Deaf Institute 135 Grosvenor St
Manchester M1 7HE