The Ukrainians will be touring ‘Summer in Lviv’ throughout Summer 2019:
03.05 – 100 Club, London
04.05 – John Peel Centre, Stowmarket
01.06 – J2 (The Junction), Cambridge
15.06 – Muzikantes Festival, Leeds
06.07 – Tannerfest, Kettering
10.08 – At the Edge of the Sea Festival, Brighton
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of The Wedding Present’s three legendary Peel Sessions, The Ukrainians’ new album ‘Summer in Lviv’ is based on guitarist Peter Solowka and vocalist/fiddle player Len Liggins’s experiences in western Ukraine last summer, where they discovered the rejuvenated, modern, vibrant and forward-looking city of Lviv, whose official motto is ‘Live, work and enjoy yourself’.
Living in the west but with half the band having a background rooted in the cultures of Ukraine or eastern Europe, The Ukrainians have enjoyed huge success over the past three decades, not only winning the adoration of mainland Europe but becoming the only band to ever enter the official UK charts with a Ukrainian language track. Furthermore, their music is infused with an excitement that draws on both Ukrainian folk music and western rock music, which together create a sound that is fresh and exciting as traditional instruments interweave with pounding drums and zizzy electric guitars.
Inspired by the band’s holiday experiences and conversations with people in the city, ‘Summer in Lviv’ deals with themes that reflect the Ukraine of today: conflict, populations on the move, immigration, and a struggle for identity. The album reflects on the benefits and pitfalls of freedom, and the delicate balance between asserting a national or ethnic identity and denying it to others. If this balance is achieved, it can result in diversity and acceptance – increasingly the case in Lviv; but if not, it can lead to war – as in Ukraine’s Donbass region. This is the serious side, but ‘Summer in Lviv’ also celebrates Ukrainians’ natural exuberance and love of life, and the high place that folk song and dance holds in Ukrainian culture.