The Best of The Ukrainians
The Ukrainians grew out of a project started by 1980s Indie darlings The Wedding Present. The group, at the instigation of guitarist Peter Solowka, decided to make one of their sessions for the BBC’s John Peel Show a Ukrainian one! Peter’s friend ‘The Legendary Len’ Liggins was drafted in as an extra member because he sang, played a scratchy, authentic village-sounding violin and was a student of Slavonic languages! The group recorded the first session and it was duly broadcast. Then Peel played it again…and again…and again!
The rest, as they say, is istoriya (history.) It’s all here, from the first single “Oi Divchino” that was an NME Single of the Week (the review described how the track builds up to a “strange instrument frenzy” and that it sounds like “The Pogues wired up to an Atomic Speed Generator by their knackers!”). Also included are their celebrated Ukrainian-language cover versions of songs by The Smiths, the Velvet Underground and the Sex Pistols.
This 70 minute, 20 track collection leads off with a brand-new track unavailable elsewhere, the band’s cover version of the 1960 number one instrumental hit “Telstar.” As a bonus, it’s enhanced with loads of extra material about the band and the songs, including their Polish tour diary from 2003, complete lyrics in Ukrainian, plus translations and transliterations of all the lyrics.