Originally issued on a four-track CD back in 1993, there was a 20th Anniversary limited edition vinyl re-release to mark Record Store Day.  Some of these songs were featured a few times over at the old blog. I hope there’s a least a handful of new readers to whom this will be a wee bit of a revelation:-

mp3 : The Ukranians – Batyar

mp3 : The Ukranians – Koroleva Ne Polerma

mp3 : The Ukranians – M’yaso-Ubivsto

mp3 : The Ukranians – Spivaye Solovey

The Ukrainians grew out of a project started by The Wedding Present. The group, at the instigation of guitarist Peter Solowka, decided to make one of their sessions for John Peel  a Ukrainian one! Peter’s friend ‘The Legendary Len’ 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!

What was intended to be a one-off bit of fun turned into a second session, at Peel’s request. This session, which included Ukrainian mandolinist Roman Remeynes, was also played numerous times. As a result, there was pressure to release these first two sessions as an album, and so Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela was born. Although the band only played an 8 day UK tour to promote it, it sold almost 70,000 copies worldwide.

Fast forward to 1993. The Ukranians have by now recorded and released a debut LP and become staples of the festival circuit as well as headlining their own tours all across Europe. They went into the recoding studio and emerged with a new EP Pisni Iz The Smiths – four incredible takes on Bigmouth Strikes Again (Batyar), Koroleva Ne Polerma (The Queen Is Dead), M’yaso-Ubivsto (Meat Is Murder) and Spivaye Solovey (What Difference Does It Make?).