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Gogol Bordello play secret show for military in Ukraine – watch

The punk outfit returned to frontman Eugene Hütz's homeland

By Joe Goggins

Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz with Ukrainian soldiers, August 2022
The gig took place in an undisclosed location. (Photo: Twitter/VICE)

Gogol Bordello have played a secret show in Ukraine in support of the country’s military – you can see footage below.

Per VICE, who captured the impromptu gig as it happened, Eugene Hütz, frontman of the self-styled ‘gypsy punks’, returned to his homeland to lead his group in serenading members of the armed forces, who happily joined in the performance at an undisclosed location.

The release of the footage yesterday (August 24) marked the country’s 31st Independence Day, which coincidentally took place six months to the day that the Russian invasion of the country began. Fierce fighting continues, particularly on the eastern front. The band had been due to wrap up a lengthy European tour at Upark in the capital of Kyiv on July 15, but the show, like many others in the country since the war began, was cancelled.

Explaining his decision to return to the country of his birth to back the military after having spent much of Gogol Bordello’s career insisting that the outfit are nationless – their 2013 track ‘We Rise Again’ contains the line “borders are scars on the face of the planet” – Hütz said: “We had an opportunity to support our fighters, defenders, border guards and some refugees with our band – [to] support musically, morally, spiritually.”

“Music remains to be a very serious force,” he went on. “A very serious weapon of defence for people for whom burning out and getting tired of war is not an option. The people of Ukraine [are] standing their ground, protecting European values [and] democracy. Everything that you grew to enjoy is under attack right now in Ukraine.”

It is not the band’s first foray into backing the Ukrainian war effort; back in April, Hütz teamed up with Les Claypool of Primus to deliver a paean to the country’s president and war hero, entitled ‘Zelensky: The Man with the Iron Balls’. The track featured an all-star cast, with Stewart Copeland of The Police on drums and Sean Ono Lennon singing and playing guitar.

Meanwhile, Gogol Bordello last month announced details of their first album in five years, SOLIDARITINE. The LP, the group’s ninth overall, is out on September 16 – you can see the full track listing below.

Gogol Bordello – SOLIDARITINE:

‘Shot of Solidaritine’
‘Focus Coin’
‘The Era of the End of Eras’ [feat. HR]
‘I’m Coming Out’
‘Knack for Life’
‘The Great Hunt of Idiot Savant’
‘Take Only What You Can Carry’ [feat. KAZKA]
‘My Imaginary Son’
‘Forces of Victory’ [feat. Serhiy Zhadan & KAZLKA]
‘Fire on Ice Floe’
‘Gut Guidance’
‘Huckleberry Generation’