30th July | The Lanes

Eurovision super-nerds will fondly recall the victorious ‘Wild Dances’ by Ruslana in 2004 and ‘1944’ by Jamala In 2016. Anyone who watched the Chernobyl miniseries recently will have a skewed view of Ukraine that involves state-sponsored fibbing, chain-smoking, 80s bad hair and hideous skin conditions.

If the above is the extent of your Ukrainian awareness and if mentions of ‘Kiev’ only makes you think of breaded chicken and garlic sauce, then get ready for some enlightenment, in the shape of DakhaBrakha at The Lanes, brought to us by the combined wisdom and power of Erratic Batting and The Grey Area.

Dakha means ‘give’ and Brakha means ‘take’. If that’s not a perfect iteration of the balance of how a coherent combination of performer and audience should interact, then I don’t what is. Everyone feeds off each other (in the least cannibalistic way possible). There’s so much that DakhaBrakha bring to a performance, but mesmeric rhythm is the biggie. And hats – great, great hats.

English people don’t have a great yardstick for ‘traditional music’ except perhaps for thinking ‘Greensleeves’ or the wheezy accordion accompaniment to morris dancing. Our songs that champion national identity tend more embarrassingly towards the “Two World Wars and one World Cup – Doo-dah, Doo-dah” terrace chant or have us leering “En-ger-land”. So for a lesson in how to celebrate regional identity in a way that is joyous, creative and proud (wouldn’t a bit more of that be lovely?) give yourself a break from the summer bangers and take the fun bus down to The Lanes on Tuesday night.

See the video for ‘Monakh’ here: