Monday, May 08, 2006

Ukraine rock battles Russian pop

Almost 50 bands performed over two days at Kiev's Rock Sich festival, whose slogan was "Live sound! No to pop! Yes to the Ukrainian language".
The festival's name "Sich" harks back to a kind of training camp for Ukrainian Cossacks that was a feature of the late Middle Ages.
The idea is that Ukrainian rock musicians are defending the country's music and culture from Russian pop in the way that Cossacks once defended the Ukrainian steppe from the Ottoman Turks.
Along with some well-known and successful bands, Rock Sich provided a platform for groups trying to make their mark in the tough world of Ukrainian showbusiness. Their music can be described as "non-formal" - a term adopted by the music industry in former Soviet countries and better known in the West as Indie.

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