Ukrainian punk band Beton have turned The Clash‘s ‘London Calling’ into a protest song against the Russian invasion – listen to ‘Kyiv Calling’ below.
Ukraine has officially severed diplomatic ties with Russia, and declared martial law, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on the neighbouring nation on February 24. Since then, The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has estimated that the conflict has claimed 1,900 civilian casualties. The UN (via BBC) also estimates that there are nearly 1.85million internally displaced people within Ukraine.
Three-piece band Beton’s new song was recorded in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Thursday and Friday (March 17-18). It was mixed and mastered by Danny Saber, who worked with Clash frontman Joe Strummer prior to his death in 2002.
The accompanying video for ‘Kyiv Calling’ features footage shot by the band’s family and friends of the war across Ukraine. Watch it below.
All proceeds from the song will go to the citizen-led organisation FURM (Free Ukraine Resistance Movement), which you can donate to directly here.
Discussing the idea for the song, Beton vocalist Andriy Zholob said: “Many Ukrainian musicians are now on battlefields or in territorial defence. This time they’ve changed guitars to guns. We hope this song shows Ukrainians’ spirit and our defiance to Russian aggression.
“The Clash were one of our inspirations when we fell in love with punk rock and music in general, there is no snobbery or pretentiousness to the music, they had something to say and voiced their opinions against human anger. London Calling epitomises all of that and we are very happy to be able to take this iconic classic and turn it into our own anthem with new meaning and life.”
The singer added: “We are glad it is being played not just in Ukraine but around the world as a symbol of solidarity and hope. Our country will defend our hard-won liberty and protect our right to self-determination. We have no doubt about our victory, we are proud to be Ukrainians and feel support from musicians abroad. This means so much!”
Ostap Kryvdyk of FURM added: “FURM calls on the world to listen to the call from Kyiv. For us the music of the Clash is the music of freedom. We must stop the new iron curtain falling. London calling was the call sign of the resistance of Britain when it stood alone against the Nazis.
“We want Kyiv Calling to be the symbol of resistance to the new aggressor in Europe. No surrender. no compromise peace. For Ukraine peace is not just the absence of war. Peace is the unity of Ukraine. FURM thanks the Clash for their support in our darkest hour. Bring on the dawn.”
A host of artists are pledging their support to victims of the Ukraine conflict since the war began last month.
This week, Arcade Fire performed a last-minute Ukraine benefit concert in New Orleans with all proceeds going to the Plus1 Ukraine relief fund, which is supporting Ukrainian people through non-profits providing humanitarian aid as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.
Belle And Sebastian also shared new single ‘If They’re Shooting At You’ in support of those affected by the conflict in Ukraine earlier this week, while Bring Me The Horizon also paid tribute to the people of Ukraine recently at the BandLab NME Awards 2022.
Meanwhile, it was announced this week (March 15) that London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire is set to host a Ukraine benefit concert this month including performances from The Subways, Andy Bell and more.