22 June 2024

Musicians band together for Ukrainian fundraiser 

The Ukrainians, Pronghorn, Ribble, LUMP, Hannah Reid, Gypsy Jukebox and HP and The Reggae Source have banded together to bring Salisbury a night of live music in aid of the Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal.

Presented by the Endorse it in Dorset Festival team, Pronghorn, Salisbury Live and Wiltshire Creative, the evening promises a lively night of entertainment in aid of a good cause.

The event will take place at The Arts Centre on Saturday 23rd April at 6pm.

Headlining the evening is The Ukrainians, who were founded by guitarist Peter Solowka and his tenor-voiced, fiddle-playing Slavophile friend Len Liggins in 1991, the year Ukraine regained its independence from the Soviet Union. 

Speaking to Love Salisbury, Len Liggins said, “With a name like The Ukrainians, we obviously have associations with Ukraine and we have second-generation Ukrainian members in the band. We have been over to the country a number of times so as soon as things started changing and Putin invaded we were concerned.

“We wanted to do whatever we could to help and the way we know best is to play music and try and raise money by selling tickets and merchandise to help the refugees.”

The Ukrainians

The band have a folk-punk sound that is inspired by the traditional music heard in Ukraine.

“When we first started playing Peter and I started collecting recordings because we were both fans of Eastern European culture and the music. We started looking for old vinyl records from Ukraine and then we started playing traditional Ukrainian folk songs together in Peter’s front room. Then, we formed a band in the year that Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union.

“Our first trip to Ukraine was as guests of the Ukrainian Minister of Culture and we did a tour all around the country going to many cities that have now been quite badly damaged over the past few weeks,” explained Len.

Next up is Pronghorn, Dorset’s finest fiddle and banjo Cowpunk band. Founded in 1992, they are celebrating their 30th birthday this year, and so know how to knock out a tune or two.

Describing themselves as a motley collection of bad shirts, mullets, prison tattoos, broken teeth and greasy comb-overs they say they are the ultimate eye candy for drinking women.


Lamma Maund, organiser of the Ukrainian fundraiser and Pronghorn’s frontman said, “The Ukrainians are one of our favourite bands and on day four of the war I thought I would give them a call to see if they were alright and it went from there.

“I felt emotional towards The Ukrainians band and we decided to do a benefit gig. They are a proper really good, traditional, Ukrainian folk band and they are quite contemporary as well. They do lots of current covers and old covers of The Sex Pistols through to Motörhead and The Smiths. They do it all on traditional instruments and in a Ukrainian style and it really is quite special.

“The night has escalated with lots of bands playing, including some Salisbury bands – it’s a good lineup. Every single penny of profit is going to #HelpUkraine. Wiltshire Creative and Salisbury Live have really helped us with a nice big venue which is a dream come true.”


Ticket donation prices start at £15 with the option to pay £20, or £30 for your ticket with all funds raised from ticket sales going directly to the #HelpUkraine Appeal.

“Please come along, you are guaranteed a fun evening. Clearly, there is a serious side to what we are doing and I want to encourage people to get together and give generously, so we can donate as much money to the Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal as possible.

“This will help refugees because even though Ukraine is becoming less prominent in the news, there are going to be lots of people who are displaced and in traumatic situations without the things they need for some time, so we intend to carry on the fundraising in the future,” added Len.

To book your tickets or find out more click here.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty