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When legendary Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was asked in the spring issue of Guitar Player magazine whether “there will be a fourth act” for the prog rock outfit, he bemoaned: “It would be fakery to go back and do it again.”
It has not taken him long to make a complete volte-face. Because for the first time in decades, Pink Floyd are back with a spine-chilling single in support of Ukraine.
The track, Hey Hey Rise Up, featuring Boombox frontman turned civilian soldier Andriy Khlyvnyuk, was released on Friday with artwork from Cuban artist Yosan Leon of a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine.
All proceeds from the song will go to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief, against what Gilmour describes as a “vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country”.
Khlyvnyuk’s vocals, sung entirely in Ukrainian, were taken from a video of him on Instagram singing The Red Viburnum In The Meadow in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.
Gilmour, whose daughter-in-law Janina is Ukrainian, rocks with a spellbinding guitar solo while drummer Nick Mason provides the pulse to Khlyvnyuk’s poignant lyricism. But Roger Waters, the band’s bassist, is nowhere to be heard. His relationship with his bandmates is historically strained. He has also been accused of prevaricating about the war, having told Russia Today in February that talk of a Russian invasion was “bulls***”.
Water’s absence and downplaying of Vladimir Putin’s actions has not taken away the power behind this courageous Pink Floyd anthem. In fact, it has over 2.2 million views on YouTube. Shine on you crazy diamonds.
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