She’s the front woman of Go_A — Ukraine’s Eurovision 2021 act. And in recent months Kateryna Pavlenko and her bandmates have become cultural ambassadors for their country as it battles the ongoing war waged by Russia.
On Monday night — fresh from their appearance at the Glastonbury Festival — the Ukrainian four-piece performed at “The Garage” in north London. They made the club bounce with their infectious folk-EDM sounds, and songs like “SHUM”, “Solovey” and “Kalyna”.
But, more importantly, they tugged on heart strings and reminded concert-goers that Ukraine is fighting for its very survival.
Speaking toward the end of the concert, Kateryna delivered an emotional speech that silenced the crowd. She referenced Russia’s missile barrage on Sunday and its deadly attack on a shopping centre in the city of Kremenchuk on Monday, which is known to have killed at least 18 people.
“You need to know that right now we feel pain,” she said. “This pain inside us.”
“Yesterday Russia attacked Ukraine with almost 100 missiles. Today they bombed a shopping mall and killed a lot of civilian people. A lot of people are still underneath and nobody knows how many people were killed today.”
“They’re trying to destroy our country and our hope for freedom. But they will never win. Because we know what is freedom.”
“We are here now because we need your support and we wish to say the truth. Ukraine is fighting for the future of Europe and the world.”
“Europe must understand it before the evil comes to your home. Russia is evil. Yes.”
The show concluded with Go_A leading the audience in the Ukrainian national anthem.
?? The build-up in the bridge of @_Go_A_’s #Eurovision song SHUM is incredible. They had London under their Ukrainian folk EDM trance tonight ?? ? ?? pic.twitter.com/uWp2dKnrK5
— William Lee Adams (@willyleeadams) June 27, 2022