Pink Floyd will release their first new original music in nearly thirty years tonight with Hey Hey Rise Up, a song in support of the people of Ukraine.
We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
This is the first music that the band they have recorded together as a band since 1994's The Division Bell and will be available digitally at midnight.
The track, which will see all proceeds going to the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund, features David Gilmour and Nick Mason joined by long time Pink Floyd bass player Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney on keyboards and features a vocal performance by Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox.
The track, which was recorded last week,, uses Andriy’s vocals taken from his Instagram post of him singing in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.
The song itself, The Red Viburnum In The Meadow, is a Ukrainian protest song written during the First World War which has been taken up across the world over the past month in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
We need your consent to load this Instagram contentWe use Instagram to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
The title of the Pink Floyd track is taken from the last line of the song which translates as "Hey hey rise up and rejoice’.
Gilmour, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren, says: "We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world's major powers".
Gilmour explained how he came to know Andriy and his band Boombox. "In 2015, I played a show at Koko in London in support of the Belarus Free Theatre, whose members have been imprisoned. Pussy Riot and the Ukrainian band, Boombox, were also on the bill.
"They were supposed to do their own set, but their singer Andriy had visa problems, so the rest of the band backed me for my set - we played Wish You Were Here for Andriy that night.
"Recently I read that Andriy had left his American tour with Boombox, had gone back to Ukraine, and joined up with the Territorial Defence.
"Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful gold-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war. It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music."
While writing the music for the track, Gilmour managed to speak with Andriy from his hospital bed in Kyiv where he was recovering from a mortar shrapnel injury.
"I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line, and he gave me his blessing. We both hope to do something together in person in the future."
Speaking about the track, Gilmour says, "I hope it will receive wide support and publicity. We want to raise funds for humanitarian charities and raise morale.
"We want to express our support for Ukraine and in that way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become."
The video for Hey Hey Rise Up was filmed by UK director Mat Whitecross, who has previously made films about Oasis and Coldplay, and shot on the same day as the track was recorded.
"We recorded the track and video in our barn where we did all our Von Trapped Family live streams during lockdown," says Gilmour.
"It's the same room that we did the Barn Jams with Rick Wright back in 2007. Janina Pedan made the set in a day and we had Andriy singing on the screen while we played, so the four of us had a vocalist, albeit not one who was physically present with us."
The artwork for the track features a painting of the national flower of Ukraine, the sunflower, by the Cuban artist, Yosan Leon, and is a direct reference to the woman who was seen around the world giving sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers and telling them to carry them in their pockets so that when they die, sunflowers will grow.