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No U2 for you in Ukraine

Published 31 Mar 2008
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Ukrainian travellers are up in arms after authorities in the east European state banned British pop and rock music from being played on state airlines and railways. The country's Ministry of Transport has issued a decree that only Ukrainian songs could be played over the sound systems in aeroplanes and trains run by the state, local media has reported.

But locals have complained after they said they wanted to listen to western music. Oksana Petrenkova from the capital Kiev said: "When I'm travelling I want to hear someone like Robbie Williams, not some folk band from the countryside."

Don't we all, Ms Petrenkova? Don't we all?

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Reader’s comments

  1. I read with interest your And Finally 'No U 2 for you in Ukraine' and again wondered why we have to have any music foist on us when traveling or in any public place. Taste's differ and while Robbie Williams may soothe some passengers other may find his noise completely irritating. Also I have an autistic son who is hypersensitive to sound - this is not uncommon. Taking him into some shops and cafes is a nightmare and we are forced to carry ear-defenders so he can escape. We not just ask people to turn it down - and most do. But you can't do that in a bus or train station. The world is stimulating and confusing enough without adding extra noise. If people want music there have been walkmans for 30 years, and ipods, mobile 'phones etc. Why should someone else chose music for us?

  2. Just being pedantic....but U2 are from the leafy suburbs of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and not the UK.

  3. I was about to point out that I'd made no mention of the UK in the story, but then I noticed that I'd written 'British pop and rock'. Curses! Well spotted, Ross.

  4. I beg to differ!
    Admittedly the folk bands from the countryside might be of variable quality but 'world music' can be just as exciting and enjoyable as Western performers like Robbie Williams. Just go along to a few gigs at the Sage.

    It's not an 'either/or', but both types of music have merit, providing that the quality is good


    PS I have no Ukrainian CDs, but have a sprinkling of material from the Balkans including some great gypsy fiddle playing. And I also like the occasional Robbie Williams song enormously!

    PPS the serious issue in this piece of journalism is the media censorship - and that's something that we can all agree is wrong.

  5. ...on all points. I have nothing against Mr Williams, or his Ukranian folk rivals, but I'd rather see the venues in question allowed to choose their own background music. Or muzak, if they wish.

    As an aside, I really don't like the term 'world music'. I know that it's now common usage, but isn't everything world music? It seems to imply that anything from outside the mainstream western music scene can all be grouped together, which I'm pretty sure is not the case...

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