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14 Jan, 2024 15:40

British band’s concert canceled over Ukraine support

Activists in Athens objected to The Tiger Lillies’ pronounced solidarity with Kiev, branding it “problematic”
British band’s concert canceled over Ukraine support

British musical trio The Tiger Lillies’ concert in Athens was called off this week, following a dispute over their support for Ukraine.

The dark cabaret band was due to play in the Greek capital on Thursday, but the organizers pulled the plug at the last minute due to “negative views” expressed by local activists.

The group says it has been backing Kiev against Moscow “since the first days” of the conflict. The musicians have expressed their pro-Ukraine stance on social media and even released a namesake album last year, after concerts in Kiev and Lviv in July 2023.

At the time, The Tiger Lillies branded the Russian government “gangsters and thugs,” and said they were “standing against” Moscow. Their ‘Ukraine’ album included such songs as “Gangster in the Kremlin” and “NATO dear.”

The band was to perform at the central square of the Exarcheia neighborhood in central Athens on Thursday. However local tensions have been running high amid anger over the authorities’ decision to build a metro station at Exarcheia Square.

The musicians were supposed to stage a “charity concert” to support the protesters at the invitation of a local publisher, Bibliotheque Publications, which organized the event.

Just a few hours before the show, the organizers announced on social media that it had been cancelled.

“The main reason for this is their [the band’s] support for Ukraine,” the publisher said in a Facebook post, adding that The Tiger Lillies’ stance “is often considered problematic.”

The band reacted to the move, branding those opposing their concert “radical leftists.” The musicians praised the neighborhood as a community of “freedom, rebellion, resistance” but also “full” of people “idealizing communism.”

The Tiger Lillies went on to accuse local activists of attempts to “censor and deny voices not only to artists but also to locals.” They also branded their opponents “fascists” who promote their ideology under “the pretext of fighting fascism.” “It’s a pity about the residents, but apparently this is their fate,” the band added.

No local activist groups have so far commented on the development.