Scottish independence: Musicians – old and new – show they like to say Yes in A Night For Scotland concert


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The Independent Online

“Who’s gonna look after us?” asked Eddi Reader, the first artist on stage at this concert in support of Scottish independence. “We are,” she answered, on a night which rang with ebullient self-confidence from the Yes supporters of Scotland’s musical community.

It has been notable that artistic Scots have rallied overwhelmingly – although not without exception – to the Yes side. Those on the Better Together campaign might say this means independence is more attractive to dreamers and the sentimental, but for the sell-out crowd of more than 2,000, it seemed that romance of possibility was winning the day.

The line-up comprised some of Scotland’s finest musical talent, new and old, mainstream and alternative. It boasted old-stagers like Reader and MacintoshRoss, the latter comprising the couple at the core of Deacon Blue, underground post-rock icons Mogwai, younger international successes Frightened Rabbit and Amy Macdonald; and politicised Scottish hip-hop group Stanley Odd.

This mini-festival could credibly be viewed as a showcase of the strength of Scotland’s indigenous music industry as much as a political support-raiser. That  Alex Salmond had made his presence known during the photocall of assembled talent earlier in the day was a no-brainer.

Reader’s three-song opening set made for a sedate and relatively subdued introduction to the show. She began with “Named We Are Everything”, a song finished only yesterday morning,  with its couplet “we are fearless/not beholden” clearly selected for the occasion.

Dunkeld troubadour Dougie MacLean then played his well-aged and much loved song “Caledonia”. In the hall, the Saltires flew proudly amidst the standing crowd, with euphoric cheers not hard to cajole from the crowd. Most well-received of all was Stanley Odd’s viral hit “Son, I Voted Yes”,  a song written as a letter to his near one-year-old son.

“This isn’t about the colour of your skin, or where you were born or who you call kin,” he sang. “It’s about pure and simple geography, and caring for everyone responsibly.”