Indie bands for independence at gig for Yes camp

Concert for Scotland at Usher Hall.
Concert for Scotland at Usher Hall.
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A STAR-STUDDED line-up of Scotland’s top pop and rock acts took to the stage of the Usher Hall to boost support for a Yes vote.

Among the performers at the A Night for Scotland concert were indie giants Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit, Deacon Blue members Lorraine McIntosh and Ricky Ross, folk icon Eddi Reader, and Scottish actress and comedian Elaine C Smith.

With opinion polls narrowing dramatically over the last two weeks, organisers and musicians said the sell-out event was an opportunity for the country’s leading artists to declare their stance and win wavering audience members over to the independence cause.

Scott Hutchison, singer for Frightened Rabbit, who scored a UK top-ten hit with 2013 album Pedestrian Verse, said he was hopeful the concert would convince young people to vote Yes.

He said: “It’s a crucial time – there are still lots of people who are probably on the fence, still trying to make up their minds and I think an event like this brings out the youth vote.

“Many of our fans come into the under-20s category and that’s a really important demographic to swing over. Potentially ourselves and the other bands involved with this [concert] can do that.”

He hailed the concert as a showcase for Scotland’s 
flourishing creative output, adding that it would become stronger with independence.

“It shows the cultural side of the Yes campaign,” he said. “I think the cultural side has been vital.

“This goes towards Scotland having so much to offer artistically and I believe that a Scotland that governs itself fully will be able to further that. Hopefully we can pay attention to our own acts, bands and artists and that will serve to boost an already healthy music scene.”

Promoter Tommy Sheppard said the concert was aimed at keeping campaigners and supporters focused over the final week before Thursday’s vote.

He said: “To some extent it’s a persuasion exercise – that people who have come because of the bands will be tipped to voting Yes.

“The last thing it is is a celebration – it’s very much about the energy of the gig and the experience, giving people a boost and gearing them up for the final push to the finishing line.

“Most of all, it’s a declaration by the artists taking part of where they stand and them trying to do something to support the campaign.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com