Music was weaponised by both sides during IndyRef1, from the Yes vote’s A Night for Scotland concert featuring Mogwai and Franz Ferdinand, to the open letter from Mick Jagger, Sting, Bryan Ferry and David Gilmour, among its signatories, that urged “Let’s stay together”, à la Al Green.
Since the supreme court ruling on IndyRef2 has only galvanised Nicola Sturgeon to start manoeuvres to frame the next general election as a “de facto referendum”, music will have a part to play as the Scottish independence debate hots up again this year.
In June, The Proclaimers will play Leith in a major homecoming concert. Given that their back catalogue includes Cap in Hand (1988) (“I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land”) and Letter from America (1987), about injustices perpetrated against the Scots by the English, it will be a pro-independence event by default. And later this year the art pop duo Post Coal Prom Queen will release their Music For First Contact LP, a sci-fi space opera examining Scottish identity. Both Mogwai and Franz Ferdinand will be on tour too. “Oh well. Not this time”, tweeted Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand after the 2014 result. Perhaps Scottish music talent will help to make it second time lucky.