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‘Keep independence momentum going’ after Yes is More gig

26 Feb 2019 6 minute read
The Yes is More Gig at the Tramshed in Cardiff. Picture by Emyr Young

Peter Gillibrand

People need to continue talking about independence to keep the momentum going after this month’s Yes is More Gig in Cardiff, according to the Super Furry Animals’ keyboard player Cian Ciaran.

Speaking to Nation.Cymru, Cian Ciarán, 42, said, “there’s something happening. The molecules are getting excited”.

“And that’s reflected across all demographics and ages. We’re starting to feel the need to ask questions (about independence). That’s probably as a result of recent policies directed from London,” he said.

“A lot of people are fed up and can’t just sit back and let it unravel in front of them. I think people are starting to come out and say enough is enough.”

He said that this meant normalising the discussion of independence as an option in Welsh politics.“It’s about changing the language. It’s about giving people confidence. The belief,” he said.

“It’s about breaking down, re-programming and rebooting the mindset to see what has happened in the past and giving people past examples of what has been achieved, and what can be achieved that will give them that belief.”

Cian Ciarán. Picture by Emyr Young

He said that Brexit had been a catalyst for many people who had not previously considered Welsh independence as an option to do so.

“Maybe we can… maybe we should start talking about it, and discussing what kind of Wales we want and where Wales should be,” he said.

“Especially after Brexit and what’s unfolded and become apparent.

“Irish unification on the corner maybe, Scottish independence on the way. Where does that leave Wales? West of England? Do we want to be left behind?

“Or do we want sovereign equality and an equal voice? As is one of the founding principles of the UN.”

Yes is More/Gellir Gwell

The Tramshed in Canton featured Welsh performers including the band Los Blancos, Boyazooga, Astroid Boys as well as a DJ set by Gwenno and Gruff Rhys.

This was topped off by a rendition of the Welsh National Anthem by Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon after a lively performance.

Picture by Emyr Young

Sets were performed with energy and passion as all bands described their feelings about independence to replies of “WALES, WALES, CYMRU” by the audience.

The event was packed as people from all over Wales descended upon the Tramshed to support Welsh independence, and to enjoy the extremely popular acts.

Gwenllian Llwyd, who attended the event, believed that the wide variety of acts in support of the independence movement would attract more people to the cause.

“I think it’s really good that there’s people from all kind of backgrounds here tonight. It’s nice to hear other kinds of genres,” she said.

“It brings a different kind of audience in, and it’s up to you to decide if that’s good or not. But I think it’s quite positive.”

People from all walks of life

Picture by Emyr Young

A number of organizations were also supporting the cause, including Cymdeithas yr Iaith Cymraeg, CND, and YesCymru.

President of Aberystwyth University society YesMyfyrwyr (YesStudents), Morgan Crews, was there to support the gig.

“To think that the first gig in support of Indy Wales was sold out… it’s truly inspiring and exciting,” he said.

“I think it’s a very significant event for Welsh independence because of the wide range of bands and people who attended. There was a Welsh language rock band, an English language grime band and a DJ set.

“I had bilingual conversations throughout the night with people I was with… Everyone was enthusiastic about the music, Wales and independence.”

Cian Ciarán said that young people like Morgan are crucial to the success of the project and the future of Welsh independence.

“I think if people don’t believe in the future of the cause, then the movement will be dead in the water. The youth are a driving force.

“Their voice is too often forgotten. Last week, they had strikes in schools. They have as much right as anyone else to be heard.”

‘For a better Wales’

Picture by Emyr Young

A spokesperson for Undod.Cymru who was there supporting the event was ecstatic to see so many young people get involved with the movement.

“Having musicians and people who are well-known organizing events like this nature and putting Welsh Indy on the agenda, especially in the cultural context is really important,” the spokesperson said.

“The politicians have been failing us and it’s up to the artists, the singers and the poets to provide us with inspiration and the vision that we need not just for a better Wales, but for a better World in general.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of it and it’s great to see an expanding movement that’s not just about creating an independent Wales, but it’s actually about creating a Wales that’s better for us all.”

As Charlotte Church put it, “I don’t know about you, but Brexit F****ing sucks. And I’m tired of being England’s poor little cousin in hand me downs. Let’s think about how we might make this M*****f**ing sh*t work”

And while there is still a long way to go for Welsh independence, campaigners believe that this sold-out gig is a significant step in the right direction.

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