Edinburgh’s Young Fathers speak out on migrant crisis

Edinburgh’s Young Fathers have spoken out about the current migrant crisis in Europe.

The Mercury Music Prize-winning band aired a video for their song Old Rock N Roll yesterday, and addressed the influx of immigrants from Syria and other war-torn countries seeking a new home in the UK and other parts of Europe in an accompanying press release.

“While Britain First are trying to spawn all over the internet, while politicians and press fight to expectorate the most poisonous, anti-immigrant ignorance, we give you ‘Old Rock N Roll’, a journey across centuries, bringing it back to Africa, to Malawi, bringing the faces and sounds of humans, migrating, because they are captured or scared or hungry, as they always have done. And we’re saying, it’s alright. In the heart of the Congo, it’s alright.”

The group added: “In the heart of Essex, it’s alright. Don’t be afraid. This country can afford it. If we can afford bombs we can afford blankets and a welcome.”

The full Young Fathers press release reads:

Elvis wasn’t the king of rock’n’roll. Kanye played Glastonbury. You can’t keep us in the uuuuurban stations, bestial hip-hop, token crazy militant black people cupboard, under the stairs, poor-doors entrance. We have keys to the front door. We are black and white.

The story is: the drum, the rhythm, from Africa to New Orleans; rape to create white value; proximity, black to white; sounds bleeding through clapboard walls; Rock’n’roll born from pain.

Bo Diddley is rock’n’roll.

Those fences erected are puny. To keep the blacks and the whites separate. We are black and white and we pull them down. They are dust.

Commerce demands packaging. We package ourselves. And some people get it. Paul Weller gets it. He knew some in his audience would have a hard time accepting it, but the man knows where his music comes from, he knows Stevie Marriott checked for soul and R&B, he knows the Beatles checked for Motown. He knows modern music and he ain’t afraid to show it.

Here, have some of this, it tastes modern.

It’s a culture collision but open your mind and it works. Young Fathers are supporting Paul Weller – predict that.

In the midst of this UK tour, while Britain First are trying to spawn all over the internet, while politicians and press fight to expectorate the most poisonous, anti-immigrant ignorance, we give you Old Rock’n’Roll, a journey across centuries, bringing it back to Africa, to Malawi, bringing the faces and sounds of humans, migrating, because they are captured or scared or hungry, as they always have done. And we’re saying, it’s alright. In the heart of the Congo, it’s alright.

In the heart of Essex, it’s alright. Don’t be afraid. This country can afford it. If we can afford bombs we can afford blankets and a welcome.

Old Rock’n’Roll. Not what you’ve been told.”