Young Fathers speak out on migrant crisis

Young Fathers have said migrants should be welcomed. Picture: John Devlin
Young Fathers have said migrants should be welcomed. Picture: John Devlin
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AN AWARD-WINNING band from Edinburgh have spoken out on the on-going migrant crisis across Europe.

Young Fathers, who won the 2014 Mercury Prize for their debut album Dead, said “if we can afford bombs we can afford blankets and a welcome.”

The trio issued a strongly-worded press release to accompany the launch of their new video, Old Rock N Roll, which was filmed in Malawi earlier this year.

European Union member states received 626,000 asylum applications in 2014, the highest number since in 1992, and 812,705 in the first nine months of 2015.

The majority of migrants entering the EU travel from Syria and Iraq, which have been gripped by civil war.

The band said in a statement: “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.”

Young Fathers - Graham ‘G’ Hastings, Alloysious Massaquoi and Kayus Bankole - have previously spoken out in favour of welcoming refugees fleeing war-torn countries, even titling their autumn tour across Europe We Are All Migrants.

The Leith-based band released White Men Are Black Men Too, their second album, in April.

READ MORE: Young Fathers: “We wanna be huge”