INDY pipers and drummers Saor Alba went down a storm whem they joined hundreds of thousands of independence campaigners in Barcelona on Wednesday to lend their support – and music – to Catalonia’s National Day, La Diada.

The band was approached just a few weeks ago by Catalans who asked them to be part of La Diada celebrations, but while they were surprised and honoured, the fairly short notice left them little time to generate the resources and make arrangements for the whole band to travel. However, 11 members made the journey to be part the main procession through the Catalan capital.

Lead drummer Gerry Graham told The National: “It was an amazing and unexpected invitation, but it was just such short notice for so many of the band for this year.”

He also praised the “fantastic support from our Catalan friends and hosts”.

He added: “We see so many Catalan flags on our marches, supporting the cause of Scottish independence, and there’s a great feeling of empathy between the Scots and Catalans.

“I guess we just want to show our appreciation and our solidarity with what is a similar independence goal.”

Earlier in the week, in a show of solidarity for Catalonia’s imprisoned political and civic leaders, Saor Alba Pipes and Drums played outside the prison at Lledoners near Barcelona, where the male Catalan political prisoners are being held awaiting verdicts in the 2017 independence referendum trial.

Supporters have gathered outside Lledoners most nights since the prisoners were moved there and Catalan Vice-President Josep Costa joined the band to send a message of support.

The band's attendance was organised by The Catalan Way, also known as the Catalan Way towards Independence, who in 2013 formed a 400-kilometre (250-mile) human chain in support of independence from Spain.

During their trip, Saor Alba have also played in Amer, Girona, the hometown of Carles Puigdemont, the exiled former Catalan president who is now in Belgium.

Watch a video of Saor Alba in Barcelona: