STOCKTON-ON-TEES FOLK HEROES THE YOUNG’UNS
ANNOUNCE EXTENSIVE UK TOUR FOR SPRING 2018
BAND NOMINATED FOR 2018 BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS LAST NIGHT
“The harmonies are glorious, the wit is waspish. The songs are powerful, the banter is relentless and the audience is happy. What’s not to like?” ***** The Guardian
“Exceptional songwriting - an album to match their formidable live reputation” **** Mojo
Stockton-On-Tees’ THE YOUNG’UNS were once again the big story of the evening as the nominees for 2018’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were announced last night (Wednesday 7th February) in London.
The Co. Durham band, who recently released acclaimed brand new album ‘Strangers’ and are actually already previous winners of two coveted BBC Folk Awards (Best Group in 2015 and again in 2016), were announced as nominees for two new awards – Best Album (‘Strangers’) and Best Original Track (“Be The Man”), the winners of which will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at the Belfast Waterfront on Wednesday 4th April (the first time the event has ever been held in Northern Ireland).
On the back of this great news, The Young’uns are very pleased to today announce their brand new project, ‘The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff’, an incredible new audio-visual UK tour for spring 2018.
Often performing completely unaccompanied by instrumentation, The Young’uns (aka Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes) will bring their unique sound to nineteen UK towns & cities on their ’The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff UK Tour’ this spring, with tickets on-sale now for the following live shows;
20 March Leicester Guildhall
21 March Bath Chapel Arts Centre
22 March Hastings - St Mary In The Castle
23 March Maldon Town Hall
24 March Reading South Street Arts Centre
25 March Exeter Phoenix
26 March Cardiff Glee Club
27 March Birmingham Glee Club
28 March Halesworth – The Cut Arts Centre
30 March Wem Town Hall
31 March New Galloway Catstrand
3 April Manchester - Band On The Wall
5 April London Cecil Sharp House
6 April Barton-Upon-Humber Ropery Hall
7 April Stockton-On-Tees ARC
8 April Clitheroe Grand
10 April Pocklington Arts Centre
11 April Carlisle – Firestation Arts Centre
12 April Barrow-In-Furness Forum
Further info on ‘The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff’ live show - presented in association with Strada Music and SGO.
A Music-Net Tour in association with Root Music and Band On The Wall.
The Young’uns present ‘The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff’ - a timely tale of a boy who walked out of poverty, a teenager who stood up to racism, a soldier who fought fascism and an old man who inspired a new generation.
How the project came about …
In 2015, a man arrived at one of our concerts with a picture of his late father and a story. His father’s name was Johnny Longstaff and what a story he had to tell. As a teenager, Johnny walked 230 miles from our hometown of Stockton-On-Tees to London in search of work and from then on bore witness to some of the most defining moments of the tumultuous 1930s including the Battle of Cable Street and the Spanish Civil War. Exploring Johnny’s story through his own spoken words with the recordings he made for the Imperial War Museum and having access to his never before published memoirs and his personal book & photo archive has been a labour of love for us. Three years later we have created a 90 minute show in which 16 original songs interweave with Johnny’s own voice against a backdrop of startling visuals to tell an incredible story. It’s not a story that glorifies conflict or imposes political views - it’s a story that oozes humanity, humour and fellowship.
Johnny’s story …
In the summer of 1939, as war clouds loomed over Europe, a 19-year old lad from Teesside went to the House of Commons to meet his local MP. He had just returned from fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War (to do so was illegal because of Britain’s policy of non- intervention). Hearing footsteps coming down the corridor he turned to see the figure of Winston Churchill approaching. The lad’s MP took the opportunity of introducing him. Churchill looked the teenage soldier up and down, took his cigar out of his mouth, and said ‘Would young men like you be prepared to fight against Hitler?’ The lad took a deep breath before he answered; ‘Mr Churchill,’ he said, ‘I’ve been fighting Hitler all of my life.’ His name was Johnny Longstaff.
This is the story of his life from the day it began in abject poverty in Stockton-On-Tees in 1919 to that chance meeting with Churchill in 1939. 16 original songs will interweave with the late Johnny’s own recorded voice to tell a remarkable story of one man’s impulse to react to injustice wherever and whenever he saw it. It’s a story of great humanity but also great humour as a teenager stumbles his way innocently through the tumultuous landscapes of the 1930s - from Teesside to London, then onto Paris and eventually across the Pyrenees into Spain (even though he didn’t even know where Spain was).
Why music writers at UK press like us…
With more than twenty five years’ experience in music PR, both nationally and internationally, Black Arts PR founder & Music Week PR Award winner Simon Blackmore has an unparalleled relationship with 500+ key UK music writers. Offering a bespoke PR service to all clients (and with a strong focus on UK Regional Press for touring artists), Black Arts PR has been consistently producing brilliant PR campaigns for artists, management companies & record labels for more than 12 years. With a constantly evolving roster of some of the biggest, best & brightest cutting-edge artists on the planet, journalists love to hear from Black Arts PR.
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