“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?” ????? Colin Irwin, The Guardian
Teesside trio The Young’uns have always had the human touch. In the space of little more than a decade - and just three years after giving up their day jobs - they have become one of UK folk music’s hottest properties and best-loved acts.
Stockton Folk Club’s star graduates clinched the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Group’ title two years running (2015 and 2016) and last year saw them spreading the net, taking their unique act and instant audience rapport to Canada, America and Australia.
With their strong songs, spellbinding harmonies and rapid-fire humour, they have achieved one of the trickiest balancing acts – an ability to truly ‘make them laugh and make them cry’, while cutting straight to the heart of some of our most topical issues.
In September 2017 they unveiled their fourth studio album Strangers – playing their strongest suit to date. The release of Strangers was supported by a 20-date tour including a debut at London’s Union Chapel and dates at Sage Gateshead (Hall 1), Glasgow’s Oran Mor and The Sugar Club in Dublin – their first headline gig in Ireland.
Bold, profound and resonant Strangers is the written and recorded summation of The Young’uns, showcasing the growing talents of Sean Cooney, fast becoming one of folk’s finest songwriters.
Together with Michael Hughes and David Eagle, Cooney has come up with a collection of folk songs for our time, all sensitively arranged by the 30-something trio - looking back at wartime heroes here, offering a news report for the 21st century there, turning the spotlight on injustice and ultimately celebrating the indomitable human spirit.
With its ocean blue cover, the album looks at the stories of those that have crossed the seas to British shores and soldiers that have voyaged from here to the warfields of Europe. Paeans for the underdog have been inspired by the courage of Syrian refugees, have-a-go heroes and Gay Rights campaigners which sit seamlessly alongside narrative songs of First World War soldiers, Caribbean and Jewish immigrants, including the founder of one of our best known British High Street stores.
Stand-out song Be The Man was inspired by the incredibly moving story of Matthew Ogston and his fiancé Nazim Mahmood - its poignancy elevated by ex Bellowhead musician Rachael McShane on cello and fiddle and Chumbawamba’s Jude Abbott on melancholic flugelhorn. Matthew reacted to Sean’s lyrics saying: “I do not have the right words to even begin to explain how your words have touched my soul and heart”.
Striking a chord wherever they go, with a festival-stopping performance on the prestigious Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival; the release of the universally acclaimed Strangers and its hugely successful tour, 2017 marked a milestone chapter in The Young’uns brilliant story.
January 2018 sees The Young’uns on tour at the musical heart of The Transports, a musical which tells the incredible tale of a family destroyed by poverty and crime, but resurrected by exile to Australia in the 1780s. With fresh script and musical arrangement, these famous songs by Peter Bellamy re-emerge within a modern context of mass migration. The stellar line-up of musicians includes Faustus, Nancy Kerr, Rachael McShane and Greg Russell, storyteller Matthew Crampton and musical arranger Paul Sartin of Bellowhead.
The Transports tour will be followed by The Young’uns latest project, 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. From the shadow of the Teesside shipyards, to the banks of the Thames. From Cable Street to the Spanish Civil War. Johnny Longstaff bore witness to some of the most defining moments of the early 20th century. Before he died, he recorded his story in words which were harrowing, hilarious, poignant, proud and ultimately uplifting. With their trademark harmony and humour the Teesside trio present an urgent suite of songs interwoven with Johnny’s own voice and rare images to tell an amazing story.
Tue 20 Mar 2018
Leicester – Guildhall
Wed 21 Mar 2018
Bath – Chapel Arts
Thu 22 Mar 2018
Hastings – St Mary In The Castle
Fri 23 Mar 2018
Maldon – Town Hall
Sat 24 Mar 2018
Reading – South Street Arts Centre
Sun 25 Mar 2018
Exeter – Phoenix
Mon 26 Mar 2018
Cardiff – Glee Club
Tue 27 Mar 2018
Birmingham – Glee Club
Wed 28 Mar 2018
Halesworth – The Cut Arts Centre
Fri 30 Mar 2018
Wem – Town Hall
Sat 31 Mar 2018
New Galloway – Catstrand
Tue 3 Apr 2018
Manchester – Band On The Wall
Thu 5 Apr 2018
London – Cecil Sharp House
Fri 6 Apr 2018
Barton-Upon-Humber – Ropery Hall
Sat 7 Apr 2018
Stockton-On-Tees – Arc
Sun 8 Apr 2018
Clitheroe – Grand
Tue 10 Apr 2018
Pocklington – Arts Centre
Tue 10 Apr 2018
Carlisle – Firestation Arts Centre
Thu 12 Apr 2018
Barrow-In-Furness – Forum
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