With every day that passes their name becomes less appropriate, but this doesn’t stop The Young’uns striding forward – 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. The Stockton Folk Club’s star graduates have 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.
On September 29th they’ll unveil their fourth studio album Strangers – playing their strongest suit to date 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.
Setting the scene with a cover of Maggie Holland’s A Place Called England (Best Song at 2000 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards) , the remaining songs on the 10-track album all come from the prolific pen of Cooney who manages to combine unflinching, sharply observed but compassionate, heartfelt lyrics. 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”. You can here the song here.
Strangers will be showcased on an extensive UK tour this October, with support for most dates comes from The Hut People, with singer songwriter Greg Russell opening for the trio in Nottingham and Lincoln.
The Young’uns Strangers album tour – October 2017
4 LANCASTER Dukes Theatre
5 SHEFFIELD City Hall (Memorial Hall)
6 GLASGOW Oran Mor
7 SHREWSBURY Theatre Severn
8 OXFORD The North Wall Arts Centre
9 COLCHESTER Arts Centre
10 BURY ST EDMUNDS Apex
11 BRISTOL Colston Hall Lantern
12 LONDON Union Chapel
13 SHOREHAM-BY-SEA Ropetackle Arts Centre
14 LINCOLN Drill Hall
15 NOTTINGHAM Glee Club
17 BRECON Theatr Brechyneiog
18 SOUTHPORT Atkinson
19 LEEDS City Varieties
20 MANCHESTER Home – Folk Festival
21 BIRMINGHAM Mac
22 CANTERBURY Cathedral Lodge
24 DUBLIN The Sugar Club
27 GATESHEAD Sage 1