Album review: THE YOUNG ‘UNS – Strangers

THE YOUNG 'UNS - Strangers

Hereteu Records [Release date 29.09.17]

Teeside three piece the Young ‘Uns – Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes – have won the BBC Folk Awards Best Group in 2015 and 2016, along with picking up numerous plaudits from the music press and many live appearances, making them one of the rising stars on the folk scene.

Their harmonies and acapella singing is spot on, as can be heard on the opening two songs, their version of Maggie Holland’s ‘A Place Called England’ and ‘Ghafoor’s Bus’, about Teesise granddad Ghafoor Hussain who bought and converted a bus to go and feed refugees and migrants across Europe.

The album’s theme is all about everyday folk and their extraordinary tales, all of which have a real resonance with what is going on in the world today. ‘Cable Street’ being a prime example, where the people  of the East End of London joined with Jewish residents to block a march by the British Union of Fascists. The hero of the tale is based on Johnny Longstaff, who was sixteen at the time of Cable Street and went onto fight in the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War.

The Young ‘Uns do use instruments to good effect on some songs, none more so than on the beautiful and moving ‘Dark Water’, where they are joined by Aldeburgh Young Musicians on strings and backing vocals, along with harpist Mary Ann Kennedy.

Two other highlights are ‘Carriage 12′, about the heroes who took down a gunman on a train bound for Paris in 2015, and ‘Hartlepool Pedlar’, which features Michael Marks who later went onto to put the ‘Marks’ in ‘Marks & Spencer’!

Listen, learn and take note as folk songs are an important part of social history and the Young ‘Uns convey their songs and message clearly. Meaningful songs, beautifully sung and arranged, this is an album of the year. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

The Best of 2017



On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)



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