The Young'uns
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The Young'uns

Stockton-on-Tees, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | MAJOR

Stockton-on-Tees, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Folk A Capella




"Maverick Album Review - WHEN OUR GRANDFATHERS SAID NO (2012)"

This is the third album from North East folk trio the Young 'uns and a mighty fine one it is too. The mixture of traditional and original songs is primarily unaccompanied, though guitar and accordion feature from time to time, and the voices and harmonies are magnificent. The best unaccompanied singing can shiver the spine like nothing else and The Young 'Uns repeatedly manage this.

There's a sense of mischief about them that will be familiar to anybody who's seen them live, of taking things seriously but not too seriously. They have the energy of youth and the songs are torn into with verve and gusto, particularly on their manic and exuberant version of the French shanty "Pique La Baleine," and producer Stu Hanna (of Megson fame) has managed to capture the essence of the band brilliantly. They can do subtle as well, though. "Harbour Voice" is delicate and hymnal and the closing "Jenny Waits For Me," an exquisitely beautiful love song. But it's on the more upbeat pieces that they really excel, with "Roll Down" being the perfect swaying sing-along and the poignant but robust "Love In A Northern Town" - a fine mix of sadness and hope. There's a real freshness to their performances that breathes new life into every song, even if it's one that's been heard hundreds of times before.

The acknowledged masters of unaccompanied folk singing are Coope, Boyes and Simpson of course, and whilst they show no signs of quitting just yet, on the evidence of the word grandfathers mentioned in the album's title, their heirs are already in place. - Maverick

"The Observer Album Review - NEVER FORGET (2014)"

One part of folk's remit is to keep old songs alive; another to maintain the tradition of social commentary. This Hartlepool trio document Teesside's history with gusto; this latest album has songs about the peasants' revolt of 1381, fallen second world war sailors and a potted history of the Middlesbrough iron industry. All are delivered with robust but precise three-part vocal harmony, often a cappella, with some accompaniment from guitar and squeezebox. As bookends come pieces about a 2013 English Defence League "protest" at a York mosque being defused by tea and biscuits; like the album, a toughing singularly British affair. - The Observer (Neil Spencer)

"Living Tradition Album Review - NEVER FORGET (2014)"

I still remember the first time I heard The Young ‘uns - or, more accurately, experienced them. In a crowded Whitby pub some years ago, their uncannily close harmonies and sheer volume made my insides rattle; it definitely transcended a merely acoustic experience. The depth and power of this Hartlepool trio of Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes belie their youth, while their sharp humour and stage antics teeter deliciously on the brink of complete anarchy. Their debut album of 2010, Man, I Feel Like A Young ‘Un, made up in primal power and charm for what it slightly lacked in cohesion, but as one might expect in four years, the trio have strode ahead and Never Forget sees them stately, measured and sure of themselves.
For one thing, Cooney’s songwriting, which showed its mettle on the group’s debut, is given full rein here; richly melodic, lyrically elegant, wryly observant, often poignant and frequently coloured by Hartlepool history. Witness, for example, the mighty Altar, a beautiful pair of verses about St Columba, backed by brooding piano, or The Sandwell Gate, re-recorded from the debut to reflect a new and confident maturity. Social commentary on a national scale neatly bookends the album with offerings from both Cooney and Eagle inspired by last year’s ‘protest’ at the Bull Lane Mosque in York. Comparisons with Teesside’s godlike Wilson Family are perhaps unavoidable on a cappella tracks like Graeme Miles’ Jack Ironside and it’s hardly surprising that sea shanties are also a particular strength of the group. Their punchy and rhythmically idiosyncratic Blood Red Roses is exemplary of the trio’s mastery of tonal light and shade as it dovetails into a tenderly restrained Shallow Brown.
What is overwhelmingly apparent is that the boys have that rare vocal affinity which is usually the reserve of close blood relations: in their cases, it is a mixture of serendipity, plain talent and nine years of singing together. We are very fortunate to have The Young ‘Uns. I for one am looking forward to hearing – no, experiencing – whatever they do next.

Clare Button - Living Tradition

"Bright Young Folk Album Review - NEVER FORGET (2014)"

Sorry, must be an age thing; there must be others of the same mind that can’t help but think of Take That - “Nevaaaaah forget where you’ve come here from!” Not that the lads from The Young ’Uns could ever be confused with Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams et al, yet strangely enough the sentiment and the lyric feels very appropriate.
Their (The Young ’Uns that is) new album Never Forget follows on from their previous release, When Our Grandfathers Said No, with a collection of songs firmly rooted in the North East - their Stockton locale is plundered aplenty. The unaccompanied harmony singing for which they are known combines with songs which are accompanied by some refined and restrained instrumental arrangements.
The humour of their stage act is reflected in the contrasting pair of songs which bookend the album and take their inspiration from the events involving the EDL’s notorious ’visit’ to a York mosque following the Lee Rigby situation, which was deflected in a very traditional and sensibly English way - the ever so jolly Biscuits And Tea opens the album, yet it’s David Eagle’s version and album closer which takes the bizarre story to a humorous and cleverly written and delivered conclusion.
The ever so slightly risqué music hall style delivery based around the refrain of “The thing that killed the facist in me, was Hassan’s home made biscuits and a lovely cup of tea” is both entertaining and provides a diversion to the gravity of the topic. Were it always that simple.
On the one hand there are songwriting contributions from Graeme Miles and Jez Lowe as The Young ’Uns belt out Jack Ironside and the traditional Blood Red Shoes/Shallow Brown with sheer enthusiasm and gusto. There’s also the self penned material which showcases Sean Cooney’s skills in his developing ability to write reflective and telling lyrics - there’s the tender love song The Long Way Home while Three Sailors and The Sandwell Gate are both based around the town of Hartlepool and it’s connection with the sea.
The theme of remembrance and the call to ’never forget’, apart from being the opening words to the record, is perfectly placed within the Cooney-penned John Hill. An almost hymn like and delicately played and delivered account of personal tragedy of his relative and victim of the First World War. Building slowly to a climax of brass and containing the running theme and returning
vocal of ’never forget’, it stands as an outstanding contribution to an exceptional album. Next year’s Folk Awards best original song? Place your bets.
Perhaps Gary Barlow was right all along.
Mike Ainscoe - Bright Young Folk

"Spiral Earth - Colin Irwin's appraisal of The Young'uns Live Act"

Nobody sleeps when The Young’uns are in town. They may have established their fast-growing reputation in the folk world with sublime a cappella harmonies, but the Teesside trio – Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle – are an unlikely force of nature on stage, beguiling audiences with irrepressible humour, bold vocals, gripping storylines and innate musicality. Describing their gigs as ‘absolute chaos’, they go on stage without set-lists, relying on infallible instinct and their unique rapport with audiences to deliver a killer show. - Spiral Earth

"MOJO Album Review - NEVER FORGET (2014)"

Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes increasingly fly the flag for harmony singing rooted in a classic folk tradition of gritty, primarily northern, subtly political English songs. Sparing accompaniments from Eagle's accordion and Hughes' guitar add variety to thoughtful Cooney narratives - notably the anti-fascism morality tale The Biscuits of Bull Lane - alongside fine songs by Jez Lowe, Graeme Miles, and a brilliant Young Tradition shanty tribute. - MOJO (Colin Irwin)

"Folk Radio Album Review - NEVER FORGET (2014)"

(Access the review via the link) - Folk Radio


"Never Forget" (HERETEU) - Released 2014
"When Our GrandFathers Said No" (NAVIGATOR) - Released 2012
"Man, I Feel Like a Young'un (HERETEU) - Released 2010



Nobody sleeps when The Young'uns are in town.  Establishing their fast growing reputation in the UK with sublime a cappella harmonies, the Teesside trio Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle are an unlikely force of nature on stage, beguiling audiences with irrepressible humour, bold vocals, gripping storylines and innate musicality.  Going on stage without set-lists, they rely on their infallible instinct and unique rapport with an audience to deliver a killer show.

Their music is rooted fiercely in their native North East England specifically Teesside where they first stumbled across a folk club as teenagers.  Being the youngest people in the room by decades they were quickly labelled the Younguns and have spent the best part of 10 years trying to think of a new name.  The Young'uns use their talents and voices like weapons exposing some of what's wrong with society; sometimes they are used to paint pictures and bring characters to life; sometimes to keep traditions, which should be upheld, alive and sometimes to have fun and entertain but always with precision, enthusiasm, emotion and determination to give a unforgettable show. They are festival favourites in the UK.  2014 will see them perform at over 20 festivals including opening the main stage at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival and appearing alongside Billy Bragg at Glastonbury.

Band Members