The British Isles are the cradle of what festivals like ours have historically called folk music. The ribald, mordant, tragic, bawdy, political music that makes up the folk canon of those green islands is so rich and deep, it seems like madness for youngsters to keep throwing their hats in the ring, taking a whack at making what is very old new again. And yet The Young’Uns have done it: three likely lads from Teesside who have taken the folk music world by storm. In 2015 they won more awards than they have arms to carry amongst the three of them, from everybody from BBC Radio 2 to Mojo Magazine. Reviewers have lauded their “glorious harmonies, waspish wit, powerful songs and relentless banter” and declared them “destined to become national treasures.”
Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes bring an irresistible mix of soaring a capella harmonies (occasionally enriched by accordion and guitar), a wide streak of humour and affection that shines from the stage when they perform, and a completely unpredictable selection and interpretation of English folk music. Perhaps the common thread is the fine old tradition of sharp social commentary and protest. Whether they’re covering Billy Bragg's “Between the Wars”, or singing their own little ditty about a bunch of racist footie hooligans who are thwarted in an outing of mosque-bashing by a nice game of football and a lovely cup of tea, their uncompromising content blends with irreverent banter with each other and their audiences in an irresistible and heady mix that is all their own.