IT was a case of back to work for the burgeoning UK folk scene’s bright young things.
Recently crowned Best Group at the Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 in Cardiff, The Young ‘Uns had another opportunity to shine on their return to Wales on Saturday May 3 at Trelawnyd Memorial Hall.
A cast of folk music fans from far and wide, some having endured a two-hour journey, made up the audience at this intimate venue, joined by those curious to checkout this much feted Teesside trio.
The Young ‘Uns, christened such due to their tender age when first taking to the stage at their local folk club in the North East of England, treated us to a 90 minute set which served to demonstrate how privileged we were to glimpse these three musicians ahead of their continued assured ascendancy.
On-point interpretations of ballads and laments using simply voice or accompanied by lush accordion, piano or guitar honoured the contribution of working class heroes of yesteryear particularly the defiant ‘Jack Ironside’ and ‘Blood Red Roses’ proving favourite.
While exploitation at the hands of television programme- makers came in for long overdue criticism with the superb ‘You won’t find me on Benefits Street’, the sensitive issue of EDL clashes and fascism was confronted in the hilarious ‘A lovely cup of tea’.
The blending of group members’ voices was melodic, haunting, and truly moving on the track ‘Rosario’, while celebratory and uplifting, best illustrated when they were joined on stage by support act The Bailey Sisters, for the song ‘John Ball’.
However what marked The Young Uns out for me and I’m sure many others glimpsing these festival favourites for the first time on their UK tour coinciding with their 30th birthdays, is their brand of bandmate banter.
The gentle ribbing and heart-warming roasting (if there is such a thing) perpetrated and experienced by members David Eagle, Michael Hughes and Sean Cooney served as a fascinating insight into the dynamics of the group.
It demonstrated how comfortable they are in each other’s company, particularly when achieving their close harmonies and describing how to operate a newly-purchased van, lead to a series of laugh out loud moments.
Let’s hope it’s not long before this talented group of musicians make a return visit.