Review Archive

‘When Our Grandfathers Said No’ - The Young’uns

(August 17, 2012)

There’s an undeniable freshness and creativity to The Young’uns – yes I know they’re singing traditional songs ‘in the tradition’ but you only have to listen to the vitality and vibrant intensity they bring to those songs to recognise that you’re hearing something refreshing.

Their latest album ‘When Our Grandfathers Said No’ reflects all the above and from the opening song their brand of ‘tradition with a contemporary edge’ hooks your attention.

Opening with a powerful, accordion-driven song ‘Another Storm’ the band sets out its stall and if you like what's on offer then take the time to delve into the rest of ‘When Our Grandfathers Said No’. Their vocal power pushes through into ‘The Chemical Worker’s Song’ telling the sorrowful tale of the dire conditions chemical industry workers endured; and then comes the compelling charisma of ‘The Battle of Stockton’ – narrating local opposition to Moseley’s Blackshirts on Stockton High Street in 1933 - if this song doesn’t move you check your pulse. And then of course listen to the full presence of their unaccompanied close harmony vocals with the highly charged ‘One December Morn’ and the gentle sentiments of ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’.

The Young'uns let outstanding vocals range freely across deeply felt narratives, historical tales and lively trad variations like ‘Love In A Northern Town’ through rousing shanties and mournful sea-songs to a sparkling take on Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Rolling Down To Rio’.

The Young’uns are Michael Hughes (vocals, guitar) Sean Cooney (vocals) and David Eagle (vocals, keyboard, piano accordion) – together they give the tradition a wonderful dose of originality.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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