With a new cd just released, no shortage of gigs and a growing band of fans, things are looking good for the Young ‘Uns. It wasn’t always that way. By their own admission, they were lacking polish in the early days.
“Once, during an attempt at busking, one bystander said, ‘Shut up singing or I’m going to glass you,’” David Eagle told the Guardian in a recent interview.
That new recording, “Strangers” is unlikely to provoke such a violently negative reaction, but there may be some who are disappointed to find no traditional songs. That feeling seems misplaced. With folk clubs dying due to skipping a couple of generations and a hostility to anyone with less than five decades on the clock, this album ought to be a bridging point. While the material doesn’t emanate from the 17th century, it is very much in the folk tradition. The delivery is jaunty on the whole, but the subjects and events covered here are worthy of serious thought.
The Stand out track is Be The Man, inspired by Matthew Ogston, whose partner Nazim Mahmood committed suicide due to his parents’ refusal to accept his sexuality. This song transcends folk. It ought to be mainstream. With Britain in the midst of its most spiteful, vindictive, divisive period of modern times, it would make a fine Christmas number one.