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The Young’uns Announce New Studio Album and Spring Tour Dates

Feb 8, 2023

SONGS BORN FROM EMPATHY, CRAFTED WITH CARE, FIRED BY HOPE & SHARED WITH JOY

Twenty years ago you might have thought it a far-fetched prediction. But today there’s no denying it – The Young’uns have become one of UK folk music’s hottest properties and best-loved acts.

The then teenage friends Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle had literally stumbled over folk music in 2003 in the back room of The Sun Inn in their native Stockton-on-Tees, never knowing that such music existed. They became regulars and, as the youngest people in the room, were dubbed ‘The Young’uns’ – a name that, for better or worse, has stuck.

Building and honing their act, Stockton Folk Club’s star graduates went on to clinch the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Group’ title two years running (2015 and 2016), toured their unique act in Canada, America and Australia, played Glastonbury and scooped the coveted Best Album award with the hugely impressive Strangers at the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. More recently they have touched audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with their stage show The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff based on the life of a Teesside local hero.

With their strong songs, spellbinding harmonies and rapid fire humour (Eagle is now also an award-winning stand-up comedian), they have achieved one of the trickiest balancing acts – an ability to truly ‘make them laugh and make them cry’.

These narrative songs – often moving, never mawkish – cut through the noise and get straight to the heart of the matter, be they personal stories that triggered global headlines or more intimate tales of everyday heroes closer to home.

On April 7, 2023 they will unveil their latest studio album Tiny Notes– probably their most powerful and affecting release to date. Bold, profound and resonant it showcases the ever growing talents of ‘premier league songwriter’ Sean Cooney who says ‘writing songs about real, ordinary heroes has become ‘a personal passion’.

Cooney, who has recently been involved as one of five songwriters in the BBC project 21st Century Folk, has the knack of summing up a story in unflinching, sharply observed but compassionate, heartfelt lyrics.

Together with Hughes and Eagle, he has come up with a collection of folk songs for our time, which takes listeners on a journey from London to Lockerbie, Ireland to Syria, Florida to North Yorkshire. All sensitively arranged by the 30-something trio the songs recall victims of war and terrorism and heroes of the hour, turning the spotlight on injustice and ultimately celebrating love, tolerance and the indomitable human spirit.

Produced by Andy Bell on the Hudson Records label, the release takes its title from 22-year-old Paige Hunter’s handwritten messages of hope tied to the railings of Sunderland’s Wearmouth Bridge (depicted on the album cover) where tragically many people have decided to end their lives. But her notes are thought to have saved the lives of some 30 people in the North East and Paige’s action has inspired others to leave similar messages on bridges around the world.

Alongside The Young’uns strong trademark vocals, folk luminary Jon Boden has arranged soaring, graceful strings for some tracks while Eagle plays fluid piano, making for the band’s most enriched sound yet.

Karine Polwart, Lucy Farrell and Anne Lamb provide the ‘tiny notes’ that briefly punctuate the release.

Coursing a variety of tempos and moods, the 11-track album strides out with Jack Merritt’s Boots remembering the 25 year-old killed in a terror attack at London’s Fishmongers’ Hall in 2019; it recalls other young lives lost – Cambridge graduate Tim Burman and Northern Ireland journalist Lyra McKee and the daughters of Andy Airey, Mike Palmer and Tim Owen who tragically took their own lives and who are remembered in the poignant track Three Dads Walking (already released as a single).

Returning to Ireland the album traces the courageous story of Richard Moore (right) blinded as a child by an army bullet; salutes the strength of the human spirit in a dramatic rescue tale from Panama City Beach, champions the Right to Roam in Trespassers and recounts a Welsh trauma surgeon’s remarkable Syrian story.

While these are often songs prompted by loss and grief they emerge as hopeful, eloquent rainbow-after-rain creations.

Five years on from the group’s award-winning Strangers, the new album is probably The Young’uns strongest suit to date. The notes may be tiny but the songs are towering.

Tiny Notes will be the first Young’uns album to be pressed on vinyl and will be manufactured at Press On Vinyl, a new plant in the band’s stomping ground of Middlesbrough. LPs are due to be available in late April.

Tiny Notes will be showcased on an extensive UK tour (April-June 2023) including a return to London’s Union Chapel and dates in Edinburgh,Cardiff and Dublin.

if you can’t wait until then here’s a reminder of why we all love them …

Tiny Notes Tour Dates 2023

08/04 LIVERPOOL Philharmonic Hall
09/04 EDINBURGH Summerhall
10/04 SHREWSBURY St Mary’s Church
11/04 NORWICH Arts Centre
12/04 SHOREHAM Ropetackle
13/04 SANDWICH St Mary’s Arts Centre
14/04 LONDON Union Chapel
15/04 ALDEBURGH Jubilee Hall
21/04 SHEFFIELD Firth Hall
20/05 DUBLIN Pavilion Dun Laoghaire
26/05 GATESHEAD The Sage
27/05 CLECKHEATON Town Hall
28/05 BRISTOL The Redgrave Theatre
30/05 OXFORD North Wall
31/05 CARDIFF Acapela
01/06 LINCOLN Drill Hall
02/06 MANCHESTER The Stoller Hall

You can pre order Tiny Notes here: hudsonrecords.co.uk/product/–tiny-notes

For further information please visit :www.theyounguns.co.uk

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