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Music Review

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Artist: The Young'uns
Label: Hereteu Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 29 September 2017

Teesside trio The Young’uns release their fourth studio album Strangers. Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle deliver an interesting collection of folk songs for our time - looking back at wartime heroes, offering a news report for the 21st century, turning the spotlight on injustice and ultimately celebrating the indomitable human spirit...

Strangers opens with a cover of Maggie Holland’s 'A Place Called England', with the remaining songs on the 10-track (38 min, 25 sec) album all coming from the prolific pen of Cooney who manages to combine unflinching, sharply observed but compassionate, heartfelt lyrics.

When I first put this album on, my heart sank as the first song began... I'm not a fan of harmonising groups. I have no idea why, but they always sound cheesy and rather lame to me.

However, as the album progressed I suddenly threw away all my previous held beliefs and started to smile at some of the clever lyrics. Songs like 'Ghafoor's Bus' and 'These Hands' only work with harmonised vocals and the results are impressive.

'These Hands' examines the '70s The Battle of Lewisham; while 'The Hartlepool Pedlar' explores what it means to be British. There's nothing more British than Marks & Spencer's, right? Think again. But it was the ability for foreigners to come to the UK that allowed for institutions, like M&S, to grow from small acorns.

Overall, a strong folk album that will entertain and educate listeners.


Nick Smithson

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