When popular Teesside trio The Young ‘uns embark on their biggest tour of the UK next week (Wednesday, April 13) they will lend their voices and support to community events up and down the country in a series of free pre-gig grass roots appearances.
In their only UK tour of 2016, Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle, together one of folk’s hottest properties, will set out to play 18 celebrated venues across England, Scotland and Wales.
Renowned for their superb audience connectivity, their “Three For All” tour (April 13 – May 1) will take in venues including Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, Edinburgh’s Pleasance Theatre, Salisbury City Hall and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
But on this tour they will be offering added value. Having invited members of the public to “call the tune” they will take time away from the concert hall stages to join forces with people and projects in the environs of many of their gig towns, with free events mirroring their all-inclusive tour title.
Says singer songwriter Sean Cooney: “We decided to try to live up to the tour name with these afternoon events and asked people to send in suggestions. We had some lovely invitations and ideas so we will be popping up at 12 places throughout the country to share songs and stories.”
Five of the events are open to all while the remainder are private events in schools, colleges and care homes – in some cases taking music to people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to hear it.
On April 14, before their gig at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre they will be singing at the The Robert Gillow pub in Lancaster which landlord Mark Cutter and staff opened as an overnight refuge for hundreds of people rescued from the recent devastating floods.
The Young’ uns will be dropping into the Market Street pub at 1pm.
Before their gig in Bridgwater, Somerset on April 21 the trio will be diverting to St Mary’s Church, Portbury, near Bristol for a special event starting at 2pm. Says Sean: “We will be singing at the grave of one of our heroes – the extraordinary Teessider Johnny Longstaff who fought prejudice and inequality all his life”. Longstaff walked to London to find work at the age of 15 in the 1934 Hunger March and was at the Battle of Cable Street when Black Shirts were prevented from marching through the East End of London by anti-fascists. Lying about his age he was smuggled out to fight for democracy with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.
On April 23 there will be lungs a-plenty when The Young’s uns join Bristol shanty group The Roaring Trowmen for a sea shanty workshop at Bristol Folk House in Park Street at 2pm, with rumours of a post event flash mob. The trio return to the Folk House for a gig that night.
On Tuesday, April 26 members of the public can join in “Snape Sings” –a community singing event with the children of Snape Primary School at Snape Village Hall in Suffolk – ahead of their evening gig at Snape Maltings Concert Hall.
The final ‘open to all’ community event will be on April 30 back on their home turf of Stockton on Tees. At The Storytellers Pub in Dovecot Street they will team up with the inspirational Teesside champion Mike McGrowther and his mighty male chorus Infant Hercules (above) to share Teesside songs and raise money for Teesside children’s charity The Finlay Cooper Fund http://finlaycooperfund.co.uk.
Dedicated to improving the lives of children the charity is named after the late son of former Middlesbrough, Millwall, Nottingham Forest and England footballer Colin Cooper.
Elsewhere, in the private events, Sean, Michael and David will be entertaining pupils at Henley Green Primary School, Coventry (April 28) and Woodside Primary School, Shrewsbury (April 18).
On April 25, before their Canterbury gig, The Young’ uns will visit Dover’s Astor College, to perform and hold a question and answer session with students while on April 22 they will visit Lee on Solent Junior School, Hampshire – a school attended by 9 year old Emily White who inspired a campaign calling for disabled characters to feature more prominently in children’s comic books and TV. Her father Daniel has created a comic in which Emily stars as a superhero www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/34900285
Before their London gig at Bush Hall (April 20) they will entertain residents suffering from dementia at the Healthy Living Club, Stockwell and ahead of their April 29 Liverpool Philharmonic gig they will stage a concert for the Meadow Court Extra Care scheme.
The group will be performing two shows at Sheffield Greystones on April 17- the evening show is already sold out. Members of Sheffield ASSIST (Asylum Seekers Support Initiative Short Term) group will attend the 2pm concert to raise awareness of their valuable work providing accommodation, food and support for asylum seekers in the city.
Stockton Folk Club’s star graduates have proved themselves a unique proposition – writing and performing a capella or subtly accompanied songs that tell it how it is alongside traditional songs from their native North-East and further afield – songs of conscience, songs of warmth and wit, songs to provoke, songs to inspire.
In 2015 – a year crowned with their Best Group win at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – they performed an incredible 116 gigs in nine countries as well as hosting 20 school projects, three singing weekends and work with Aldeburgh Young Musicians. Renowned for their pitch perfect harmonies and rapid fire humour, their live show undeniably has the human touch.
Patrons of Suffolk’s fast growing FolkEast festival, the trio will be reaching audiences old and new on the April tour, kicking off at Grantham’s Guildhall Arts Centre in Lincolnshire on April 13 and ending at The Kirkgate in Cockermouth, Cumbria on May Day. As well as the shows in Scotland and Wales the tour will take in 11 English counties.
They will be supported by County Wexford singer songwriter Irish Mythen. www.irishmythen.com.