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THE YOUNG’UNS - Another Man’s Ground

THE YOUNG’UNS - Another Man’s Ground
Hereteu Records YNGS30

It has taken a decade for The Young’uns to reach where they are now. Without doubt, the release of Another Man’s Ground, their fourth CD, sees them well and truly reach adulthood. It also sees them reach the ripe old age of 30, probably an age many of us wish we still were. Not only that, but their singing seems much more assured, with development of a style which is instantly recognisable as their own. Previously, the influences of many unaccompanied groups could be heard. Sean Cooney has emerged as a songwriter of maturity, with something to say, something that demands to be listened to.

The Young’uns (Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes) are a close harmony group, though they are not frightened to provide solos. Eight tracks here are unaccompanied, the outstanding one being a superb version of Between The Wars. They prove that this Billy Bragg anthem is just as relevant now as it was 30 years ago. Of Sean’s originals, I found The Streets Of Lahore, a tale of honour killing, particularly emotive and deeply moving.

The story of Private Hughes is another which will have you close to tears, recounting the real life story of a message in a bottle during WW1, whilst You Won’t Find Me On Benefits Street tells of the dignity of the locals on a Stockton street when faced with a camera crew for the Channel 4 documentary. There are lots of other highlights throughout this CD, but a masterstroke is a short vocal by Bob Fox on what is described as a bonus track. Personally, I have never understood why bonus tracks are used, but this one certainly is.

Another Man’s Ground just shows how far The Young’uns have travelled in the 10 years since their first tentative steps, but with material of this quality, and their attention to the arrangements, I reckon they will still be here when their name seems not to fit. A mention must be made of the excellent production job of Andy Bell, the artwork of Katy Coope, but mostly, the quality of this CD. The Young’uns are up for Best Group at the Radio 2 Awards, don’t know if they will get it, but don’t be surprised to see them there again next year with this album. Recommended.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 107 of The Living Tradition magazine.