ANOTHER MAN'S GROUND - THE YOUNG'UNS
lcm album OF THE MONTH - MAR 2015
Release date: 25th April, 2015
Record Label: SGO Music Publishing
Another Man's Ground is the 4th album from the very talented and award-winning, The Young 'Uns. It is very special and beautifully crafted album which delivers moments of joy, sadness and deep reflection. The album is a mixture of traditional and self written songs with a few great covers (Billy Bragg, Graeme Miles, Graham Moore, Walter Kitteridge and Ewan MacColl) added for great measure. It celebrates working class heroes of the past and present with powerful and poignant tales of struggle, poverty and peace.
This North East trio are very well known for their great songwriting, harmonies and humour. This year Sean, Michael and David deservedly won the BBC Radio 2 Folk award for Best Group and on the strength of this album and their live shows, it isn't too hard to understand why.
The album open with the acapella Jimmy Go Down To Your Uncles, a Teeside pawn shop song. 'Pawnshops were essential for the people who fought for survival because of low wages and unemployment. It was grim in those days'
Much debate has happened around the recent filming of a new series of the controversial Channel 4 documentary 'Benefits Street' in Stockton. This song is about a group of Dixon Street residents who refused to take part in the programme and chased away the film crew. You Won't Find Me on Benefits Street is dedicated to these residents and contains the trademark Young 'Uns humour tempered with very clever social commentary. 'I may be down, but I'm not beat....and you won't find me on Benefits Street.......so If i lie in the gutter, I'll be gazing at the stars'
The Streets of Lahore written by Sean is a sad, very moving and thought provoking song about 'honour killing'. It is based on the true story of Farzana Parveen who was murdered by four members of her own family in broad daylight outside the High Court of Lahore for marrying without their consent. Over 1,000 women are victims of so called 'honour killings' in Pakistan each year. The song ends with the words 'There is no honour in killing'
Between the Wars is a great acapella cover of a Billy Bragg song written 30 years ago during the Miner's strike about working class pride, progress and struggle. Sadly the problems then are very much the same today and the song still very relevant and resonates.
The Drift from the Land was written by Graeme Miles who made it his personal mission to document the changing industrial and social landscapes of Teeside in the 50's, 60's and 70's.
After the Young'Uns were invited to be part of the 'Songs For The Voiceless' WW1 project in 2013, Sean was inspired to write a further WW1 based song. Sadly too late to be included on the SFTV album, Private Hughes is a great song based on the true story of Stockton born soldier Thomas Hughes who was shipped to France in 1914. He wrote a tint letter to his wife, put it in an empty ginger beer bottle and dropped it in the sea. In 1999 it was found by a fisherman in the River Thames. After tracing Thomas' only surviving daughter who was now 87 years old and living in Australia, the message was delivered. It read 'Dear Wife, I am writing the note on this boat and dropping it into the sea just to see if it will reach you....Ta ta sweet.....Your Hubby'.
Tom Paine's Bones is a song written by Graham Moore is about English radical Thomas Paine who was the author of the 'Rights of Man'. The Brisk Lad is a traditional song about sheep stealing orginally thought to come from Dorset. The album is named after a line in the song' Waiting for the Ferry is a song written by Graeme Miles who saw great beauty in the stark industrial landscapes of Teeside. This love song set upon the banks of the River Tees when it was black.
School Day's Over written by Ewen MacColl was inspired by the true stories of working class people. This one comes from the 'Ballad of the Big Hewer' (1961). Tenting Tonight written by William Kittedge in 1863 was a song of peace sung by soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. The album ends with another WW1 song Brewster & Wagner, again based on a true story. After Lieutenant Jack Brewsters son went missing in Ypres Sailent in 1915, he feared the worst. 11 days later he received a letter from German Sergeant Egbert Wagner saying that he had found and looked after his son and ended the letter by 'offered an earnest wish for peace' The song features Bob Fox.
Another Man's Gound is a future award winning album and it wouldn't surprise us if it was included on a number of high profile 'best albums of year' lists for 2015.