Folk festival headliners are ‘group of the year’

Todmorden Folk Festival (April 17 and 18) received a huge boost this month when it was announced that the headline act of the festival, The Young’uns, have been nominated as group of the year at this years Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The awards are arguably the most important folk awards in the UK, and celebrate outstanding achievement during the previous year in the world of Folk Music.

The Young’uns are a force of nature on stage. Their irrepressible humour, infectious love for harmony singing, passion for storytelling and commitment to maintaining the tradition of social commentary have quickly made them one of the most sought after acts on the English folk scene with the rare ability to make audiences laugh and cry in equal measure, writes Richard Parkes.

In 2013 they gave up their jobs and took to the road to share their love of singing and laughter with whoever would listen. Since then they have performed alongside Billy Bragg at Glastonbury, opened the main stage at Cambridge Folk Festival, recorded a memorable live session on BBC Radio 2, held a host of intimate rural singing weekends, visited dozens of schools and appeared at over 40 festivals at home and abroad.

A decade after first burping their way through a sea shanty as inebriated teenagers at Stockton Folk Club, The Young’uns (so called that night because they were the youngest people at the club by over 40 years) have developed their craft, absorbed the musical heritage of their native North East, sought inspiration from the hundreds of performers they have heard and are now preparing to take their music to a much wider audience.

This year, 2015 sees the release of their fourth album and a major tour to celebrate their 30th birthdays. Inspired by the actions of a group of Stockton residents who chased a Benefits Street film crew from their doors, The Young’uns new album Another Man’s Ground celebrates working class heroes of the past and present with powerful and poignant tales of struggle, poverty and peace.

This is a fantastic opportunity for local people to get to see this superb group in what will be their final performance before the folk awards are announced on April 22, and before they go on their nationwide tour to promote the new album. They may even preview some of the songs at the festival.

Tickets for the festival are available on the festival website at www.todfolkfest.co.uk and full weekend tickets are on sale for the remarkably cheap price of just £25 for an adult and £10 for under 16s when accompanied by an adult ticket holder, and under 5s are free. The full weekend tickets gain admission to all the weekend events, the Friday night Ceilidh at the Fielden Centre, the Saturday afternoon concert at Central Methodist church, all the workshops that will be running during the day on Saturday, and the final Saturday night headline concert at the Unitarian Church which will feature Bella Gaffney, local group Red Hippo, and, of course, the headline act, The Young’uns. Anyone who wishes to keep up to date will festival news can do so via the website or via the festival Facebook page.