The Young’uns Podcast 103: Hartlepool Tall Ships Festival 2010

In 2010, The Young’uns’ Sean Cooney committed a terrible act that we really can’t talk about. His sentence was to organise a folk event as part of Hartlepool’s tall ships festival alongside Hartlepool borough Council with oodles of red tape and risk assessment forms. Sean took this great responsibility like a man and did Hartlepool and the folk community proud, hosting an incredible event with an amazing list of performers. This Young’uns Podcast aims to capture the joys of the festival through recorded performances, interviews and various random happenings that took place over the festival.

There’s music from Polish Shanty group
Brasy,
world folk from
Sheelanagig,
Mrs Trevor’s Deep Freeze Secrets,
the Askew Sisters,
Paul martin and Ian Mckoen. Plus there’s world-class kazoo playing from a children’s marching band; find out what folk musicians get up to late at night; we expose the folk group that have launched an attack on the blind; Michael Hughes dices with the law; The Young’uns get involved in some interesting collaborations, and of course there’s the obligatory smattering of puns. I could go on, but what’s the point when you can find out for yourself.

Click here to listen.
Click Here to Download.

Remember, you can catch up with the previous 102 podcasts
here
how about listening to all 103 of them in one sitting, perhaps for charity?

Thanks to everyone who came to see
The Young’uns
in Peterborough; we had a very enjoyable night. Thanks also to Toby wood who wrote this review of the gig, which is a completely accurate and well-considered critique of the proceedings:

“I would love to be a fly on the windscreen of the car transporting to a gig the three chaps who comprise The Young ‘Uns. (I should emphasise that I would hope that my fly incarnation would ideally be on the inside, not the outside!). The reason for this somewhat odd entreaty is that I could spend a few hours listening to Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes practising as they speed along.
The Young ‘Uns are in essence an a cappella group, hence the ease of being able to practise in the car with a fly for company. Just as well the trio don’t play harp, double bass and grand piano!
Along with friends and a healthy audience I was fortunate enough to see Cooney, Eagle and Hughes at Baston Folk Club on a Friday night, as opposed to the club’s customary Thursday. Oh the thrill of a change of night – we do know how to enjoy ourselves! I write ‘fortunate’ because, according to details on their website, The Young ‘Uns only seem to perform live two or three times a month, possibly due to the fact that they all have ‘proper’ jobs as community artist, producer and teacher. Indeed should Mr Hughes (as I presume his teacher name to be) ever get fed up of the teaching life he could easily get a job as a doppelganger for Marcus Brigstocke, so physically reminiscent is he of the comedian. Sean’s own website is so full of educational and cultural activity that no wonder The Young ‘Uns don’t gig that much. Want a Tall Ships Folk Festival organising? Then Sean’s yer man! And as for David – well just type his name into YouTube and you’ll find a wealth of humorous clips and quips as well as lengthy ‘Pick and Mix’ sessions. In short individual talent abounds.
The group performed mostly traditional shanties and homages to Hartlepool but all in a way that had a modern touch. Indeed a James Taylor song made a brief appearance alongside my own personal favourite, Sean’s ‘Jenny Waits For Me’, a poignant tale of men at sea.
I took a while to try to work out why the trio actually worked and then it clicked. Individually they appear so diverse, singular and individual yet as a threesome they blend seamlessly together, each appreciating the other’s strengths without becoming competitive or domineering (a sort of folkie Crosby, Stills and Nash). This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that they can spend two or three minutes in a comedic, laugh out loud introduction and then suddenly swoop into a song that requires concentration and even a little gravitas. They simultaneously revere the material and recognise that pleasing an audience is paramount.
The Young ‘Uns are one of those acts that’s best seen live. Their quirky and enthusiastic mix of seriousness and laughter is infectious.
Just one gripe! I’m just not keen on the name ‘The Young ‘Uns’. What will happen when they hit fifty (assuming they are still playing together)? Will they become ‘The Middle-aged ‘Uns’ or ‘The Receding and Increasingly Podgy ‘Uns’. Perhaps they ought to cross that bridge when they get to it.”

Yes, very accurate and well-considered.

So what will the next project be? I’m planning on starting work on the next Pick and Mix in the next few days so perhaps it will be that, though I imagine there’ll be two or three long rambling blogs written from busses in the meantime.

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A Little Joke I Just Made Up

So there I was, just ten minutes ago, standing by the sandwiches and wraps stand in the Marks and Spencers shop in the Trowell service station just outside Nottingham about to purchase a Hoisin Duck wrap when
I had the comedy equivalent of the Eureka moment. There’s just no telling when genius will strike – in the bath or in the Marks and Spensers sandwiches and Wraps isle. So here’s my joke:

I have a friend who is totally blind and totally deaf. He has very poor orientation with no sense of direction; he’s always crashing into stuff and falling over. However, he has this uncanny ability to locate checkout tills. As soon as we’re in a shop he moves at great speed and with complete ease in the direction of the checkout till. I asked him “how do you do it?” to which he replied, “Well, I suppose it’s because I’m counter intuitive”.

I’m currently in a car with my fellow
Young’uns,
heading back home after a gig in Surrey. Gardeners questions is on radio 4, and so we’re driving through the streets with the windows down, Gardeners Questions on full volume,
blasting out conversations about Couch grass, Pine weed and the best way to propagate Delphiniums. That’s the way we roll, o yeah!

The Hartlepool tall ships podcast is coming even sooner than it was when I mentioned that it was “coming soon” the last time. I’ll be back with it in the next few days.

I dedicate this blog post to Jamey the security guard at Gateshead bus Station who reads the blog. The strange thing about writing a blog is that I get really surprised and taken aback when someone says they read it, even though the whole point of writing it is for people to read, as well as to satisfy my ego obviously. Also, people at work have now discovered the blog and my Youtube videos; This has led to a few interesting encounters where people come up to me and make references to things in my videos and posts. So rather than just saying “hey I watched your
Bleating Love Parody on Youtube”,
they will come up to me and say something like “I can’t believe he shot the poor sheep”. As I’m in work mode, living under my work-based Alta ego Davis Eagles
(see this post if you’re confused)
I’m not really expecting this and I find the whole thing a bit baffling especially when I’m in a group of people who are completely oblivious as to why a colleague has come up to me and said “I can’t believe he shot the poor sheep”. Jamy the security guard at Gateshead bus station walked up to me a few days ago and greeted me by saying rather loudly in front of a group of very bemused passengers, “I love your Mongol Sex post mate”. People started quickly inching away from us, a bit fearful, unsure of what he could possibly mean by “my Mongol Sex Post”.
I then had to explain to the frightened crowd that he was referring to
a blog post I’d written which was perfectly innocent,
but I don’t think this really placated anyone. So hello to you Jamey and to anyone else associated with Gateshead bus station.

Thanks for reading, bye!

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Mongol Sex

In Google webmaster tools, you can see what searches people do in order to find and click on your website. The most common search terms are things like “David Eagle” and
“the Young’uns”
but down near the bottom of the list is the search term “Mongol sex”.
Presumably this is due to
this blog post,
where I wrote (on the subject of Shortwave radio):
“you’re on the shortwave band and that slight touch can tune you into a completely different station and into a completely different world. One moment you’re listening to an enraged American evangelist damning you to hell unless you send him money, then you touch the dial ever so slightly and you’re listening to a French radio drama with Lesbian sex scenes; then the sound of a Mongolian throat singer, belting out the popular Mongolian hits of the day. …”

I can just imagine some sweaty pervert (o god, I hope no one finds me by searching for “sweaty pervert”) breathing heavily over his laptop, anticipating some hot Mongolian porn, finding my website in Google search with the following words shown:
“… Lesbian sex scene .. Mongolian throat …”.
then clicking to see what this Lesbian sex scene Mongolian throat website is all about, only to see a picture of my face and a blog post about Vick Reeves and smelly pirates with hairy knees. O well, you never know, perhaps there are people out there with a sexual interest in Vick Reaves, smelly pirates and hairy knees. I look forward to more revelations from Google in the near future.

Hartlepool’s Tall Ships Young’uns Podcast coming soon!

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Pirates, pilgrims and Pub Philosophy

“Pirates”, “pilgrims”, “pub” and “philosophy” are four words that begin with the same consonant and so I suppose is an example of alliteration; however the word philosophy does not begin with a hardened P sound and so is it really alliteration in the true sense? Thank god for the Internet; I could probably find this out relatively quickly. In the olden days we’d have to sit and watch hundreds of
QI
episodes in the vain hope of finding the answer. I may do an Internet search to get some information about this and include my findings at the end of this post. You’ll have to read on though to find out. Now I’ve got you interested.

I’m writing this post from a bus. I know this will be great news to you all; I tried writing my last blog post from a different location to the bus but I’m sure you’ll all agree that I write much better when I’m blogging from a bus. There’s a certain poetry about my bus posts; a certain je ne sais quoi maybe – I don’t know. Before I actually write about what I’d planned to write about, I should probably set the scene a little bit; it might explain why this post might turn out to be a bit rubbish.

As regular readers will know, I usually write from the x9 bus. Each morning I get the 36 bus from Hartlepool to Bilingham and then the x9 from Billingham to Gateshead. I usually set off from my house at 7:30 and arrive in Gateshead (where I work) at about 9:15.
I have managed to inadvertently train my brain to associate work with blessed relief. Invariably, by the time I get to work, I am utterly desperate for the toilet; I run into the building with a wide grin on my face, race across to my office, throw down my bags and coat and rush down the corridor in the direction of the toilet, panting and shouting “thank god, I’m here!” Most of the staff probably think I’m a crazed workaholic and this is probably why they avoid me, but in actuality I’m just a man with a very full bladder, exulted by the fact that I can finally relieve my liquid burden – which is a very poetic way of saying “have a piss”; I’m so poetic.

The first reason this blog post might be rubbish (although it’s going pretty well so far I’m sure you’ll agree) is because I am even more desperate for the toilet than usual. The reason for this is because I’m running late. I set off from my house at the same time that I usually do; in fact it was slightly earlier than normal. Either the 36 bus didn’t turn up or it had come early. I was not late. Nevertheless, the bus didn’t come and I had to get the next one, meaning I had missed my connecting bus. Because I’d been stood at a bus stop for 30 minutes as opposed to the usual two minutes, the cold had gone to my bladder and I started to need the toilet. Unfortunately, because I’d missed the x9 bus from Billing ham, I would now have to travel even further on the 36 to Norton to catch the x10. Unfortunately again, I have another 20 minute wait in Norton before the x10 comes, meaning another 20 minutes for the cold to effect my bladder, increasing my need for the toilet. What makes the situation even more frustrating is that Norton is in the opposite direction to Gateshead, so I’ve had to travel further away from the place I want to be and then come back again in the opposite direction. I set off from my house at 7:30; I was stood at a bus stop, desperate for the toilet, in the cold about 50 minutes later from leaving my house, further away from the place I wanted to get to than I was when I was lying in bed this morning. I’m eventually starting to head in the right direction again after one hour and 15 minutes of setting off from my house.

Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. I hope you managed to follow all that. I imagine that in the future, perhaps when I’m dead, there will be throngs of David Eagle worshipers making pilgrimages, setting off early in the mornings to travel the famed route as detailed in this blog post. Congregations from all over the world will set off from my house – which has now been turned into a David Eagle themed place of worship – and stand at the relevant bus stops – which are still standing exactly as they did in my day because they have been deemed as buildings of historic interest and are protected under heritage law. The congregation will drink a special potion that makes the drinker desperate for the toilet – to be honest drinking lots of water would have had just the same effect but the potion makers got in on the act and started profiting on the back
Of my name; this makes me very angry, as I specifically wrote in an authoritative and widely quoted blog post about the evils of false profits (you see what I did there?) The pilgrims will eventually – after a large amount of tedious bus travel – arrive at my place of work which has also been turned into a place of worship. They will run into the building with broad grins on their faces, race through the corridors towards the toilets shrieking ecstatically “thank god, we’re here!” They then all pile into the toilet and what happens after that is probably best left to your imagination, but this is something else about the whole affair that upsets me, and I do not condone that sort of behaviour in my name.

Anyway, last Tuesday we, is in
The Young’uns
recorded our duet with
Vick Reeves
about smelly pirates with hairy knees. It went very well. I feel really sorry for the studio staff: the producers and technicians working on the project had to spend a whole day in a recording studio, recording different musicians and actors and the Young’uns doing take after take, singing the same one minute song: “I’m a smelly pirate, with hairy knees” etc etc, over and over again.

I suppose I better explain a bit more about this song and the film since all I’ve mentioned so far is that my folk group are singing a song with Vick Reeves about smelly pirates with hairy knees. The project is a film animation that has a budget of £3’0000000 – I’m sure that at least a third of that money was spent on the smelly pirate song. I think that the story and the songs are all written by children. The film is animated and produced by the film company who are responsible for Wallace and Grommet – not responsible for them in terms of their welfare, making sure they’ve got enough cheese; I suppose you knew what I meant. They also have celebrities doing various voices, such as
David Walliams,
Harry Hill,
Miranda Hart,
Catherine Tate
and of course Vick Reeves.
O, and, of course, The young’uns.
The project isn’t complete yet and so I’ve not heard the finished smelly Pirate song but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

An accurate barometer of the Young’uns’ success and popularity is the amount of paperwork we have to sign. When we first started out doing this folk music lark, we would just do gigs in pubs in front of who ever would listen. As time has gone on, we’ve had to sign contracts for performances, appearances and recordings; these contracts have grown exponentially both in frequency and content. We did a gig recently at the Sage theatre in Gateshead. We were one of a number of acts on the bill that night, which was a folk against fascism event. The folk against fascism concept derives from the comments made by
British National Party
leader
Nick Griffin
who suggested that bnp members should go to folk clubs because they might be a good place for recruiting members. This inference that folk clubs and folk music was in anyway associated with the beliefs of the bnp was met with outrage by the folk fraternity including many folk musicians and many high-profiled singers who made anti-fascists speeches and countered the idea that British folk music was fascist simply because it was British, celebrating tradition and history. Anyway, we were only on stage at the sage for about 15 minutes and it took us longer than that to read and sign the various contracts: the health and safety contract, image rights, copyright etc. The copyright document was interesting. You have to write the names of all the songs you’re going to perform that night – which is a bit of an issue since we normally don’t decide this until we’re on stage. You then have to write down the name of the song writer for each of the songs so that they can get the money from
PRS.
This is a bit of a fruitless exercise as the majority of the songs we sing are either written by people, who have been dead for centuries, are people who aren’t on prs, or the songs are traditional folk songs
and the writer is unknown. If this trend continues and we have to sign even longer and more ludicrously convoluted contracts before we can actually do a gig then we might have to start increasing our fee to compensate for the large amount of time taken up by the contracts.

After the recording, we went to the pub to celebrate the success of this soon to be historic song. Just before we left the pub, there was a group of people who started filing in. One of them approached us and asked: “here for the philosophy in pubs night lads?” He was disappointed when we informed him that we had no idea what a philosophy in pubs night was and that unfortunately we had to scoot off and would not be joining in; apparently they want new blood in the group. I asked what philosophy in pubs was all about and apparently it’s a group of people who meet each fortnight in the pub, take a vote about what subject to talk about, then philosophise. I decided to do an interview with the group which we’ll feature on a future
Young’uns podcast
episode along with the pirate song.

Anyway, this brings me to the final paragraph and now you know the reason for the four p words in the blog post title. According to my Internet searching, words still count as being alliterated even if the consonants don’t sound the same, so “Pirates with pneumonia in pubs philosophising” is alliteration even if they don’t all start with hardened P sounds. Anyway, the bus has finally arrived at Gateshead and so I can finally go to work and enjoy making a P sound of my very own – or should that be “pee” sound (o I’m so poetic!)

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