THE YOUNG ‘UNS – Never Forget (Heretue Records YNGS10)

NeverForgetNever Forget begins and ends with contrasting views of the EDL march on the Bull Lane mosque following the murder of Lee Rigby. I caution you not to listen to ‘A Lovely Cup Of Tea’ before you have appreciated ‘The Biscuits Of Bull Lane’. Listening first in the car I got it wrong and thought that the former was too close to the edge. Even now I think it may be ill-advised but I’ll leave the judgement to you. Jez Lowe’s ‘Hands Feet’ certainly makes their position clear if anyone is in any doubt but I wonder if David is, in fact, saying that a fascist can’t be reformed.

In between, Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle are firmly grounded in their native north-east with two songs by Graeme Miles and six by Cooney including the wonderful ‘The Sandwell Gate’, a perfect representation of place and history in just four verses. Cicely Fox Smith may be a bit Hampshire but ‘Rosario’ is such a glorious combination of words and music that we’ll forgive her. ‘John Ball’ is the other southerner but he knew which side he was on.

I have to be critical of a couple of issues – but not the music. First, I was constantly increasing the volume. I know The Young ‘Uns aren’t The Wilson Family and there may be a sound technical reason for it but I was desperate for a bit more welly. Second, nowhere do the guys list their names or say who does what. It may be excessive modesty on their part but it may come over as cockiness. You can get away with it when you’re Pink Floyd but not just yet, chaps. This is a very good record but the devil remains in the detail.

Dai Jeffries

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