The Young’uns have proved themselves a unique proposition – writing and performing a cappella or subtly accompanied songs that tell it how it is alongside traditional songs from their native North-East and further afield.
Renowned for their pitch perfect harmonies and rapid fire humour, their live show undeniably has the human touch- songs of conscience, songs of warmth and wit, songs to provoke, songs to inspire.
Always engaging, frequently heart-warming, they have built an enviable audience rapport. They are an act that truly takes the cliché out of the “make you laugh, make you cry” tag.
The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff
In the summer of 1939 as war clouds loomed over Europe, a 19 year old lad from Teesside went to the House of Commons to meet his local MP. He had just returned from fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War (to do so was illegal because of Britain’s policy of non intervention). Hearing footsteps coming down the corridor he turned to see the figure of Winston Churchill approaching. The lad’s MP took the opportunity of introducing him. Churchill looked the teenage soldier up and down, took his cigar out of his mouth, and said ‘Would young men like you be prepared to fight against Hitler?’ The lad took a deep breath before he answered. ‘Mr Churchill,’ he said, ‘I’ve been fighting Hitler all of my life.’ His name was Johnny Longstaff.
This is the story of his life from the day it began in abject poverty in Stockton On Tees in 1919 to that chance meeting with Churchill in 1939. 16 original songs will interweave with the late Johnny’s own recorded voice to tell a remarkable story of one man’s impulse to react to injustice wherever and whenever he saw it. It’s a story of great humanity but also great humour as a teenager stumbles his way innocently through the tumultuous landscapes of the 1930s - from Teesside to London then onto Paris and eventually across the Pyrenees even though he didn’t even know where Spain was.