On Friday April 11 to Sunday April 13 we had our inaugural Headland Folk Festival set on Hartlepool’s beautiful Headland. For years we’ve travelled the country singing songs and telling stories about our home town, and so we thought it was high time to invite everyone to come and sample it for themselves. We also invited some of our folk performing friends along to play and sing to the masses, and masses is certainly the word, for the weekend saw over 600 people descend upon the tiny Hartlepool Headland. The churches and pubs were packed with performers and punters, and there was a mix of paid concerts and free fringe events from twenty-seven acts.
Performers included the Polish vocal harmony quintet Brasy, who wowed audiences with shanties, Polish and Russian folk songs as well as unique interpretations of pop songs such as the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine and Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be The Day. Brasy were also joined by Teesside vocal powerhouse the Wilsons (main image), 2014 BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar; there was world music from the Hut People, and Gypsy songs and stories from Mic & Susie Darling. And obviously there were performances from ourselves, including our unique singing history trail, where we sang our Hartlepool songs in the various locations that the songs depict. A particularly moving moment for us was singing our song Beneath the Sandwell gate while standing underneath the beautiful medieval gateway of that name.
On the Saturday the pubs were invaded by the 4 Corner Rapper dance team, armed with swords and an array of impressive acrobatic tricks. They even infiltrated the only pub on the Headland that we deliberately avoided scheduling events in, given its unsavoury cliental and reputation for violence. We advised that perhaps this was a pub that the Rapper team might wish to avoid, especially given that this particular crowd would be likely to misread their sword-swivelling as a provocation of violence. But, unheeding our advice, they swarmed the pub and were surprisingly welcomed with open tattoo-covered bruised arms. They proudly recounted to us afterwards about how they’d all been bought drinks by a blood-covered man.
We are really grateful to all the churches and pubs who rose to the occasion and helped make this a magical weekend. The feedback from those who attended has been extremely positive and we are definitely looking to host another festival in 2015.
We will be releasing a couple of podcasts featuring recorded highlights from the festival, including performances, interviews and stories. You can download the first of these now at http://www.davideagle.co.uk/younguns-podcast
You can also see lots of photos and videos from the festival on the Headland Folk Club Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/365374933532036/
Review by: David Eagle
The Young’uns ‘Never Forget’ is released 17 March via Hereteu Records
Order via: The Young’Uns Own Store
Tour Dates: http://www.theyounguns.co.uk/tour-dates/