The Young’uns are having quite a year, they released a new album ‘Never Forget’ which has been widely critically acclaimed and which we also made an Album of the Month (review here). Their latest big news is that they are to play the Leftfield stage at Glastonbury which is curated by Billy Bragg this year who had this to say about the stage:
“Leftfield is back after a year’s sabbatical and the timing couldn’t be better. Come along and take part in our daily debates, stick around to see which songwriters I can pull together from around the site for Bill’s Big Round-Up, enjoy some edgy comedy in our Get Up, Stand Up spot and to top it all off, spend the evening listening to blistering live performances from artists with an activist edge. It’s all in the Leftfield. The fightback starts here!”
Needless to say, The Young’uns are every excited about the event so we caught up with David Eagle of The Young’uns to ask him about how it all came about…he also has a festival tale to share.
How did the invite to the Glastonbury Festival come about?
The invite came through Billy Bragg, who heard a couple of our anti-facist songs: the Battle of Stockton about Stockton’s uprising against Mosley’s Blackshirts in 1933, and our two songs about how English Defence League protesters outside a mosque in York were tempered by a tray of biscuits, a cup of tea and the offer of a game of football.
Billy Bragg hosts and curates Glastonbury’s Leftfield stage where he invites a mix of political speakers, comedians, social commentators and singer/songwriters to chat and sing. This year will include a talk with Ken Livingstone. There’s comedy from the excellent comedians Robin Ince,FranCesca Martinez and Mark Steel, plus performances from artists including Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly and Speech Debelle. These are big names in music and comedy, which I am personally a fan of, and it’s great to be able to perform in a completely different type of setting alongside none-folk performers and to a none-folk crowd. We will however also be joined by our folky friends Lucy Ward and O’Hooley & Tiddow. So it’s a great honour and we’re immensely looking forward to it. You never know, we may even make some musical friends while we’re there, leading to some interesting future collaborations.
Will you be preparing anything special?
I think the idea is that we are all on stage together so that we all chat between us, so it will be very different to a standard gig. We’ll do our anti-facist songs and presumably chat with Billy and the other guests. I think there’s also a chance for the audience to get involved and ask questions, so it should be very interesting.
Are you regular festival (Glastonbury or other) goers (as punters rather than performers)?
Not really to be honest. For the last five years or more, our summers have been taken up performing at festivals, so there’s very little chance to attend festivals as a punter. We do get a chance to see a lot of the acts at the festivals we perform at though.
What’s in the festival kit bag?
Unfortunately there won’t really be a need to pack very much as we won’t be able to actually stay at the festival for very long at all. We’ve got a gig in Billingham on the Thursday, then our Glastonbury appearance on the Friday, and then we’ve got to get to Sheffield on the Saturday to perform at Jon Boden’s folk night. So it’ll be straight in and straight out. While it is a shame – as it would be nice to stick around and enjoy the Glastonbury experience – the plus side to leaving straight after our performance is that we won’t be camping,. Me and camping don’t really get on.
The one time we did camp at a festival was rather eventful. It was at Saddleworth festival a few years ago, I was desperate for the toilet in the middle of the night and so I got up to find a bush. Being blind, this was more of a challenge than it ordinarily would be for most people, but I was so desperate for the toilet that I forgot all about not being able to see, a fact that I was soon to remember when I immediately started falling over guide ropes and tents. We’d done a particularly good gig that night and the audience had been very complimentary, but they were certainly not being complimentary now as they received a rude awakening as I tripped and stumbled over their tired and drunken bodies. Many profanities were shouted at me, and after a few minutes of floundering around falling on top of people, I eventually found a bush and promptly acted upon the suggestions of those who I had tripped over and kicked; I pissed off.
So relieved was I by my bladder expulsion that I enjoyed a brief moment of euphoria, before I eventually realised with horror that I now had to make my way back through the mass of tents, meaning more tripping and kicking. However, to make matters even worse I would somehow have to actually locate my own tent. I had left the tent open so that I could find it easier, but I knew that I had no idea which direction to head in. I had been so intent on finding somewhere to wee that I’d forgotten to try and make sure I could retrace my steps.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to find my way back and so rather than spending the rest of the night kicking and tripping over people and being sworn at, I decided to take refuge in the bush until it became light. Just as I had this thought it began to rain torrentially. An hour later I was ventrally rescued by my fellow Young’uns who had been awoken by the open tent flap slapping them in the face, as well as the rain that was blowing into their tent and soaking them to the bone. This caused them to realise that I had gone missing, and fortunately they found me desperately huddling for warmth in a rain-beaten bush.
So it’s a pity we won’t get the Glastonbury experience, but a blessing for those people camping at the festival this year.
Interview by: Simon Holland
Video: Jack Ironside
From their new album “NEVER FORGET” Jack Ironside was written by the late Graeme Miles.
We are indebted to the late Graeme Miles who wrote hundreds of songs in an incredible 20 year period that put our native Teesside on the song map. We first heard our good friend Kevin Hall sing Jack Ironside – an epic account of the birth of Ironopolis (Middlesbrough) which exploded into life following the discovery of ironstone in the Cleveland Hills in 1850. We have added the final verse ourselves to bring the story up to date. The is a live version of the song.
Copyright Graeme Miles 2014
Video recorded, produced and edited by Elly Lucas (www.ellylucas.co.uk)
More details on the Glastonbury Line-up here:
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