FOLK band The Young ‘Uns are celebrating picking up a top industry award.
The group, which started out with a folk club in the town, is still in shock from being chosen as Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015.
Folk stars came together for the 16th annual ceremony, presented by Radio 2 Folk Show host Mark Radcliffe, at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff in front of an audience of 1,600 people.
The Young ‘Uns formed 11 years ago, and quickly set up a folk club in Hartlepool where they became regulars on the local circuit.
Pals Sean Cooney and David Eagle, both from Hartlepool, along with Michael Hughes from Stockton, have gradually made a name for themselves over the last decade, earning rave reviews both locally and nationally.
The trio, who gave up their full-time jobs in 2013 in order to turn professional, have been left stunned by their award.
David said: “We are delighted, but it just doesn’t seem real that this could happen.
“We started out all those years ago and it was just a hobby, so now to think we were there picking up the Best Group award is strange.”
The three, who are all 30 this year, met in a pub in Stockton while watching a folk gig.
Michael and Sean were friends from school days and David got talking to them.
He said: “We just shared a love of folk music and would go to the gigs, we weren’t really a band.
“In fact the name comes from the older people saying ‘are the young ‘uns going to play’ and it just became our name. Then as more people come to know about you it becomes harder to change it, so we just stuck with the Young ‘Uns.
“We could never have imagined that we would be able to make a living doing this, that this is our jobs. You hear of these things happening, but you don’t think they will happen to you.”
David said many years ago Sean was mulling over what he wanted to do with his life and said if he wasn’t a professional folk musician by the age of 30 he would get a proper job.
He said: “It is interesting that two days after he is 30, we win a Folk Award.”
The award comes just as the group starts a 27 date UK tour which kicks off at Morecambe tomorrow night and then at the Sage on Saturday.
It has been arranged to promote the group’s latest album, Another Man’s Ground, and for details visit their website www.theyounguns.co.uk