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Artist Name:
The Yarns
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The Yarns are a three-piece indie/folk group from Leicester and Sheffield who like to sing and sometimes dance to Irish jigs. They are fronted by Mr. John McManus (guitar, harmonica), with more than adequate support from Mr. Johnny Young (violin, guitar, bass) and Mr. Richard White (skins).


They met a while ago – 2001 probably – all attending the fine educational establishment of St. Paul’s Comprehensive School, Leicester. It was here they learnt to twang instruments in a musical fashion.  2015 came and they individually buggered off to the far-flung locations of Sheffield and Oxford, to read about Charles I and to further progress in musicalness.

In 2016, John McManus somehow managed to blag his way onto a flight to America and spent a year living in Washington D.C. Here he listened to a ridiculous amount of blues and jazz. Standing in bar after club, he watched grizzled men and women serve up the hurt and injustice of centuries into soul-splintering 3 minute slices and thought, “I wonder if I could do that”?

He couldn’t. But he did write lots of things about stuff he could write about: boring people, Leicester high street, things he shouldn’t have done, Sir Thomas Wentworth. That sort of stuff.  

In late 2005 he returned and played his new songs to his musical compadres. They liked and so John wrote some more and they began to test the songs on other people in situations known as “gigs”. Some of these happened at these places:

The Princess Charlotte, Leicester (June 06, Oct 06 Supporting New Rhodes)

Port Mahon Pub, Oxford (April 2006)

The Leadmill, Sheffield - supporting the Hazey Janes (May 2006)

The Boardwalk, Sheffield (June 2006)

The Shed, Leicester (August, October 2006)

As well as sundry other cupboards and closets in Leicestershire.

Other People

Dave Davies (Chief musical writer at the Leicester Mercury) attended one of these gigs and had this to say about it: “stream of consciousness lyrics, Dylan-esque harmonica and violins; rolling thunder!” (June 2006) Which was nice of him. The Sandman magazine also labelled our demo as “eminently listenable”, much to our delight. Leen, on myspace said, “Dear Yarns, I *heart* your band.”

28 January 2016

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