Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Unthanks

5 November 2015

On Saturday we were at The Stables in Wavendon to see The Unthanks. Now celebrating their tenth anniversary, the folk group built around sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, draws on traditional Northumbrian folk tunes and styles to create beautiful, delicate hybrid music which often feels more like contemporary classical chamber music than folk. Originally known as Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, the band are serial collaborators and have been involved in an impressive list of innovative projects. These include: 'Songs from the Shipyards' – a soundtrack to accompany a documentary film by Richard Fenwick about the history of shipbuilding on the Tyne, Wear and Tees; an album of songs by Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons; and a UK tour with the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. It was fascinating to see them performing live last weekend: their quiet, gentle music definitely benefits from the concentration you more naturally give to a live concert. There was a very high quality of singing and playing and Adrian McNally's arrangements are clever and effective. While their songs demonstrate a wide variety of styles, I did find myself yearning for a few faster tunes amongst the predominantly slow, sad numbers. So it was wonderful to both sisters putting on their clogs for a more upbeat finale. I look forward to seeing watching The Unthanks' second decade.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home