Perth Festival

17th - 26th May 2018
Box Office: 01738 621 031

unthanks full colour band

The Unthanks May 2016

Tuesday 24th May 2016

Perth Concert Hall, 20:00

This event was part of the 2016 Festival Programme.

Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and the only British folk representation in The Guardians and Uncuts best albums of last decade (worldwide, all genres), The Unthanks have an army of notable fans, including actor Martin Freeman, Elvis Costello, Colin Firth, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Ryan Adams, Rosanne Cash, members of Portishead and Radiohead, Dawn French, Paul Morley, Ewan McGregor, Ade Edmondson and Nick Hornby. The Unthanks is a family affair for Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, with Rachel married to pianist, producer, arranger and composer, Adrian McNally. Using the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, the influence of Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits can be heard in the bands 8 albums to date, including Mount The Air, released to huge critical acclaim earlier this year.


There are no easy one-liners to capture who or what The Unthanks are. You might find them singing in a Tyneside folk club one night, and playing to 2000 Londoners the next, having performed to a primary school in the afternoon. You might find them collaborating with Adrian Utley (Portishead) one moment, and writing the score to an archive film about the shipyards the next. Or visiting Africa with Damon Albarn, Flea and Joan As Policewoman and then presenting a TV programme for BBC4 about traditional dance. Rubbing shoulders with Robert Plant, Adele, Elbow and Radiohead at the Mercurys, or in a bunkhouse on the coastline of Northumberland cooking for 50 fans on one of their residential singing weekends. Running singing sessions in the back of a pub on a Monday before heading off to tour America or Australia on the Tuesday. Signing licensing deals with EMI while continuing to record vocals in broom cupboards under the stairs. Spending 9-5 managing their own careers without agents or labels, and heading down the studio in the evening to write scores for a project with a symphony orchestra. Collaborating with Orbital while championing songs from the folk club floor singers of the North East and re-presenting them to anyone who wants to listen. Youll find them played by the folk show on BBC Radio 2, but equally by cutting edge BBC6 Music, Radio 3 and Radio 1 DJs. You might find them on the cover of a folk magazine like fRoots or in the pages of NME. For every glamorous accolade, there is an act of grounded integrity.


Recent adventures beyond their central activity a brass band collaboration with national champions Brighouse and Rastrick, a reimagining of the work of Robert Wyatt and Antony Hegarty, and a soundtrack to a film about the shipbuilding industry - plus collaborations Orbital, Sting, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Martin Green (Lau), Martin Hayes, The MacColl brothers, The Voice Squad, conductor Charles Hazlewood, The Moulettes and German composer Werner Cee.


Tickets on sale 10am Monday 28th March 2016. 
Friends book 10am Monday 21st March only £10 join online.

Related Events

Alex Horne & The Horne Section

Friday 20th May 2016

Manran, Sinderins & Claire Hastings May 2016

Saturday 21st May 2016

Nina Conti - In Your Face May 2016

Thursday 26th May 2016

KT Tunstall with support Stevie McCrorie, The Voice winner. May 2016

Friday 27th May 2016

Jools Holland 2016

Saturday 28th May 2016