|Archive Treasures (2005–2015)|
The Unthanks — Archive Treasures (2005–2015/11th dec 2015/Jan. 15th, 2016) ≡• Robert Wyatt’s “Alfib/Alfie” complements their crystalline readings of “Sea Song”; “Sexy Sadie” starts off swinging and ends with a trademark upwardly soaring coda.
The live versions stretch their muscles: “Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk” starts as a funereal whisper and ends in Weimarian Sturm und Drang.
≡• British folk group the Unthanks took shape in 2004 under a different name, Rachel Unthank & the Winterset.
≡• Formed by sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, the Winterset released two albums and earned a loyal following in the U.K. before switching monikers in 2009. With a slightly different lineup in place — one that featured Rachel’s husband, pianist Adrian McNally, as well as fiddler Niopha Keegan and guitarist Chris Price — the Unthanks released their debut album, Here’s the Tender Coming, that same year. Here’s the Tender Coming made a big splash in Europe, where it was named one of 2009’s best releases by Mojo, The Guardian, and Uncut. After touring heavily in support of the album, the Unthanks returned to Rachel and Adrian McNally’s Northumberland home to record another batch of songs. The result, Last, was released in spring 2011. The following year saw the release of the group’s first live recordings, Diversions, Vol. 1: The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons: Live from the Union Chapel, London, Diversions, Vol. 2: The Unthanks with Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, and Diversions, Vol. 3: Songs from the Shipyards. Mount the Air, the group’s first studio album in four years, arrived in early 2015. ~ Andrew Leahey
Formed: 2009 in Northumbria, England
Location: Ryton on the banks of the Tyne ~ Northumbria, England
Album release: 11th dec 2015
Record Label: RabbleRouser Music
01. 2000 Miles (Christmas Single 2015) 2:04
02. On A Monday Morning (Live From TFF Rudolstadt, Germany 2009) 4:49
03. I Wish, I Wish (Live From Melbourne, Australia 2008) 6:55
04. Blue Bleezin Blind Drunk (Live From Holywell Music Room 2008) 5:26
05. Close The Coalhouse Door (Live From The Tyne Theatre, Newcastle 2011) 7:55
06. Alifib/Alifie (Live From Brighton Dome 2012) 9:27
07. The Gallowgate Lad (Live From The Tyne Theatre, Newcastle 2011) 5:53
08. Felton Lonnin (BBC Radio 1 Rob Da Bank Session) 5:09
09. Tar Barrel In Dale (BBC Radio 2 Radcliffe And Maconie Session) 3:54
10. Queen Of Hearts (Alt Demo 2009) 5:28
11. Sexy Sadie (Recording For Mojo Magazine’S White Album) 6:28
12. A Dream Of A Tree In A Spanish Graveyard (Feat. Ian McMillan From Harbour Of Songs 2012) 3:03
13. Oak, Ash And Thorn (Recorded For The Peter Bellamy Oak, Ash Thorn Project) 6:19
14. The Unthank Family Band (Recorded At Hartlepool Folk Club 2000) 4:00
℗ 2015 RabbleRouser Music
≡• “If folk music is life, and for life, then ten years is nothing, right? We mean to go on, for as long as our togetherness supports and not stifles our mutual creativity. No need for best–of cash–ins or fond retrospectives just yet. This collection is more an exercise in housekeeping. The potential riches gathering dust on my studio shelves have long needed investigation and order. I’ve spent many hours in the last month listening back (not all of it was good!), to bring together a small selection of snapshots across our first 10 years. It’s a little ‘warts and all’ in places, but we hope you enjoy it for that. We’ve also tried to round up some pieces that until now have only been available on disparate sources and bring them together for you in one place. Rather than a summary of the last 10 years (whole chunks of our history are absent from it), this record is more like the missing jigsaw pieces. Its satisfying that our brief period with Stef Conner at the piano gets some documentation here, for instance. It could easily have been a double CD, so it’s not completist exactly, but certainly we can now go forward with slightly tidier studio shelves and head space to relish the next 10
years.” — Adrian McNally, Oct 2015. Taken from the sleeve notes of Archive Treasures (2005 — 2015)
The box includes
The Unthanks Archive Treasures
≡• A 70 minute + CD of rarities, exclusive live tracks, demos and outtakes, featuring a new Christmas single (listen to it on the promo video), an unreleased live version of Robert Wyatt’s Alifie/Alifib, never–before–heard Winterset recordings, BBC session tracks, childhood folk–club snapshots and much more. The CD also includes tracks such as Tar Barrel in Dale, Sexy Sadie and Oak, Ash and Thorn, which have previously only been available on compilation albums featuring other acts.
The Unthanks On Film
≡• A 90+ DVD including a feature length film of the Mount The Air tour, live from Newcastle City Hall, plus archive extras including beautiful footage from Abbey Road of Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, the Shipyards films from Horncliffe Mansion and our animated single videos.
The Unthanks Songbook
≡• A 60 page book of our favourite song words, including original cuttings from our own songbooks.
The Unthanks Kitchen
≡• At last! By popular demand of our singing weekenders, a recipe book of dishes made at our Northumberland winter weekends.
The Unthanks Unsung
≡• A 30 pages for you for you to start your own songbook.
The first ever Unthanks 7” single
≡• ..featuring 2000 Miles and Tar Barrel in Dale.
2 Art Prints
≡• by Becky Unthank and Natalie Rae Reed (artist for Mount the Air cover)
≡• by Natalie Rae Reed
A handful of snaps
≡• A signed screen–printed card
* A scrap book of tour diaries and never before seen photos released next year, will complete the box. This is not included in the price of the box. *
* Only the Archive CD will be available separately. The other items will only be available in this limited edition set. When they’re gone, they’re gone! *
≡• So that’s a 70 min CD, 90 min DVD, 3 books, 2 postcards, 7″single, signed card, 2 prints and a bunch of photos…
Description: In quiet, understated celebration of their 10th anniversary, The Unthanks release a 76 minute CD of rarities, exclusive live tracks, demos & outtakes.
Achive Treasures (2005–2015) could be described as a fan album and really illustrates how free and uninhibited the musical philosophy of The Unthanks has been over 10 years.
≡• There is no greater contrast on the record than listening to snapshots of childhood folk clubs recordings, next to a previously unreleased live version of Robert Wyatt s Alifib/Alifie, illustrating a bravery and willingness to weather judgement from listeners and critics with musical vocabulary and listening habits less expansive, but ultimately a readiness to believe in the universality of music and the open–mindedness of their audience.
≡• Organised on the record in sections, the album features never–before–heard Winterset recordings, live recordings of the 10 piece Unthanks from Newcastle s Tyne Theatre, radio session tracks, childhood folk–club snapshots, a new Christmas single, a very different work–in–progress version of Queen of Hearts, 3 years before it appeared as a single on Last, plus tracks which have previously only been available on compilation albums featuring other acts, such as crowd favourite Tar Barrel in Dale, The Beatles Sexy Sadie, Peter Bellamy s Oak, Ash and Thorn and from Adrian McNally s Harbour of Songs album, a collaboration with fellow Barnsley–ite, poet Ian McMillan.
By D. J. Franklin VINE VOICE on 27 Dec. 2015; Score: ****
≡• It seems serendipitous that as I sit here the day after Boxing Day catching up with reviews and finishing the last of the port and stilton that the first song to spring from this collection of rarities, outtakes and demos is a newly recorded version of The Pretenders 2000 Miles, a song which has become part of the contemporary musical canon. And like acts such as The Cadbury Sisters today and a whole plethora of folk acts before them, the selling point is the vocal delivery. Very little music gets in the way and that showcases just how brilliant it is and their idiosyncratic Northumbrian twang just adds to the enjoyment.
≡• As a collection it shows just how uninhibited they are in their musical philosophy, mixing traditional folk modes with a more eclectic approach and thus appealing to the old school, pipe and beard set and a whole tranche of new fans and followers.
≡• Collectors and music lovers alike will revel in an alternative demo of Queen of Hearts, The Beatles Sexy Sadie, Peter Bellamy’s Oak, Ash and Thorn and a previously unreleased live version of Robert Wyatt’s Alifib/Alifie. As a tenth anniversary release it is a wonderful snapshot of a band that encompasses both a work in progress and part of the alt–folk establishment. If folk music is life, then 10 years is only a short passage but what The Unthanks have done in that time is outstanding, here’s to the next ten.
David Honigman; December 18th, 2015; Score: ****
≡• Rachel and Becky Unthank are sisters, born seven and a half years apart, who grew up in Ryton, Tyne and Wear. Rachel graduated from Glasgow University and Becky went to Manchester Metropolitan University. Their father, George Unthank, is an interior designer and a well–known local Northumberland folk singer in a group called the Keelers, named after the boatmen who sailed the Tyne. Their mother sings in folk choirs.
≡• Rachel is married to group member Adrian McNally who is also the group’s manager, musical arranger and producer. They have two sons: George, born in 2011; and Arthur, born in 2014.
|Archive Treasures (2005–2015)|