Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Unthanks

To see a terrific concert by the Northumberland sisters The Unthanks and their great band at the Komedia in Bath last night, part of the Bath International Festival of Music. Rachel and Becky's vocals providing a memerisingly complementary harmony, best heard on some of the songs from their most recent CD, particularly the haunting title track Here's the Tender Coming and the achingly evocative story of a 19th century child miner put to song originally by Frank Higgins, The Testimony of Patience Kershaw (on the YouTube link above). But their music mixes the tragic with plain good fun, including clog dancing and rousing choruses. To see them in concert with an eight-strong support band of piano, violins, trumpets, bass and ukelele is pure joy, as the capacity crowd in Bath enthusiastically agreed last night. I was not alone in being less impressed by their support act, John Smith. The Unthanks are better flying solo.

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