The Unthanks: Live at The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh 11/5/2019: Review


Tonight’s gig saw glowing and proud new mothers, Rachel and Becky Unthank, joined on stage by Niopha Keegan.

This is the nucleus of the Unthanks and the point of them really.

Yes, we missed the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, but that was OK because we knew in advance that they wouldn’t be there, and neither would the Unthanks band.

Instead, what we savoured was the most stripped of performances.

Pure, naked vocals.  Perfect harmony. No instruments other than their incredible voices.

If you don’t know the Unthanks, do yourself a favour and find out.

But here’s the pitch…”North East of England at its preternatural core”.

This IS the North East.

Most of the set is grounded there.  Folklore, ghost stories, industrial past – the Tyne features heavily.

My friends and I are essentially rock and roll guys, we do techno and electronica and dance, but mainly we do guitar based stuff.  Nevertheless, we unanimously agreed that this was music at its purest, its most spiritual, its most lovely.

A true gem of musical performance, thoroughly enjoyed by an appreciative and largely knowledgeable audience.

It was nice not to feel like the oldest people in the room for once.




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