Rachel Unthank and the Winterset

This article is from 2007.

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset

Northumbrian lass sings songs of plaintive beauty

The notion of abandoning the mid-Atlantic accent when singing may have finally permeated Scottish indie-land, but for the folk world making use of your own regional voice is a given. So to hear Rachel Unthank make the Geordie accent sound quite so beautiful is a wonderful surprise.

Unthank won Mojo Folk Album of the Year in 2005 with her Cruel Sister and her quartet spins out some more beguiing, swelling, lilting magic on cello, fiddle and piano and harmonious voices. Their second cut, The Bairns, out this month, continues the theme with similar grace. Sparse, considered arrangements put the singing and songs to the fore but Unthank, and her sister Becky resist indulging in any vocal gymnastics. Understated, elegant, plaintive brilliance. Go see. (Mark Robertson)

Acoustic Music Centre@St Bride’s, 19 Aug, 6.30, 9.30 & 11pm, £10 (£8).

The Unthanks and The Bevvy Sisters

The Tyneside sisters singing traditional music with a modern spin dedicate this Celtic Connections set to their interpretations of the works of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons. With close harmony support from Scotland's Bevvy Sisters. Part of Celtic Connections.

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