THE UNTHANKS (a Poem from the Westy number 21)


Tonight is the 37th of the tour and there are only two dates left. They've taken a week off

halfway through to appear on the radio with Jools Holland, record In The Bleak Midwinter

for BBC4, and just to chill out because playing somewhere new each night is just as hard

as mining three miles underground or drinking six pints of Newcastle brown each night.

Sisters Rachel and Becky (who was a wee bit ill) do the intros and talk about

Geordieland, rosé, the Mercury Music Award, Lucky Gilchrist, who wasn't that lucky

as he died the previous year, and singing sad, melancholy songs that lost me

after a few lines as they were filled with words like mair, kye, hinny, yem, barnie

and bleezin that this poor Southener didn't understand. No one else in the audience

seem to have any problems but I know most of them have seen the band before.

The octet are enthusiastic as light keep changing instruments and I count at least three

different people on the throne behind the drums. I can't take my eyes off the dulictone

on top of the piano that when strummed was as beautiful as a piece of woodland thick

with bluebells. Before Betsey Bell Rachel mentions the Penguin Café Orchestra

and during the song Becky starts clog dancing and I was taken back the that square

in Durham where I was the target of four columns of cloggers cracking the cobblestones

with their immortal shoes. Next thing I remember is being carried off to bed

waking in the morning grunting and coughing, thinking I'd caught something from Becky,

a virus carried through the air by the words mair, kye, hinny, yem, barnie and bleezin.




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John Aikman

Fri 1st Jan 2010 09:11

The Unthanks were one of the best bands I saw last year...twice, and once before that as Rachel and The Unthanks.

The best Robert Wyatt covers band my humble opinion!

: )


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