Capping another adventurous year in spectacular, dramatic style, the Mercury-nominated Tynesiders, with the orchestral arrangements of their instinctive, self taught pianist Adrian McNally, perform symphonic exploration into their best loved material plus new work specially devised for these shows, including the moving forthcoming release, ‘Hymn For Syria’.
While folk music may commonly and affectionately be defined as low culture, The Unthanks aspire to prove that the beauty and truth present in the oral history of the people is anything but common. First there was a mini orchestral experiment, not-so-quietly played out on the main stage at Glastonbury, followed last year by their highly acclaimed sold-out debut symphonic performance with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Now The Unthanks take their glorious symphonic meditations on a short tour of major concert halls with Army Of Generals – the cutting-edge chamber orchestra conducted by groundbreaking maverick Charles Hazlewood, and featuring some of the world’s leading players of period instruments.
Well known for their tangental flights of fancy, for this orchestral diversion The Unthanks have had conductor Charles Hazlewood alongside from the start. Founder of the world’s first para-orchestra and a tireless exponent and leader in bringing orchestral music to wider audiences, Hazlewood joins forces with the untrained yet highly talented Unthanks arranger McNally to marry folk music and orchestral scale with restraint and beauty, sensitively enhancing the storytelling of the Unthank sisters Rachel and Becky, rather than overwhelming them.
Following on from their extremely popular project with national champions Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, The Unthanks hope to prove again that the common folk song can have the emotional resonance and musical qualities of art forms normally perceived as having higher and more elitist reputations.
“The Unthanks have covered a lot of ground in the past decade and watching them evolve over this period has been truly. inspiring.” – Phillip Selway, Radiohead
“They run from the root of folk music to the very tip of the branch.” – Elvis Costello
“There are few times when you hear an album or discover a band and they stalk immediately to the heart of everything you love and hold dear.” – Maxine Peake
“If there was such a thing still as having a favourite band like in the old days, I’d say they were my favourite band.” – Paul Morley