Belfast Telegraph

Talented folk band Unthanks are worth waiting for

The Unthanks arrived in Belfast trailing clouds of Mercury prize nominations, rave reviews in the Guardian and an endorsement by no less than Paul Morley, who enthuses about them as he once did Joy Division.

Both groups perhaps share a northern melancholy and stubborn streak, with a penchant for the numinous moment.

When, after a delayed start, the Unthanks eventually took to the stage — a mere two hours after the doors opened at 8pm — they certainly demonstrated a textured and innovative folk sound, as they showed with the opening song Twenty Long Weeks, which had some chamber music quality of Antony and the Johnsons.

Sea Song channelled the spirit of Sandy Denny in its evocative use of piano and nautical imagery.

The Unthanks are a talented and pioneering folk band, but would do well not to treat their audience with contempt.

Michael Conaghan

Belfast Telegraph

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