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Rachel Unthank & The Winterset

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Subject: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: black walnut
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 03:35 PM

I (a Canadian) was in England last fall and picked up, on a fluke, a WONDERFUL cd called "The Bairns" by Rachel Unthank & The Winterset. I'd never heard of this group before, but fell in love with it right from the start. I see that it is up for Best Album in the BBC Folk Awards.

Just wondering who here has seen Rachel Unthank with / without The Winterset - and could you offer some personal reflections?

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 05:29 PM

Only heard a couple of tracks on The Radio ! My First thought was " Another Kate Rusby Clone" !


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 05:39 PM

Saw Rachel and the girls at Rivelin Folk Festival last year and was impressed with the singing and performance. Hope to see them again at some point.
You can find them on Youtube. Click on the link.
Best wishes, Mike.
Rachel Unthank and the Winterset.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: gnomad
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 06:14 PM

You might like their earlier cd too, called Cruel Sister, also on the Rabble Rouser label (RR005)

I like both discs, but find the earlier one slightly less dark, and the songs are treated in a more traditional fashion, which is more to my taste. Hearing these performers up close and acoustic is a bit good and George Unthank (father of B&R) has always been worth hearing too. Another case where sister harmonies seem to do something a bit special.

I don't know which tracks Leadfingers heard, but on some tracks I can understand his reaction up to a point. There is a fashion among young female singers (or maybe among their promoters) for a slightly breathy sound I personally call saccharine, which does make the odd appearance on these discs. I don't think it detracts too much in this case.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 09:49 PM

I saw them at Bromyard FF in 2006, they were filling in for some other band who were in a snit at the time.
They weren't bad although their patter between songs seemed a bit scripted.
I seem to remember that the one on Piano was not a family member and had been in another group previously.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 09:42 AM

The Unthank sisters, who have been around for several years, come from (and sound it) the North-East corner of England and anything less like the prettyfied South Yorkshire of the kRusby is hard to imagine.

They formed the Winterset about three years ago with Belinda O'Hooley (who certainly lives in Yorkshire but sounds Estuary-ish) on keyboards and Jackie Oates with a voice from Cheshire/Staffordshire heading South-West (who has since left) on 5-string viola. After auditioning every other viola player from the known universe, they finally decided on London-Irish Niopha Keegan who had to come North anyway to manage the Toon Army (for the elucidation of transatlantic people I made that last bit up).


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Santa
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 11:01 AM

I've seen them, I enjoyed them live, I like some of their songs and their treatment of the music. Bairns is a good CD. As a Geordie I'm biased in their favour but find the voices a bit weak to be contenders for "Best of year". I'm a little surprised that they are quite as successful as they are, but more power to their elbows, and I shall buy their next CD too.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Banjiman
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 11:09 AM

I've got to say I don't quite get them, I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about.....just probably shows that I've got absolutely no taste!

Clearly got a very effective marketing operation....and fair play to them for that.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,cardboard cutout
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 12:08 PM

Just read elsewhere that it is now officially acknowledged that Belinda O'Hooley is leaving/has left the Winterset.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 01:08 PM

"officially acknowledged that Belinda O'Hooley is leaving/has left the Winterset."

That's a shame, she was the best thing in it... but it'll be interesting to see what she does next.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: black walnut
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 10:19 AM

This has been a tremendous read...thank you! I look forward to future entries.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:29 AM

Go Belinda, go!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: the button
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:37 AM

I think they'll really miss Belinda's piano -- it was what made a lot of their arrangements musically interesting. I've got both the CDs, although I listen to The Bairns more regularly -- a bit darker, and (in my opinion at least) a more mature set of performances.

I've seen them live a couple of times, and they do seem more prepared to "let rip" vocally when on stage. Or perhaps it was a conscious decision to make the voices a bit more winsome & breathy in the studio production. There's no denying they do have "young" voices, but then they're young lasses, and I look foward to hearing them mature both musically & stylistically. They were certainly a real "find" for me last year.

(This from a man who spends most of the time listening to Peter Bellamy, Walter Pardon & The Watersons -- so hardly a follower of the more 'easy listening' camp ;-))


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,not a geordie
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:44 AM

I'd like them a lot better if they sang in tune. All the breathy winsomeness, floaty dresses and good marketing in the world is ultimately just smoke and mirrors if, at the end of the day, an artist can't hit (or stay on) the note.

They need some time with a good vocal coach. If they win best anything (except "girly folk marketing of the year") this year it'll be a travesty.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:55 AM

Their harmonies are at times just a tad suspect.
I put it down to a justifiably outraged reaction to being referred to as "girls".


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: mattkeen
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:57 AM

I agree with the button -

Also have been listening to the Voice of the People a lot recently and there's quite a few on there who don't seem really all that bothered if they are "hitting" the note or holding it either, as long as there heart and soul is in the performance.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:21 AM

And isn't it refreshing to see a band unfraid to throw in the odd Robert Wyatt and Bonny 'Prince' Billy cover (two of the most consistently interesting purveyors of new music of the last forty years) amongst the nicely individualistic arrangements of traditional songs.

Really don't get the 'winsome' thing some people have referred to on this thread. I suspect these women are well 'ard...

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,not a geordie
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:55 AM

"Also have been listening to the Voice of the People a lot recently and there's quite a few on there who don't seem really all that bothered if they are "hitting" the note or holding it either, as long as there heart and soul is in the performance."

There's a big difference between a source singer who has always sung in their local pub or sitting room with passion and conviction, and some pretty lasses with okay-ish voices who are being put through the EMI marketing machine.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: mattkeen
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 09:06 AM

OOh

Bitter and twisted are we


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,not a geordie
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 09:34 AM

just realistic.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: the button
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 10:16 AM

Here's the announcement re: Belinda leaving, from their latest mailing: -

The Winterset and Belinda O'Hooley part ways.
Bit of a surprise, isn't it. As you can probably tell with the way we've slipped it in amongst some other news, we don't want to make a big deal of it. We know there are fans who will want to know every detail, but we hope you will appreciate that as a band, we have undergone a period of personal trauma, we're feeling bruised and tired, and would prefer a minimum of fuss and questions.

We would really prefer to maintain a dignified silence and not pass comment on the parting at all, but that is how we handled our departure with Jackie Oates, and it only led to speculation and incorrect assumptions.

The situation with Belinda is very complex and one that has been foreseeable for some time. It is far more complicated, but in essence, Belinda didn't want to be in the band anymore, for personal reasons outside of the band, which we will not disclose or speculate on. Consequently, the more successful we became, and the more commitments we were afforded, the more untenable Belinda's position in the band became. Any piece of good news for the band was essentially bad news for Belinda, because it meant doing more of something she didn't want to do. Her unwillingness to embrace and naivety about the increased commitments that come with success meant that we were having to say no to opportunities, and we were finding ourselves in embarrassing and unprofessional situations.

Belinda was self-willed enough to say no to things we needed to do, but not strong enough to say she didn't want to be in the band, creating an unnecessarily long period of confusion and conflict. Given that we had all made a pact to commit to a full time year on the band, this was a big let down. So although losing Belinda is undoubtedly a blow to us in some respects, it is a relief in others, much as it will undoubtedly and understandably be a relief to Belinda. It allows us to continue performing and creating without the demoralising effect of someone in our ranks pulling in the opposite direction.

We mean no malice towards Belinda in communicating any of this. We hope we have imparted information, rather than opinion, and kept our opinions to ourselves. We gravely doubt our wisdom in communicating anything at all about the split in public, but the rumour-mongering that followed the last change in line-up upset us in a very deep way. The response this time is one made in defence, not attack, and with regret.

It will come as a surprise to many - given the success we have had in the past six months, and the euphoric, celebratory atmosphere of our shows - that we have been suffering from such stressful inner-wranglings. We hope you don't feel tricked! It has been very hard, for us all...including Belinda.

The response from audiences to our shows in the past six months has been a real source of encouragement, for which we are very grateful. The last thing we want to do is wash dirty linen in public, or taint good memories we have had in the past few years, but past experience has told us that if you don't speak for yourself, no one will! Or is it "everyone will"?!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:37 AM

I've just had the list too. It continues:

2007 involved taking on a new band member, family bereavement, making an intense album in difficult circumstances, unexpected amounts of acclaim and success, undermined by losing a band member. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster, and we're just glad it's 2008! Wooo!!

New member Stephanie Conner
We have been very lucky to find 24 year old pianist Stephanie Conner, who we are currently locked away with in intensive rehearsals! Stef is an amazing player, with experience in classical, jazz, folk and contemporary accompaniment. She has a degree and masters in music from York University, and is currently doing a PHD in composition. We have taken on Stef so that we can continue to tour in support of The Bairns.

We are taking the album overseas in the next few months, and then we return for some bigger UK shows in May and June, and some festivals too. Stef is most definitely an honorary member of the Winterset, and pivotal to our plans right now. The future is open for her to become a full time member when it comes to whatever we do next. There is no doubt we will continue to use piano, hopefully with Stef.

However, it has never been our plan for the next album to be quite so centrally dominated by piano accompaniment. In this sense, losing Belinda is not quite the problem it might have been. Belinda is such a big character, that a less dominant role might not have been fulfilling enough anyway. We realise there will be some fans who will worry that the loss of our main accompanist will leave us without our trademark unconventional soundscape.

While we don't want to take anything away from Belinda's input, the artistic vision (if we have any!) has always been and remains within the band as a whole. Whatever you play or sing in our band, sometimes you'll be author of your own performance, sometimes you'll be a technician of an idea from someone else in the band, or of an idea that was mapped out for a whole song or even album. Only time will tell what the future holds, but we hope we can continue to please ourselves and yourselves.

For your interest, and for balance, here is Belinda's announcement, which can be seen on her myspace.
" It is with a mixture of regret and relief that I have left Rachel Unthank & the Winterset. I have enjoyed much of being a part of this band, especially the warmth and humour underlying our music – I will always have fond memories of the past few years and of the music we created and performed together both with the hugely talented Jackie Oates and more recently with equally fab Niopha Keegan.

I wish Rachel, Becky & Niopha well. The decision to leave was a very difficult one, but one I am happy with. I will now be managing my own career and I am very much looking forward to a bright future in folk music – who knows what opportunities may cross my path…Maybe Bonnie Tyler will finally ask me to duet with her! Well, dreams aside, I've already started writing songs…see you soon xx"


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole catcher's Apprentice
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:42 AM

"some pretty lasses with okay-ish voices who are being put through the EMI marketing"

exactly.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM

What trivialising sexist tripe.
These women are serious professional musicians.
Personally, I have some doubts about certain aspects of their work and direction.
But they are performing their art in the way they want to.
Which it is their right to do without any regard for meaningless snipes from a Guest Rodent who wouldn't recognise musical talent, skill and professionalism if it bit him on the backside.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 12:19 PM

Haven't heard a huge amount of their work; but IMO being pitch-perfect as a singer is often an over-rated virtue. Diction, phrasing and above all emotional commitment are all probably more important when it comes to getting across the sense of the song.

(then again I am probably biased...)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 01:23 PM

>>>>>What trivialising sexist tripe!<<<<< Different people have differing levels of musical appreciation and I believe we should respect others comments and reply to them in a civil manner......


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 01:33 PM

Different people have differing levels of musical appreciation

What, in the name of tarnished teapots, has this to do with pathetic blokes who attempt to demean women musicians with ridiculous descriptions such as "pretty lasses" and "girls"?

Says a lot more about them . . .


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,not a geordie
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 01:36 PM

"IMO being pitch-perfect as a singer is often an over-rated virtue."

true. but going noticibly flat and having a hard time sticking to the tune isn't really cricket. They should take some time off and work with a good vocal coach. At the moment Diane Easby, it's hard not to trivialise what they do because unfortunately, when you get picked up by a big publicity machine for a major label, it's often about your whole "package", which is as much based on image as sound. Not everyone on that level is there for reasons other than talent. I think Kate Rusby is a great talent for instance, and don't have time for those who begrudge her success. But The Unthank girlies look like girlies, and sound like girlies, and cannot hold a tune particularly well. But they do look nice in floaty frocks. It is this that makes them an attractive prospect to a big label like EMI.

I am not surprised that they have parted with Belinda. She doesn't exactly fit the package, does she? And I remember hearing that they treated Jackie Oates pretty shabbily at the time of parting.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 01:55 PM

Now Shirley Collins and Norma Waterson and Sandy Denny..role models indeed when it comes to women singers..and in a vastly different league to the current crop...oh and Diane Easby, you only associate apprentices as being male...what sexist tripe!*LOL*


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 02:14 PM

Well, MCP (I mean A) I have only the word of a Sidmouth Seagull to go on as far as your gender is concerned.
So could oh so easily be wrong.
As for women singers as role models, I have nothing whatsoever against the three you manage to name.
Though a bit obvious.

You need to look into:
Queen Caroline Hughes
Mary Ann Carolan
Julia Clifford
Sophie Legge
Margaret Barry
Cecilia Costello
May Bradley
Lizzie Higgins
Mary Ann Haynes
Phoebe Smith

and so on.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 02:57 PM

Ray Fisher


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:38 PM

well if you insist on being pretentious, my dear, you forgot

Belle Stewart
Sarah Makem
Jeannie Robertson
Rose Murphy (who also played a very good fiddle)
Daisy Bulwer
Nora Cleary
Amy Birch
Lal Waterson
Anne Briggs
Alice Webb
Angela Brazil
Doris Davies
Joan Taylor


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's "Guest" Apprentice
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM

the list does, indeed, go on and on, but why bother, listening is infinitely preferable to arguing the toss.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM

My list was confined to just a few song carriers of whom I have personal experience.
Not interspersed with revivalists or names made up on the spot.
In the school yard there was a game we played called "Film Stars".
You called out the initials and the one behind you had to guess the star (or something like that).
I invented them all the time.

And to the anonymous 'guest' who mistook me for a forest animal with antlers (probably the same one who is learning to be an apprentice), wrong, I don't have horns.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:27 PM

All the breathy winsomeness, floaty dresses and good marketing in the world is ultimately just smoke and mirrors if, at the end of the day, an artist can't hit (or stay on) the note.

Well a quick look at the pictures on their website shows them exactly 50% in trousers and 50% in dresses. But then don't let the facts spoil a good story.

And no doubt their sheer inability to sing properly will eventually be spotted by the people who have given them prizes and accolades and the audiences that will go and see them in Ireland and Australia.

These things do work out you know. (At least in the folk world)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Female Apprentice
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:32 PM

The Brazil Family would be disappointed *LOL*
might I will commend to your attention the following, which I recieved as a birthday gift
The Complete Voice Of The People

Down By The Old Riverside. The Brazil Family MTCD345-7

In Memory of... Lizzie Higgins. MTCD337-8

Alice Webb, Angela Brazil, Doris Davies, Joan Taylor all appear on the aforementioned Down By The Old Riverside.

My musical education has been quite extensive, thanks in big part to my father and my late mother, and I have contiued that education ever since.
that previous guest was me...

Transmission Ends


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:45 PM

Alice Webb
Angela Brazil
Doris Davies
Joan Taylor


Yeah I know. The names are also those of novelists (of a sort).
Wondered if you knew the difference since you have such a problem distinguishing tradition bearers from revivalists.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 05:05 PM

The disagreement about vocal quality is perfectly respectable. But all the pretty lasses and floaty dresses stuff, though entertaining in its own way, is irrelevant to any question of merit.

So are the jibes about EMI marketing. As a journalist who reviewed the album (very favourably as it happens but, as I never tire of saying, I am just a fan with a platform), I can honestly say I was aware of no marketing campaign apart from John Crosby's. Living in France then, and subsequently in the Middle East (again writing about it, at my website Salut! Live ), doubtless protected me from this corrupting influence.

Am I so untypical of the album's reviewers in listening to John's customary enthusiasm but forming my own view? John is an excellent publicist but hardly earns his crust from corporate pop or pop/folk.

Oh, and how refreshing to see musicians (Unthanks and Hooley alike) giving frank explanations about breaking up instead of the usual dishonest gloss.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 05:12 PM

Without wishing to cast nasturtiums on the album in question, one can't deny the influence of EMI in terms of wider exposure, advertising, etc. It certainly helped Seth Lakeman a few years ago, and it's disingenuous to pretend it hasn't given the Winterset a bit of a leg-up in terms of exposure, award nominations, etc.

Never mind floaty frocks - what I want to know is why they don't seem to own a pair of shoes between them...


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Santa
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 05:16 PM

It's a bit sad when I can't call an attractive young woman less than half my age a "lass" without being labelled as "pathetic". Not that I actually did or was..... but I could have done, quite naturally. In the North East, the term "lass" is not actually linked to age. Or it wasn't when I lived there, and I call my wife "lass" at some times without either of us considering her in the slightest demeaned by it.

It seems that here we have a case of dialect language use being mistaken for something else, with a strong tone of political correctness where it is neither political not correct. Any such misuse is to be opposed, wherever found.

However, whatever their true range of musical abilities, the Winterset, particularly the Unthanks, do use their youth as part of their image and performance. Therefore it is justifiable to use "young" terms when describing them, providing comment is not restricted to that, as though there was nothing more to say.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 06:31 PM

Diane...for goodness sake 'Get A Life' and leave the poor backwoodsmen and other males who are not of your ilk to get on with their own lives and their opinions. Men are allowed to be attracted to women the same as women are allowed to.....oh what the heck...just get a life Diane!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 06:53 PM

Oh for God's sake lets just cut the crap,

they're shite, not doing anything positive for traditional music, just for their own EMI money grabbing ego's and they can't sing for toffee! Here's to Jackie and Belinda for realising they're worth much more and moving on. Now we can all sit back with a glass of bubbly and watch the Unthank ship go down, hooray!!!

A triumph of genuine folk over Radio 2 mass media drivvel


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:31 PM

I just noticed that it's two years since I put Cruel Sister onto iTunes and had only listened back once so I played it to find out why. Yes, that's why.

So the battered, dirty old teapot has spent tonight (as every night) polishing his spout with Silvo over a spread of Page 3s.

Meanwhile, while watching this (mostly) tripe unfold, I put half a dozen triple hornpipe MP3s on a loop, transcribed the parts, played them with the notation then without and next I'll record them to hear whether they're playable out yet later in the week.

It seems very hard for some around here to believe, but I actually won't be in the slightest bit concerned what anyone happens to think of me but whether the music is good enough.

Whose life is the richer? Press the red buttons on your handsets now . . .


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: SarahNash
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 11:37 AM

To go back to the original discussion about the music....

I enjoyed The Bairns and interpreted it as an album with largely traditional music done in a pop music style. Yes, so it's not got the strongest vocals in the world and it probably won't appeal to a lot of hardcore folkies, but it's a strong crossover album that might just bring traditional song to a wider audience (note "traditional", rather than the acousic singer songwriter-y stuff that any Kate Rusby track that makes radio airplay seems to be...)

And just for the record, I have long despised the girly folk sound. Sometimes, just sometimes, the arrangements matter more.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 01:47 PM

Glad to see that there are others in the world who haven't been taken in by what I see as a stunning example of the Emperor's New Clothes.

I was in the third row for their set at Bromyard FF 06 that someone above mentioned, and have seen them at various other points as well.

The problem with live performance in the folk world is that, when all the image, marketing, CD production etc is stripped away, you are left with musicians who stand or fall on their ability to perform. The Winterset fall, for me, because the Unthank sisters cannot sing. The world has been blinded by the (previous) involvement of some great accompanying musicians and some stunning, vicious, manipulative and pushy marketing by Adrian McNally, but it can last only so long...


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Another Guest
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 02:37 PM

>>For your interest, and for balance, here is Belinda's announcement, which can be seen on her myspace.

" It is with a mixture of regret and relief that I have left Rachel Unthank & the Winterset. I have enjoyed much of being a part of this band, especially the warmth and humour underlying our music – I will always have fond memories of the past few years and of the music we created and performed together both with the hugely talented Jackie Oates and more recently with equally fab Niopha Keegan.

I wish Rachel, Becky & Niopha well. The decision to leave was a very difficult one, but one I am happy with. I will now be managing my own career and I am very much looking forward to a bright future in folk music – who knows what opportunities may cross my path…Maybe Bonnie Tyler will finally ask me to duet with her! Well, dreams aside, I've already started writing songs…see you soon xx"<<<


May I suggest that the Winterset's remaining members learn from the modest message that Belinda has left, which contains no bitterness, no unpleasantness and no tale-telling. It is totally lacking in self-pity or angst, making no excuses, nor pointing any fingers.

To say nothing is by the far best way. People may then speculate, true, but what does that matter. The people concerned are the ones who know what happened and it should rest with them. It is of no business to anyone else.

Might I also take this opportunity to wish Belinda, and her former colleagues well, in whatever lies ahead for them all.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 03:23 PM

(Yet) Another Guest: why don't you read the thread?
I already posted that @ 11:37 AM yesterday, way, way above.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Another Guest
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 04:38 PM

I did indeed read the thread Diane Easby. That is where I took the message from. Your post. After I had read it in full. I then decided to comment upon it.

May I suggest you think more before you post to a thread.

Any further messages I reply to will have the name of the author added thus avoiding this confusion by those who seemingly post before they think, perhaps through being in a hurry to merely try to seem clever.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: John Routledge
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 05:42 PM

Heard The Winterset three months ago in Manchester at The Royal Northern College of Music - not as you may imagine a typical Folk Venue.

Really enjoyed the performance as a one-off and even bought the "Bairns" CD.

The frequent reference to "traditional" however did little to disguise the fact that the arrangements had altered the songs so much - more than I would normally be happy with. Stimulating interesting stuff nonetheless.

Belinda was VERY talented and funny and sang three of her own songs very well. She seemed however very much an add-on and will no doubt find success as a more talented musically version of Victoria Wood.

We knew we were taking a risk seeing them but it was a risk well worth taking.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: KeithofChester
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:13 AM

Diane wrote: "I just noticed that it's two years since I put Cruel Sister onto iTunes and had only listened back once so I played it to find out why. Yes, that's why."

Cruel Sister left me more or less completely unmoved too. As a consequence it took me quite a while to heed the recommendations of both Phil Beer and Diane and give Jackie Oates a try.

Eventually Phil took her with him as a guest on his solo tour last Spring, so I got to hear Jackie live and found her really good. I wasn't the only one in the audience impressed either.

I can't say that what I've heard of The Bairns impressed me either. As for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nomination as best folksinger, well that is about as believable as Ringo being nominated for a Brit Award for Best Vocalist!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Sparkles
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:53 AM

Shows you what hype and PR from a big commercial company (with money to make) can do. Don't anyone try to tell me that the connection between that and the award is pure coincidence. I find the singing fine but ORDINARY. What's all the fuss about?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:43 AM

Anyone who finds Becky Unthank's voice 'ordinary' needs to wash out their ears.

This is the most negative thread I've ever read online and the guests who get a kick out of knocking a hard working group of young people, who are in this for the love of music, not FOR whatever agenda EMI has for them, should be ashamed of themselves. But they won't be, because they are just bitter twisted people. This has nothing to do with not really liking what they see and hear, it's to do with enjoying the fun of upsetting people.

Mudcap has always been a forum for self opinionated idiots.

ALLAN WILKINSON - DONCASTER
I don't hide behind guest annonimity.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:44 AM

I agree with you Allan


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:52 AM

Well said Allan..but what you must accept is that some people on here consider themselves to be great authorities on what is 'good' music and what isn't....they just can't accept that people like us can have our personal likes and dislikes....they just have to be right and will say anything to try to prove their point.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Banjiman
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:05 AM

Guest Alan Wilkinson......let's not get confused here.....I agree with you about hiding behind "guest" postings .....but I still don't think RU & The Winterset are that special....I also accept that this might be my own poor taste, as I posted above.

Good luck to them though, I don't pretend to be an authority....I just have a view and I'm absolutely not bitter!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:17 AM

Alan, Mike, fair's fair: GUEST, Sparkles only said that he/she found the singing ordinary. Personal view. Full stop. Now, everyone is entitled to one of those, surely. Without needing to be told to wash their ears, just for having the temerity to voice an opinion. Let's put the baseball bats away, now... :-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:33 AM

Hi George...My comment was aimed at a few people on this thread rather than one guest. Allan was talking about the negativity on the thread and that is what I was responding to.
Best wishes, Mike.
PS When will we be seeing you at Gainsborough again?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 08:55 AM

Ah, OK - I get it.
Hmm, dunno - we nearly put something together with Les and Sue, then it didn't work out. Should be passing that way in September, I think.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: nutty
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 09:14 AM

Whatever your opinion of the Unthank girls -   (some will like them - some not) You have to accept that , young as they are, they have already contributed a huge amount to folk music.

Like Kate Rusby, they were raised in the tradition, both with folk song and dance and I for one admire them for trying to bring something new and fresh to the folk scene.

These are not young upstarts but two girls who have served an extremely long probation and I wish them lots of success.
If folk music is to keep on growing we need youngsters like these.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 09:25 AM

Nutty...maybe you mean apprenticeship?

On the other hand.... :-)

Probation.... n.

1. A process or period in which a person's fitness, as for work or membership in a social group, is tested.

2. a. Law The act of suspending the sentence of a person convicted of a criminal offense and granting that person provisional freedom on the promise of good behavior.

2. b. A discharge for a person from commitment as an insane person on condition of continued sanity and of being recommitted upon the reappearance of insanity.

3. A trial period in which a student is given time to try to redeem failing grades or bad conduct.

4. The status of a person on probation.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: nutty
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 09:38 AM

Perhaps I do, Twick

BUT - point 1 on your list, well covers what I was meaning.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Pop Bottle
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 11:12 AM

Arrived new to this forum, because I was trying to find out about Belinda O'Hooley's departure -- whichever way you look at it, a great pity for those who loved and admired The Bairns.

I appreciate that Mudcat is principally for dyed-in-the-mud, stick-in-the-wool folk enthusiasts, and not for Americana-loving, Cambridge-going jessies like me, but for what it's worth, I'd say the Unthanks on The Bairns can't be accused of failing to take English roots music in new directions, and performing it passionately, while being honest in their commitment to its origins.

Their musicianship and singing is a different question - I happen to think they are decent singers with strong, distinctive voices (especially Rachel), which for me is more important than absolute tunefulness. But even if you don't like their voices and don't like their sound, the music is unquestionably strong and committed and original. Anyone who reckons it is "easy-listening" or "winsome" inhabits a different universe from me.

It will be a great shame if they lose direction from losing Belinda, but for The Bairns at least, they deserve all the plaudits they get.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 01:39 PM

"A Forum For Self Opinionated Idiots"

I think that'd make a GREAT banner headline for the Mudcat homepage!
LOL


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 03:09 PM

Thanks for the input Gene, much appreciated *LOL*
(I knew I couldn't say that with a straight face)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 03:31 PM

Always a pleasure, Moley, always a pleasure.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM

I have NO opinion about this group, and know next to nothing about the subgenre of British folk-or-maybe-it's-not-folk music. But here's my input:

Someone up there among the earlier posts seemed to imply that heartfelt, soulful, expressive singing that may be less that perfectly pitched is acceptable only when practiced by "source singers," but not on the part of current-day young artists. I beg to differ! Musical expression of any kind is valid insofar as listeners hear it as meaningful ~ whatever the listener might know about the performers' age or background is completely irrelevant. (If it's OK for some dead singer to be "ragged but right," it's OK for you or me as well!)

I'd also like to note that I found the explanations of the break-up very interesting and appropriate. Enough information, but not too much, and absolutely no self-justiying posturing and no finger-pointing. Whatever their merits as musicians, these young women all seem to know how to behave as human beings.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 04:04 PM

I must have been Mr Angry this morning, as I appear to have made the following obvious errors:

1. Spelt anonymity in an alien language
2. Emphasised the word FOR instead of NOT (just woke up syndrome)
3. Referred to this site as Mudcap!!!
4. Remarked that this is the most negative thread I've ever read, which later in the day I realise it isn't. Most contributers have been fair.

The band have always brought me joy and so some may feel my opinion is a little biased. The difference is, there are dozens of artists on the folk scene who I feel are truly awful, but I keep it to myself. Although my reaction looked like it was aimed at GUESTSparkles for the 'ordinary' comment, it wasn't really. My goat was got by the vile comment supplied by GUEST at 6.53pm yesterday.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:48 PM

"A Forum For Self Opinionated Idiots"
so......is someone going to start a thread......? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,fawn
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 04:54 AM

it's all about their darkest moments, that's what makes them so special. They are certainly not a kate rusby clone for anyone interested. they are fab, especially on their second CD, and live you won't regret spending £10 so try it.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 04:56 AM

OK, Allan, smack-smack & brush-brush (or "kiss and make up" in "Bottom" parlance) :-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,stupid, you are
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 05:11 AM

i think, MCA it was you that started it. get over yourself and stop wasting people's time who would like to discuss this band normally. I for one thought i had left the playground years ago. reading the forum today i can see i am wrong. grow up. if you dont like them, stop coming of the bloody website.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 05:37 AM

"you won't regret spending £10 so try it"

Oh i think i might


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: mattkeen
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:30 AM

I really am fed up with anonymous cryptic posts


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Banjiman
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:55 AM

I'm with you Matt...what do people think is going to happen to them if they actually use their Mudcat name? What are they scared of?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 07:27 AM

Somebody might guess who they are and come to an informed conclusion.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: oggie
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 07:43 AM

Three points -

I've not seen them live but I'm not that impressed by the YouTube clips. There's some nice ideas there but they don't persuade me to buy one of their CDs but I'll reserve judgement until I've had chance to see them.

If EMI (or any other major) want to spend their money on a folk act then good luck to them, may they have enough success to persuade some more to follow suit. Some may quibble that "it's not the real thing" but gateways to the music are always needed and I'd rather the money came this way than into another X-Factor clone.

Thirdly, putting your name to posts does seem to make for a more civilised discussion.

Steve Ogden


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 11:21 AM

"if you dont like them...." don't what?*LOL*...you mean this a thread for people who LIKE this particular grouping..hmmm the way I've been reading it, it seems to me there are a fair number of people who DON'T like Rachel Unthank and The Winterset as well as those who like them...as for the remark about "Self-Opinated Idiots" it didn't actually originate with me, I found the joke rather amusing and picked up the ball and ran with it...As for me and RU and The Winterest. I've heard most of The Bairns and ...adequate voices, adequate arrangemnts, but, overall, nothing special, nothing to write home about.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: redsnapper
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 12:18 PM

I bought The Bairns a while back on a recommendation here. It is not my most played CD but nevertheless a creditable effort and definitely rooted in knowledge of the tradition.

RS


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 12:47 PM

There is an amazingly uninformative and waffly article on Rachel Unthank & The Winterset in today's (24.01.08) 'Independent Music' supplement (quote: " Their repertoire may be full of misery and death but these girls know how to entertain ... waffle, waffle, waffle").

Well done, Tim Cumming! ... Although I'm not persuaded to go out and buy a RU & TW album on the strength of your anodyne article.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 03:06 PM

After perusing this thread for a couple of days, I watched a few of those YouTube snippets at home this morning and have another thought or two to offer.

Now, I'm no expert on this kind of British folk music. My overall impression of the group is "OK, but not terribly impressive," but then again I wouldn't know the difference between basic competance and true excellence in this particular field.

What struck me was their generally unpolished and "folky" appearance. Now, those You Tube video are of such low resolution that I can't make out anyone's facial features, and therefore can't make a judgement about whether or not good looks are part of their appeal.

But after reading those semi-sneering comments about "frilly dresses," I fully expected to see a slickly-packaged act like, say, "Celtic Women." Not hardly! Sure, some of them wear dresses in some of the videos, but they look to be very ordinary homey garments, in some cases ill-fitting and decidedly unflattering. Pretty innocent, I'd say...


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 06:11 AM

What's wrong with frilly dresses? I like frilly dresses. In fact, if I were a folk singer I'd wear frilly dresses, or possibly a pencil skirt, 6 inch healed patent leather shoes & a twin-set, or maybe a swimsuit and snorkle; & d**n those who'd stop me, by Jove.

People do buy books by the cover (well I'm a sucker for a nicely designed print) and, just as the cover of a book is supposed to be a representation of the contents, giving you an idea of whether you'll like what lies with-in, surely the Unthank's music and sense of style come from the same place, their creativity, rather than their style being informed by their marketing team. Or maybe they just like frilly dresses.

At least they've made a sartorial effort; many's the time I've wished I could cut the pony tale off an aging singer-songwriter and replaced his Steeleye Span tee-shirt with a nice-shirt-and-tank-top combo.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,dearie me
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:18 AM

there's nothing wrong with frilly dresses, for heaven's sake. The point that people are making is that they think the Unthank's success may be a case of style over content.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:55 AM

Let me emphasise again if we are going down the frilly dresses argument that in a lot of the pictures on the website two wear frilly dresses and two don't. So it's just round spherical objects isn't it - but then don't let the facts spoil a good story.

or maybe a swimsuit and snorkle

Been done already - sorry!! (Black Annis do a morris dance with a bearded woman, in lurid purple swimsuit and snorkel).

Surprised it isn't more well-known...............

Yes, doctor I'm coming......


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:10 AM

Deary me, deary me, the point I'm making is that I think that style and content are often deliciously entwined (apart from pony-tales which just get entwined with your scarf or heavy machinery).

Actually the real point I was making is that people seem to be using "Frilly Dresses" as short-hand for god-awfulness. And I would like to see such a vitriolic thread about a male artist; maybe I should start one about why Jon Boden always seems to wear the same tie. Is it because he's only got one tie, he likes pink or a fundamental indication of the evil hand of marketing ("No you can't change your tie, your female demographic likes pink")? (I like Bellowhead by the way).


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:11 AM

Been done already - sorry!! (Black Annis do a morris dance with a bearded woman, in lurid purple swimsuit and snorkel).

Da*n it! I'm so unoriginal.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 11:06 AM

"there's nothing wrong with frilly dresses, for heaven's sake."

The perfect example of style over substance...bugger what these women are wearing, it's not important..you could dress them up in the most chic of clothing and funnel all of EMI's publicity monies into this group. the music etc is still only adequate at best.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 11:57 AM

How can a band be nominated for major British folk awards, make albums that sell in great numbers and attract sell out audiences up and down the country, if the band are adequate at best?

Face it MCA, you don't like them, fine but don't preach to us about what is adequate. It's the worst sort of criticism, which comes over as juvenile.

Can I also point out that EMI came on board AFTER the band made The Bairns, AFTER the band's own management worked tirelessly on all the publicity material, AFTER they were asked to play the main stage at Cambridge etc etc.

EMI are purely there to handle the distribution. the band maintain artistic control.

Robert Wyatt told me personally that he thinks they are, quote, 'Wonderful'. I would rather take his word for it than yours.
Allan


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,kate
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 12:07 PM

Why should we take anyone's word for it? Everyone is entitled to make their own mind up. And not everyone thinks they're anything special. Just accept it.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 12:10 PM

How can I say anymore when that is all it is?

But of course you'd take someone else's word who likes them over me, who doesn't, makes sense to me. God him/herself could love them to bits, it won't change my opinion in anyway, and I am familiar, as one should with a subject, with EMI's involvement and the "tireless work" of the group's management...oh yes and before you ask, I am familiar with Robert Wyatt and his distinguished musical history. Soft Machine and Matching Mole were two of the bands I was raised listening to,me Dad has great taste in music.*LOL*

Ta ta sunshine...

Charlotte :-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 12:18 PM

This thread reminds me of record reviews where what the music actually sounds like is never described or discussed. Consensus seems to be they are more than a bit good but some of you don't like 'em. Fair enough then.

Now cloths, dress codes, style .........

.... excuse me you collective people of the folk gathering, cast you minds back to the clubs, concerts and festivals you have attended and decide if what we all have been wearing in our collective folk gear puts us in any kind of position to comment at all in what people wear.

And don't give me that "I just wear jeans and an understated T-Shirt". I have seen you,I have committed serious sartorial errors myself and I bet most of the critics above have done so too.

But never again! Now, off to Cuba tomorrow, where are my Che T-shirt, Fidel Beret, Salsa pumps and camouflage net. I can't find me camouflage net!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 12:28 PM

Okay, okay, enough already.

Kate, I couldn't really care less what people think of this band or any band or any number of things. The reason I continue with this is that I find it an injustice to be allowed to make statements like 'they're shite' or 'they're adequate at best'. 'I don't like this band at all' is a far better and acceptable way to express an opinion.

Don't you agree?

Charlotte, my Robert Wyatt remark was out of line. Apologies.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 12:31 PM

"How can a band be nominated for major British folk awards, make albums that sell in great numbers and attract sell out audiences up and down the country, if the band are adequate at best?"

Fair point to a degree...although to take that line to it's logical conclusion, no act on the UK folk scene is anywhere near as talented as James Blunt, or the Sugababes. Ultimately, whether music is good or not is determined by whether it's good or not, not by "the market". Whether it makes the artist rich, now, that's entirely a different question, resolved by an entirely different criteria.

Gene. (Who holds no brief for anyone).


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:15 PM

How can a band be nominated for major British folk awards, make albums that sell in great numbers and attract sell out audiences up and down the country, if the band are adequate at best?

It worries me...

Perhaps tastes have changed or perhaps it is marketing.

Personally, if I was say this time going back to a time when I was involved in some way with a folk club that booked artists and had floor spots, I can't have imagined the club wanting to pay "star rates" for them.

Floor wise, I could imagine an unknown Sandy Denny startling an audience but I can't imagine the Unthank sisters achieving that.

(Never had any that I might think are famous names in this situation but the best I can spring to mind on an odd night I MC'd and called from the floor, I'm pretty sure was the Joe Kerins there has been a recent memorial thread on here)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:18 PM

(this guy was somewhat good)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:31 PM

I could imagine an unknown Sandy Denny startling an audience but I can't imagine the Unthank sisters achieving that

Sandy Denny certainly startled audiences 40 years ago. Her clones (and I speak as one) did not.

I first encountered the Unthanks (and Jackie Oates for that matter) in the Bedford @ Sidmouth lunchtime sessions at around the turn of the millenium. I think you might reasonably describe this as a "folk club setting".

Most observers then had no doubt that all three (and others) would be "stars" in due course. Personally, I don't think either Winterset album does justice to any of the performers. They are far, far better live,

On the other hand, Jackie Oates' solo CD is a stunner.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:57 PM

"Sandy Denny certainly startled audiences 40 years ago"

My Dad has never gotten over the first time he saw Sandy Denny in London, way back when, absolutely stunned is his description of himself, and having listened to her many times, I can understand the feeling.

Charlotte:-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Wayne
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 02:37 PM

There really aren't many on the folk scene more talented than James Blunt. He's a tremendous songwriter.

As for the Unthanks, it just seems to be another band getting a slating for being successful. Can't we just celebrate a folk band's good fortune for once?

By the way Jackie Oates is playing at the Topic in Bradford on March 13th.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:06 PM

Well, James Blunt ain't folk, but I like him...what a voice!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:08 PM

"As for the Unthanks, it just seems to be another band getting a slating for being successful"

Success has absolutely nothing to do with this. The above quote is to avoid the issue of good or bad musicians, songs, arrangements etc.., not the popularity of said musicians, regardless of who they are.

Charlotte


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:18 PM

Guest Wayne will just have to learn that the way folk works is that everyone whinges about the music receiving no mainstream attention and then whinges still louder when some attention comes along and robs them of their feeling of being special.
It's been like this for every one of the 35+ years I have been involved as a (bad) floor singer, (fair to middling) folk club organiser, writer and fan. I've been guilty of the same hypocritical thoughts at times and was delighted when Kate Rusby told me in an interview that she loved the fact that not everyone liked folk.
As it happens, I am very fond of the Unthanks' music, respect the views of those who are not and laugh at the idea that it is somehow wicked for them to have won big label backing after slogging it out at grassroots level.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:26 PM

101


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 03:37 PM

This is not true, much of my initial learning came from the folk group popular enough at the time for my parents to record, ie. the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

My then 27? yr old taking up of tenor banjo and trying to find Irish music owes more than anything to the playing of another commercially successful band, ie. the Dubliners and the playing of Barney Mckenna,

I've nothing against a groups success.

On the other hand, I do worry when I read someone who states he's interviewed things putting these "motives" forwards on others. It probably isn't but the best impression the above attack without knowing the people making the comments is one of vested interests.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM

Jeez, what a dreary thread this has become. Isn't it about time to give it a bone?

Some of you like the Winterset's music. Some of you don't. Ok. And?

Some of you applaud their 'success' (and by 'eck, they're bigger than the Beatles, the little upstarts!). Some of you begrudge it (and what the hell's all that about? Folkies sell more than 500 records? Scandalous! Send the precocious little buggers to the Tower...).

Some of you have a problem with their frocks - and of course, folk fans would NEVER sink to the level of OK magazine...

Is it not a good thing when musicians and singers primarily doing traditional music get half a sniff at the mainstream - and without resorting to crap tactics like dueting with Cliff Richard or Geri Halliwell to gain acceptance? Are we really such a begrudging bunch of sadsacks, elitists and curmudgeons? For god's sake, enjoy the fact that they're getting played beyond the folk ghetto and the fact that some non-folkies actually like them and fer god's sake stop getting yer greasy old Y-fronts is such a twist!

In short, like them or don't like them, but give up all the bitter and twisted bullshit that's pervaded this thread like a bad smell.

Folk? I like it 'cos no-one else does!

Gimme a break...

With all due respect,

Nigel

Ducks, flinching, and waits for the fallout...


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Cuddles
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 04:38 PM

I like Belinda and hope she gets on very well solo.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:05 PM

Good on yer Nigel, god I love music


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:51 PM

I'm still waiting to read the pony's "tale.":-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Martin.
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:01 PM

I have heard all the youtube stuff, I have also seen them live, reminded me of a junior talent contest, one they din't win, seriosly if this is the future of English Folk music then all is lost. In Ireland I have heard much better from kids having fun in pubs.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 12:48 AM

Suggest it better not to judge them on their Youtube clips as seeing them live far outstrips their screen persona. I saw them at Rivelin Festival last year and was quite impressed I have to say but there were others with me who found their style a little unusual and asa traditional 'Folkies' were unhappy to accept that they are good.
As others have said here....some like them some don't..but whatever anyone thinks...success proves anything of quality to a majority... and they are successful!
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,kate
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 06:04 AM

>"Success proves anything of quality to a majority" ?

Wishful thinking, Mike. It can be bought and manipulated like anything else. I'm not saying the girls themselves did that - I don't believe they did - but the big biz guns behind them have enough clout and enough to gain to generate quite a lot of mileage. I'm not questioning the band's honesty and sincerity for a minute, but commercial incentives riding on them DO make a difference to how far they go. And a lot of the people on this thread are not sneering at them for being successful, just holding the opinion that what they do is not that amazing. (That nasty blank-Guest post at the beginning just sounds like a stupid troll who can safely be ignored, of course they're not shite or anything remotely resembling it.) But all negative reactions are not driven by jealousy or spite or anything else. These performers just don't float everyone's boat.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 06:39 AM

Now we all may be right or wrong with our assessments but.

success proves anything of quality to a majority... and they are successful!

I guess that's why we get so much virtual reality, etc. on tv.

Personally, with any "goods", I believe marketing is the biggest factor in success - I don't believe millions are spent on advertising on tv for example just to let us know a product exists...

We have to believe we are being smart in ourselves, knowing for example out of all possible choices of the product, our choice was undoubtedly the wisest, that we are being a good parent if we didn't but this product for them, etc. etc.

Of course, if a "product" is to last on the market, it has to meet some "satisfaction standard".

And, as it happens, I do believe a "folk audience" is pretty reasonable and discerning (guess I'd have to as folk contains the music I enjoy the most...) . It's just I don't really accept your type of argument.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 06:53 AM

If it hadn't been for the nasty post you speak of kate, I wouldn't have been drawn out of my cocoon to express my dismay in the first place. Unfortunately, I made some irrational comments along the way and now I feel rather foolish. How many times has my wrath been drawn out of unkind comments? Will I ever learn? Hmm, rhetorical questions.

I don't think anyone can expect every artist on the scene to float everyone's boat. It would be a dull world if they did. The thing that I don't understand, is the rejection of this band by some on the basis that they don't think they are any good. I don't want to go on and on and come over as pretentious or stupid, but I've been involved in this music, not as a passing interest, but living and breathing every minute of it (much to the equal doses of dismay and tolerance of a wife of 28 years) and when I first saw this band and heard their recordings, I thought they were nothing short of brilliant, both in terms of musicianship, arrangement and vocal delivery. Becky Unthank is my favourite singer in Britain today. I'm not saying she's better than any of the established singers around, both here and sadly gone (ie Sandy), but having been a lifelong fan of Nick Drake, Tom Waits, Dylan, Neil Young, Joni and currently a huge follower of more recent singers such as Jaymay, Regina Spektor, Devon Sproule, Rosie Doonan, not to mention a skip full of blokes as well, the entire spectrum of colourful tones from these incredible gobs in fact, that I get a bit irritated when people (ie mystery GUEST) replaces 'not to my taste' with 'shite'.

I suppose I should say finally that I would rather open my wrists than suffer more than one minute of Wagner or any opera come to think of it. But I have no doubt whatsover, that it's good, brilliant in some cases. Just not to my taste.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Wayne
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:08 AM

Trouble is, Charlotte, I really don't think it's a quality issue. The Unthanks are in good company in getting a shafting on this forum. Kate Rusby, Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands and others have all been abused. The one thing they have in common is their success.

There are some very popular and successful folk performers that I wouldn't go and see even if they played a free show in my garden. (Doesn't mean they're crap, though. Just not to my taste). I am, however, delighted that they carry the torch for the music I like to people who wouldn't otherwise hear it.

You may not enjoy the Unthanks' music. Good for you, but negativity gets us nowhere.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:23 AM

Trouble is, Charlotte, I really don't think it's a quality issue. The Unthanks are in good company in getting a shafting on this forum. Kate Rusby, Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands and others have all been abused. The one thing they have in common is their success

I stand to be corrected but I don't recall ever reading Planxty or Bothy Band slammed down here because they had been popular.

Dubliners may have (not sure here but I've known it it the 3d world) attracted the odd "yuck", but I've seen more recognition of talent's such as Luke Kelly's and Barney McKenna's than anything else. (And personally, I really do like the way Ronnie Drew can deliver a song, especially ones like Dicey Reilly - I think some songs really do suit him).


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,kampervan
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:44 AM

"I stand to be corrected but I don't recall ever reading Planxty or Bothy Band slammed down here because they had been popular."



Give it time Guest Jon. If someone starts a thread to say how good theyare, then rest assured that others will come alingand kick the c**p out of them.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,kampervan
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:49 AM

With apologies for all the typos in that previous message. I hit send before I'd checked it!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: AllanW
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 08:00 AM

I actually like 'alingand' and will use it henceforth.

Also, I found that I am still a member here after all this time away and didn't need to use 'guest' after all.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Sparkles
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 09:00 AM

You're reading selectively Wayne. The artists you mention have a lot of fans on this forum who defend them. And as for shafting, haven't you seen some of the stuff that gets said about them in other forums?

>There are some very popular and successful folk performers that I wouldn't go and see even if they played a free show in my garden. (Doesn't mean they're crap, though. Just not to my taste).

Well that's all that a lot of people are saying here.

>You may not enjoy the Unthanks' music. Good for you, but negativity gets us nowhere.

Why is it that you're not being negative when you don't like 'some very popular and successful folk performers' but people who don't rave over the Unthanks are?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's "Philistine" Daughter
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:34 AM

"Why is it that you're not being negative when you don't like 'some very popular and successful folk performers' but people who don't rave over the Unthanks are?"

I couldn't said it better, Sparkles. thanks
Wayne's remarks remind me of thoise people who if you agree with their tastes in whatever, music, the arts, you have exceptional taste, but if you disagree with them, you're a cultural philistine.

Charlotte :-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 11:53 AM

"If someone starts a thread to say how good theyare, then rest assured that others will come alingand kick the c**p out of them."

Isn't that just human nature, though? If you're going to complain about that, you might just as well complain about the weather.

A couple of months ago, an admirer started a thread on here praising my music, and sure enough the negative and abusive posts were soon coming thick and fast...I should know, I read every one. But the correct response to that kind of sledging is laughter; not self-righteous censoriousness (is that a word? it should be!). At the end of the day, if you put yourself on a stage, at whatever level, you expose yourself to the criticism, and perhaps the avarice, of others; and performers (and their defenders) just have to take it on the chin...or get off the stage.

Let the baby have its' bottle...(LOL)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 01:03 PM

Are'nt The Unthank Sisters a bit old for bottles? (though I suppose it depends on what's IN the bottle)*LOL*

Charlotte (not into the sauce this early);-)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:19 PM

Well, I wasn't primarily referring to the Unthanks's's's...


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Dave.
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:35 PM

How sad that a few idiots can possibly speak anything possitive about a totally amatuer bunch of enthusiatic girls. take away the piano and winterstet are truly lost. There must be something better to offer the major record labels, perhaps not, the bairns CD I find, to be kind, not very good.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folknacious
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 07:57 PM

Everybody has a different opinion, and is entitled to it. Opinions based on anecdote and minimal research are not as valuable as those of people with direct (and sometimes comparative) experience. Still with me?

I own "The Bairns", I have enjoyed it, it's not the first British female folk revival work that I'd reach for if required to, but it's original, its heart is in the right place and there's a quality to the singing I find attractive if not technically "good".

I've seen Rachel Unthank & The Winterset live. They gave a hard working, professional, entertaining performance that engaged me throughout though I probably would wait some while before seeing them again. I thought Belinda O'Hooley's musical contributions were excellent but her personality interjections got to be a bit tiresome and at odds with the atmosphere of the music. So I suspect that a capable pianist who can add the same to the music but STFU a bit more will eventually make the live performance something which will bear more repeats.

The only Folk Award they are nominated for that I'd raise my eyebrows if they win is "Newcomer", since they very clearly aren't.

Like Kate Rusby and Seth Lakeman, I'm perfectly happy for them to be an uninformed member of the public's introduction to the possibilities of English folk music. There are far worse.

As for floaty dresses, at least they can be bothered to pay attention to what they look like when singing in public. There are many who don't. Either way, it has no bearing on what the music sounds like.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 03:37 AM

Guest Dave...you suggest >>>>>>take away the piano and the winterset are truly lost<<<<<<<...isn't that the same as saying..... take away the many guitars that folk singers use and they would be lost..... it seems irrelevant to me to make such a statement. They are the sum of their instrument(s) and talent which includes the piano.
If the drums had been taken away from the Beatles...I wonder if they would have done as well as they did?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: AllanW
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 04:15 AM

Ah, let me add credence to Dave's eloquent description of me as one of the 'few idiots' he speaks of. I must be an idiot and totally insane as I am just about to leave my house and travel 120.35 miles to see these 'lost' people in a charity concert in Newcastle. Why would I do such a thing? Why, to sit in a packed room of fellow 'idiots' and have a wonderful time of course.

What are you doing today Dave? scrutinising Mudcat for threads with titles of artists you don't like? Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Wayne
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:37 AM

I have to admit that I've not, as yet, heard the Unthanks' music. It may be good bad or indifferent, I really don't know. It just irritates me that so many successful folk acts get a slagging. The point I failed to get across to the Philistine and her coruscating chum is that even if we don't enjoy their music, the fact that any sort of folk music is getting covered in the mainstream press is a good thing. There may or may not be acts more deserving of the coverage but at least the world at large is being made aware that folk is worth a listen.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:52 AM

any sort of folk music is getting covered in the mainstream press is a good thing

Now THAT sounds horribly like "any old crap is good enough for f*lk".
No it bloody well isn't.
Smacks of Aran jumpers and MOR wifty-wafty new-age tripe.
And don't anyone jump to the conclusion that I'm putting the Winterset in this category.
I'm not.
If "the world at large" becomes aware of the cultural heritage of England's tradarts, this is a Good Thing.
If it continues to think of it as the soft-edged, "f*lksy" fringe of contemporary pop, it is not.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 02:43 PM

"any sort of folk music is getting covered in the mainstream press is a good thing"

You must be joking, of course, sunshine? I agree with Diane Easby on this one, you remark DOES smack suspiciously of the "any old crap is good enough for folk"..and if I'd have known you'd not even listened to RU and The Winterset(which I've, at least, made the effort to do)I wouldn't have bothered engaging you in this..ummmmmmm, debate?

Charlotte


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 04:52 PM

I've had a rummage on youtube and there seems to be nothing on myspace.

I might quite like them if they got rid of that soddingoverpowering piano.   Oh, they did? Whoopee! Nothing wrong withthe pianist but I hate the sound of pianos on folk. It's sooo DRAWING ROOM. I even skip those tracks on the June Tabor CDs I've got.

"Miss Barfoot will now sing an English folk song accomapnied by Reverend Beegoode on the pianoforte". I'm outa there before compulsory cucumber sandwiches emerge.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's part time waitress
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 04:57 PM

"cucumbers are off they ain't in season dearie" *LOL*

"Hi My Name is Charlotte and I'm your server for this evening"


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,oldfogie
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 02:41 AM

I feel that the 'folk scene' is so desperate to have young musicians involved that discrimination goes out of the window as soon as 'young' is mentioned. This is not to say that young performers are all bad it's just that we concentrate on the wrong aspects (ie the young bit). In our desire to 'welcome' new singers/musicians,and doing it without due consideration, we are often doing them a serious disservice by promoting them beyond their actual/potential abilities. Surely it would be better in the long run to consider them objectively and be honest with them-help them where we can but BE HONEST. It would seem to be worse for young performers to be raised so high and then have people 'turn' on them as is happening to some extent in this thread. I am all for a revitalising of the 'folk scene' so long as it is done thoughtfully and considerately. I do like the idea of 'good' young performers (they do help to bring down the average age of 'folkies' if nothing else) and I hope to see more 'young' performers- but lets help them with honesty.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 03:21 AM

I feel that the 'folk scene' is so desperate to have young musicians involved that discrimination goes out of the window as soon as 'young' is mentioned.

Discrimination is out of the window as far as age is concerned. They aren't particularly young. Kerfuffle (under 23) might be regarded as young.

The fact is they have been around ages, so whilst it might look like EMI engineered instant success to some people, it isn't really.

I remember being asked to book them four or five years ago (orginally as a duo), the first record was acclaimed back in 2005 and The Bairns has been licensed to EMI in order to get wider distribution. Yes, that will put them under the promotion of the EMI people but that was theirs and EMI's decision - I cannot see what harm it does.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 04:30 AM

I'm struggling with this 'tainted by EMI' thing too... am I not right in thinking that most of the classc folk rock in the early seventies was on fairly major labels? Are we saying folk should only be promoted via, at best, self-released eight track cartridges and at worst, small independent labels?

I know that the majors will drop 'em like hot cakes if they don't sell enough, but major label flirtation with folk is hardly anything new.

They may not be everyone's cuppa (I quite like them, but the Bairns wouldn't ever be the first CD I reached for), but I'll say it again: there's some right spurious, irrelevant crap on this 'ere thread. Come on, people: get a grip!

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 05:13 AM

Let's be realistic, the vast majority of performers would like to think that they could get major label distribution if they were honest with themselves.

I stand by my earlier comment that I don't get RU & TW......but I'm not saying they're rubbish.....I just have a complete phobia about pianos in folk music (do I need treatment?).


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 05:57 AM

Paul... no major treatment necessary (no surgery, for instance), but a short course of 'hammond organs in folk' may help relieve symptoms. Shelagh McDonald's version of 'The Dowie Dens of Yarrow' from the Stargazer album should do it. Take three times a day until further notice.

Cheers,

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 06:20 AM

What is probably my favourite folk LP used piano accompaniment. Noel Hill, The Irish Concertina.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: mandotim
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 07:40 AM

I'm not keen on pianos in folk unless it's Beryl Marriott.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 08:00 AM

Beryl Marriott indeed. And:

Sandy Denny
Gareth Kiddier
Reg Hall
Huw Warren
Mark Emerson
Daisy Bulwer
Heather Horsley
Eliza Carthy
Helen Watson
Jon Boden
Colin Cotter
Jim Moray
Ken Lees
Ian Carter
Sue Bainbridge

Have I missed anyone? Probably . . .


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 08:07 AM

....and some of Diane's suggestions I like (even love) DESPITE the piano......but (the one's I've heard anyway) aren't over reliant on keyboards.

Should this be a separate thread....keyboards in folk music or something?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 09:21 AM

Just before it becomes a separate thread - Josie Keegan


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Laptop no cookie
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 11:18 AM

Well, I travelled from Whitstable to Wiltshire to see them and would do again. First saw them at Warwick a couple of years ago, bought their first album then and the second at Cheltenham I think, when we saw them last year. (Getting on a bit memory going you know).
I think their sound is superb and evocative of their Northeastern roots. The Sisters are steeped in the tradition, the Unthanks are a 'folk' family. And it's Bravo to them that they can bring the songs out with a new freshness and honesty.
It's great to see anyone getting up on stage with a degree of 'performance' and not just the old jeans and teashirt and here's my stuff thing.
I wasn't keen on Belinda at first either but The Bairns wouldn't have been as wonderful without her piano her songs and her voice.
Am speechless at some of the stuff up on this thread.
I have a feeling that the moaners up there are the precious people who traipse into the folk club room just before the 'turn' so they don't have to 'suffer'the floor singers.

Alan Clayton


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: mandotim
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 02:21 PM

One more piano player I like; Julie Matthews.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 04:21 PM

"I have a feeling that the moaners up there are the precious people who traipse into the folk club room just before the 'turn' so they don't have to 'suffer'the floor singers"

Ooops me thinks your feelings just failed you, sunshine*LOL*

Charlotte (a floor singer in her time)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 04:26 PM

Nothing wrong withthe pianist but I hate the sound of pianos on folk. It's sooo DRAWING ROOM...

Who's to say it's not an appropriate instrument for folk?

Years ago when everything was perfect, the piano was not unknown among the generation(s) to which the source singers belonged.

Back on topic, I heard Rachel Unthank sing in a local folk club recently, taking her turn round the room, singing a trad song unaccompanied and those U-tube clips really don't do justice to her voice.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 08:24 PM

Nothing to do with "appropriate". I just hate them, and that's why.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 05:42 AM

I would have thought hate was a bit strong Richard. I usually apply that word to things like world poverty and war Iraq. And if I tell the truth - winter weather in summer.

Just playing Sharon Shannon GRACD226 "Each Little Thing". One track credits Graham Henderson, Hammond Organ.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's non pretentious Apprentic
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 12:25 PM

"Nothing wrong with the pianist but I hate the sound of pianos on folk. It's sooo DRAWING ROOM..."

O how too too Richard, old bean...*LOL*

Charlotte (has never been to a drawing room soireee and doesn't know the Rev. Begoode)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Robert
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:29 PM

I've never been too keen on Folk (or what I've heard of it over the last forty years), although I wouldn't criticise anyone who gets pleasure from the genre. Perhaps I'm proving the point of those expressing negative opinions of the Unthanks, but I was actually quite surprised when I became aware that they were deemed to be Folk.

My introduction to their music was a combination of seeing their ad in Songlines and, some months later, deciding to see if they had any audio samples on Myspace. They did, and I was hooked from the first few bars of Felton Lonnen. To draw a somewhat obscure comparison, the eerie atmospherics of the song reminded me of an old Bobbie Gentry LP I had as a kid (& I don't like Country music, either).

Rather than buying "The Bairns" (the Phill Jupitus recommendation put me off), we went to see them at The Round in Ouseburn. A pretty small venue, very cosy, not that which you would associate with apparently overhyped EMI quislings. I had a daft grin on my face for the duration. Highly entertaining, great banter, a good long show and it isn't often that you end up waiting in the interval toilet queue with half the band you've paid to see. Not that I see that as a particular advantage, of course. I couldn't fault the quality of the musicianship or singing and the acoustics in the venue were spot on.

As a result of that show, I bought both their albums. Enjoyed both but with a preference for the newer one. Not being a Folk expert, there may be scores of superior performers out there, but if I can't listen to Fareweel Regality without getting a lump in my throat, they must be doing something right. My only criticism would be the length of one or two of the songs.

I'm sure that, as has been suggested, O'Hooley's contribution has done a lot for them but only time will tell if her absence will disadvantage them. I'm surprised by the criticisms of their voices. Rachel's is full of character and energy, while Becky's breathy soulfulness provides a great contrast and complement. In particular, the younger sister's voice is a revelation in the live setting. Oh, and where's the evidence for their supposed problems with keeping in tune?

More recently, I got an e-mail inviting me to their pre-tour gig in a tiny cinema in Newcastle. By the time I rang for tickets, I figured they'd have sold all 50 of them but I tried anyway. Somewhat surprised to find myself talking to Rachel, who then put me through to Adrian the manager. Very corporate EMI, I don't think.

For me, it's been a breath of fresh air to be able to enjoy something from the Folk genre that is outside of the holy trinity of Carthy, Waterson and, erm, Carthy - and neither a finger in the ear nor a whiny Norfolk accent.

Mind, I still prefer The Fall.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 08:46 AM

Hi Charlotte,

I'm not sure what you mean. I wasn't getting at floor singers but the folk who stay in the bar till they've finished and then crash through just before the guest.

For I am one of those floor singers.

Alan Clayton


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: BB
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:33 AM

GUEST, Robert, I've nothing against Rachel and The Winterset, but you really should get out more if you think that the Carthys and the Watersons are all the other folk music that's available! Or that it's all 'finger in the ear or a whiny Norfolk accent'! You've only got to read a lot of what's on Mudcat to find that there is far more to the folk genre than that.

If you're prepared to look and listen, enjoy your voyage of discovery!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:10 PM

Big full page spread in todays Sun Newspaper re Rachel & Becky Unthank.

Under the heading .... Exclusive : Folk Music's New Darlings.
So if it's in the Sun it must be true.

It starts off ... the Geordie lasses still pinch themselves when they consider they are actualy making a living out of singing....

Yeah? some of us punch ourselves when we consider they are actualy making a living out of singing.

I am being unfair. The are out there performing and working hard but if any non folk punters read this and go allong to hear them and think this is be best Folk Music has to offer !!!!!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Euthryphro
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:32 PM

I'll take a pseudonym, so as to avoid the mud-slinging that seems to be aimed at GUESTs.

I won't reveal my identity. It would be worth remembering that many here may conceal their identity because it would be professionally indiscreet to reveal it. I'm nothing to write home about, but as someone at least vaguely associated with the folk/roots musical world, it makes little sense to nail my colours to the mast on the subject of someone I might meet, bump into at a festival, work for/with.

Just to count myself out of a few of the other generalisations above, I like Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman, so its not about success.

My objection to the Winterset is the clear victory of marketing over content; the disparity between ability and perception. This is ever more apparent with the departure of Jackie and Belinda, both of whom could be considered to have been propping the band up, in my opinion. Admittedly, one person's raw, honest singing is another person's untrained, out-of-tune wail, but afraid I'm closer to the latter category than the former where the Unthanks are concerned.

My question is this; why have they received the attention that they have? Is it to do with the music, or is it to do with a strong, some might say overly so, manager/agent? There are some interesting stories doing the rounds about Adrian McNally, and I won't claim to know which ones are true, but one might conclude something about smoke and fire. Are folk audiences so gullible as to be taken in by a few choice quotes from "famous" or "mainstream" types (the Phil Jupitus one springs to mind), or are there some more discerning types about?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:59 PM

Mole Catcher's ... Apprentice. Don't like piano? may I recomend having an ear full or two of piano playing Cape Bereton style.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,PJ
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:08 PM

Can you PLEASE start another thread if you want to talk about pianos. It's a very good subject, just not here. Give it its own thread. Please.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,S
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:18 PM

If their success is so dependent on EMI's marketing strategies, perhaps someone could explain to me why EMI chose to sign them in the first place? Could it be because of Adrian McNally's (persisently villified for some bizarre reason...) 'vicious marketing'. I don't think so. Unless sitting at the kitchen table printing their own posters and leaflets is 'vicious'. It really makes no sense why anyone would raise an eyebrow in any way at the job Adrian does as a manager looking after his band. What's so 'vicious' about that?!

As for Rachel and Becky's singing, I have to agree with GUEST Robert and ask all you moaners what the evidence is. Were they flat.. sharp? Maybe you just don't 'get' dissonant hamonies? I've seen them sing a lot and their tuning is fine. And if it wasn't at a few gigs in the past for whatever reason, who cares? They are creative and daring musicians and the odd off-key note doesn't detract from that. Singing is different from playing an instrument - it's not just about learning the technique and playing. I can always play piano no matter how I'm feeling, but I can't sing if I'm ill or feeling bad. Those people who've witnessed these supposed out of tune gigs, which I haven't seen might be a little less cold and consider the fact that the voice is sensitive to a person's whole state of being. Some singers cancel gigs if they're a bit down and have a funny throat. The Unthanks just get on with it because they're tough and they work hard.

One thing that does amuse me is the lofty authority lots of people seem to be adopting on this thread. GUESTnot a geordie for example: discussing Jackie Oates and EMI's corporate strategy with such superiority. Do you work for EMI? Were you there when the band and Jackie parted ways??


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: nutty
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:22 PM

Why have they received the attention they have??

Would you be asking that question if their name was Carthy??

I said a long time back in this thread that the girls have undergone a long probation/apprenticeship.

Particularly Rachel, whose involvement with childrens activities at Cambridge festival (mainly clog dancing workshops) has had her moving in a different dimension from most floor singers.

But don't knock or mock them. They are the future. They will help to draw another generation into the genre, something that is sorely needed when most folk clubs I know rarely see an under 40 year old.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:31 PM

Would you be asking that question if their name was Carthy??

I said a long time back in this thread that the girls have undergone a long probation/apprenticeship.

Particularly Rachel, whose involvement with childrens activities at Cambridge festival (mainly clog dancing workshops) has had her moving in a different dimension from most floor singers.

But don't knock or mock them. They are the future. They will help to draw another generation into the genre, something that is sorely needed when most folk clubs I know rarely see an under 40 year old.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Euthryphro
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 01:46 PM

Sorry for the above; I meant to preview, to work out this italics business, and submitted by accident.

Would you be asking that question if their name was Carthy??

I said a long time back in this thread that the girls have undergone a long probation/apprenticeship.

Particularly Rachel, whose involvement with childrens activities at Cambridge festival (mainly clog dancing workshops) has had her moving in a different dimension from most floor singers.

But don't knock or mock them. They are the future. They will help to draw another generation into the genre, something that is sorely needed when most folk clubs I know rarely see an under 40 year old.


I'm aware of the "probation" of which you speak, I saw the Unthanks for the first time in Sidmouth Parish Church in what must have been 2003.

I don't hold with this folky idea of unity, that we must all get behind whatever the new young thing is, for the sake of the genre. There's room for a difference of opinion, surely? It almost suggests that we're short of options! I happen to think Jim Moray is the great hope of folk music this generation. Jackie Oates has been mentioned in this thread, as have Kerfuffle. I might add bands like 4Square, who will, either in that band or in their constituent parts, go far I imagine. Bella Hardy's new album is out, to throw another hat in the ring. All of these have served that probation of which you speak; the Oates family's folky roots run as deep as the Unthanks, I imagine (not that I think this should be a qualifying characteristic, but some do). Kerfuffle have been a gigging band for years, Bella Hardy was a member of the Pack and played festivals since the beginning of the decade at least, Jim and Nicola of 4Square are veterans of other acts as well.

So don't try and marshall us all behind the Winterset flag as if the future of folk depends on them; it depends on no one band or individual, and the intelligent music lover will continue to make free decisions about what he/she likes; I only hope they do it based on the music, not on the marketing.

As for the lack of young people at folk clubs, I attribute that in part to the white-middle-classness of them, and the retreat of said people into rural England. Pubs in the middle of nowhere do not make attractive or accessible venues for young people; where are the city centre clubs that kickstarted the revival of the 60s? With the Magpies Nest an honourable exception, London seems to be devoid of good clubs. There are plenty of young music fans around, but the prohibitive cost of driving, the nonexistent public transport to these middle-of-nowhere pubs (or equally arts centres, which often have delightful settings but are inaccessible except by car) and the lack of marketing to said young people mean they won't find the music.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:07 PM

I feel sorry for the girls, their friends and their family who have had to endure this crap for the last few weeks, by either their own curiosity visiting this thread, or by what filters through the grapevine. The negatives are predominently hurtful and the positives are defensive, not as has been suggested, that of 'marshalling' acceptance.

Remember, these are not multi-million dollar celebs who get barrow loads of cash fed into their bank accounts that serves to cover putting up with this nonesense. They are hard working musicians who have done dozens of back rooms and are only just starting to be noticed. If a Sun reader does manage to somehow find him/herself in a record shop buying their cd due to today's article, who the hell cares whether that is their first impression of folk music or not? I could have come into folk music by listening to any of a thousand folk LPs and never bothered again. That's the nature of this music you're all supposed to love.

Not a single one of you knows the extent of EMI's involvement, yet you continue to speculate on marketing strategies with absolutely zero credibility to your comments.

Please be honest about this. Some of you don't like the songs or the way they are being performed, fair enough, but I can't help reading between the lines and I reckon it's more likely that you just can't stomach people getting on and doing well. It's typical of this country. Like it until it gets noticed, then knock it down. Shame on you.

And those of you who are going to spring to your own defence and say 'I never liked them from the start' please show us that thread.

Allan Wilkinson


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:13 PM

"But don't knock or mock them. They are the future."

I'm sorry, but WHATEVER gave you that idea? They are not now, nor will they ever be. GUEST,Euthryphro has it right, the future depends on no one band or individual and nor should it. I don't personally think the RU and The Winterset will not bring "young people" into the clubs
Your whole posting, nutty, smacks of an EMI or management handout for the media at large, sorry, I for one am not falling for it

Charlotte (keeping a strict eye on the future)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:15 PM

I posted earlier that once again a folk artist (Seth Lakeman was another) has become an overnight success after years in the business. I'd love to know where these people were when the Rachel and Becky Unthank were going the rounds of festivals and folk clubs for next to no money.

I don't begrudge them any kind of success - whenever I have met Rachel and Becky (last time just before Xmas where they were part of the audience for the first night of "Christmas Champions") they have been thoroughly pleasant people who have worked hard for any success that has come their way.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Cuddles
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:21 PM

"As for the lack of young people at folk clubs, I attribute that in part to the white-middle-classness of them, and the retreat of said people into rural England."

I'd attribute it to young people having to do 75 and three quarter years of 'apprenticeship' before they're taken seriously! (this is said with humour, for those who have none by the way)

Tell me, if Michelangelo had been a folk singer, would he have been made to keep quiet?

If the art world were as peculiar and set in their way as the some areas of the folk world are, then he'd never have had any praise for anything, and yet, there was this incredible genius, just 15 years old, who was producing breathtaking sculpture.

Sandy Denny, at 19, wrote 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes'
Richard Thompson, still a teenager when he penned 'Meet On The Ledge'

IF someone has talent, they HAVE talent, and it should not matter if they had that talent from a very early age. Nobody has the right to tell them to subdue that talent for 10/15 years because they haven't learnt the ropes in the way they are 'expected to'

It's what's keeping the folk clubs empty in so many cases, or keeping them filled with people of just one generation. It's not healthy for the future.

The 'old rules' no longer apply. The young people are making their own ones. It's time for the older generations to perhaps learn a little from them.

Michelangelo 15 yrs old & drummed out of the folk club for not being experienced


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Cuddles
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:27 PM

By the way has anyone listened to Benji Kirkpatrick's new song recently 'Wallbreaker'


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,kate
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:27 PM

> Please be honest about this. Some of you don't like the songs or the way they are being performed, fair enough, but I can't help reading between the lines and I reckon it's more likely that you just can't stomach people getting on and doing well.

Sorry, NO. Some of us just don't care that much for them or think they're as good as they're cracked up to be. It's not an agenda, it's not spite, it's just a difference in taste. Why don't YOU be honest and admit that you can't bear for anyone not to like what you like? I will not let a stranger put vindictive attitudes on me that I don't have. Why do you find any opinion about this group that's different from yours so unbearable that you have to make up a fake scenario just so you can condemn it? "I can't help reading between the lines" says it all. Try reading the lines that are THERE.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:36 PM

"If the art world were as peculiar and set in their way as the some areas of the folk world are, then he'd never have had any praise for anything, and yet, there was this incredible genius, just 15 years old, who was producing breathtaking sculpture."

..and when someone dares to do something different we are constantly visited by Brian Sewell?

Allan


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:51 PM

GUESTKate, I have gone through life living with people who don't like what I like. What an idiotic thing to say. I wouldn't be into folk music if I cared what other people thought of my tastes in music, now would I? You do know we are the most ridiculed people next to train spotters don't you?

I care about friends of mine being ridiculed publicly for doing nothing wrong. Period.

You are just plain rude.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 04:01 PM

"I reckon it's more likely that you just can't stomach people getting on and doing well."

Apparently people can't just dislike a group or individual. The old "you dislike them because they're successful" is quite simply a cop out...didn't it used to read "you don't like them because as far as your concerned they've sold out"?

Different words, same talking heads...

Charlotte (not currently appearing on the BBC Radio 2)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 04:16 PM

Oh here we go, the Kate and Charlotte sisters again

Please, please, please have the last word..

I'm off to enjoy my weekend.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 04:41 PM

I don't even know Kate, but what she says makes sense to me

"You are just plain rude"

pot calling the kettle black, eh unidentified "Guest" ?

"You do know we are the most ridiculed people next to train spotters don't you?"

"we" are?...news to me.

Charlotte (enjoys every day, not just the weekend)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Cuddles
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 04:43 PM

"..and when someone dares to do something different we are constantly visited by Brian Sewell?

Allan"

Ah now Allan, if you've Brian Sewell appearing at your local folk club that could be where they're going wrong! ;-)

Tell them to book Seth or Benji, get some Funky Folk in instead.

Cuddles


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM

Explain to me exactly what it is that is SO different about RU and The Winterset...the use of a cello? Dave Swarbrick used a viola almost 40 years ago on Leige & Lief (least according to the cover of the CD he did). vocals...heard it all before...so just what is it that makes this aggregation so different?

Charlotte (wondering while listening to The Watersons)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: AllanW
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:24 PM

Why do you want to know Charlotte? Why so much interest in a band you can't stand? Why the comparison to older or more established folk legends?

Barry Dransfield scraped away on almost every conceivable violin shaped instrument, and wonderful he was/is. Dave Swarbrick is my favourite musician on earth, I love him to bits, ever since I swapped my copy of White Light White Heat for Babbacombe Lee in '71.

I am the Unthank's number one fan (hehe) or very close, but I don't for one minute want to compare them to anyone; I want them to sit side by side my favourites in my little collection of goodies and be just what they are.

I have written many pieces on the band (for my own amusement) and some have been published all over the place. Each time I openly admit what makes them 'different' to me, and sometimes at the risk of causing offence. I love them because they are not polished. I love them because when they sing a lyric, emotion pours out. I don't want another Sandy Denny, we already have one.

There's a famous line in a famous song by The Flying Burrito Brothers where Gram Parsons sings 'I'm your toy, I'm your old boy' and in it, his voice breaks momentarily. That is what is so great about Hot Burrito #1, it has soul. If it had been sung perfectly, it would have lost it's meaning. Rachel Unthank and the Winterset have soul in buckets. I like the imperfection. That's what's different.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: AllanW
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:32 PM

A couple of those articles, if you're at all interested.

http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/unthanklive.html

http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/CAMBRID/cam07/unthankreview.html


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Cuddles
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:34 PM

Do they ever sing happy songs at all? :-(


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:35 PM

though you were enjoying your weekend, sunshine? *LOL*

"I like the imperfection. That's what's different" is that all?
Great name dropper you are as well....*LOL*

Charlotte(told off but unrepentent)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: AllanW
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:43 PM

hehe

I'll bet there's a few albums on our respective shelves that we both love equally. In fact, I'll bet we could argue who likes them the best. Have a nice weekend (and every day).

Sunshine

ps. I still can't believe my favourite band were in the sodding Sun today. What's the world coming to?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: AllanW
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 06:16 PM

Ha! point taken. Must choose my words more carefully.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 06:29 PM

Look, they're OK (especially without the piano, shame the singer went with it) from what I can find on YouTube but not a patch on Jon Loomes. Or Nuada's instrumental drone work. No disrespect. They're OK. They are not rubbish.

I'm still looking for the successors to the mantle of the Young Tradition, or the Watersons as harmony singers, or Lal or Norma Waterson as solo singers. Where is the young Jean Redpath, the young June Tabor, where are the Keelers of today? Where is the vocal fire? Why did Whorticulture die? We seem to be afraid, today, of strong meat in our folk music (by which I mean folk music).

If I liked what they did, I'd like Whapweasel. At least they kick arse.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 06:41 PM

'm still looking for the successors to the mantle of the Young Tradition, or the Watersons as harmony singers, or Lal or Norma Waterson as solo singers.

Successor to Lal? That'll be the day!!

I think you are asking too much here Richard. :-)

What I think has happened is that the young have turned to instruments a lot more and damn good they are too.

As far as singers are concerned then there is Tim vE and Jim C. Julie Fowlis certainly has a wonderful voice - hard to hold audiences singing a foreign language and she does it brilliantly.

Jon Boden is not that old - and he has a great voice.

But not a great lot of young singers I give you.

Bella Hardy?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 06:44 PM

Oops - and a great favourite who is coming on leaps and bounds whilst on the degree course - Hannah James. Also Ruth Notman has improved beyond recognition since I first saw her in 2003. She's only abut 19 now.

Norma born 1939 - was 24/25 as the Watersons got going - Lal commensurately younger.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 01:25 AM

In case anyone wanst to know what Rachel Unthank makes of this discussion, I have begin posting an interview with her at Salut! Live

The idea for the interview predated the debate (it was inspired by another thread in which someone actually objected to the fact that the Unthank sisters have Geordie accents) but she deals fully with her reaction to what has appeared here.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 01:28 AM

...and apologies for the typos..... was up until 3am posting the first two sections of the interview


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 04:02 AM

I note in the interview at http://www.salutlive.com/, she says "    It definitely doesn't seem to be inspiring luke warm receptions, good or bad, which is exciting!". My reading of this thread is that many of the reactions (to the group) here are luke warm. Mine is for one.

There are some nastier comments but I think, in the main, the trouble some of us making the negative comments have is we can't fathom (well sort of) "the best in folk music".

There again, I suppose some here would have difficulty in working out why I find this the best clip I've found on youtube in a few weeks.

Jon (can't get it to post with a name in "from")


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 04:05 AM

Thanks for that Colin. An enjoyable read. And Rachel dealt with the mud(cat)slinging with far more dignity and aplomb than I would have been able to muster...

I reckon you could start a thread on any english singer of traditional songs aged 35 or under, and within days it would be riddled with abuse. Personally, I don't have a problem with robust but fair criticism. It's the slightly psychopathic stuff (especially from some of the anons) that can seem a bit creepy and sick.

I do suspect that some of the comments on this thread are as much to do with the posters' 'difficult' personalities as they are to do with the Winterset. There's at least one regular poster contributing here who regardless of the subject of the discussion is nearly always negative when other people are being positive and vice versa. It a form of arrested development called 'oppositional disorder'. My four year old is very good at it.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 10:14 AM

I hope those who criticised RUATW for being with EMI and those who criticised "floaty dresses" read Colin's interview. Rachel, (for it is she) comes out of all with dignity and grace.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 11:12 AM

the trouble some of us making the negative comments have is we can't fathom (well sort of) "the best in folk music".
just what do you mean by "The best in folk" (sounds like Crufts, you know, Best in show *LOL*)
My approach is simply what I like and what I don't like.

Charlotte (has never won any award at Crufts or the Radio 2 Folk Awards)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,S
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 11:49 AM

Hey Charlotte...
Re. your post a few back - "what is it that makes them so different apart from the cello"...

This is what I think on the subject:

1) Harmony. This is the main reason I like them. I like simple harmony I prefer chords with extensions and coloured alterations. I think they have a good balance between the two with some progressions and voicings that are out of the ordinary. Belinda's sense of harmony and Adrian, Becky, Niopha and Rachel's taste in soundworlds seems to have led them to choose very beautiful, unconventional chord progressions. Instead of the usual tried and tested tonic-dominant polarity they use nice progressions like major 7th chords resolving up a major third, which sounds beautiful and unsettling. They use sharp 11ths and augmented triads and I love the sound of that harmony. It's Bill Evans-ish. It is pretty 'different' in folk I think. A really sophisticated sense of harmony is one of the reasons I like Joni Mitchell so much. Their vocal harmonies can be very close and sound a bit different, with tone/semitone clashes, tritones and accented suspended dissonances. It sounds really interesting. They use lots of different modes but I like that they don't mix them up to much - their songs seem to stick to one mode with very noticeable peak points when they add a chromatic note and it's really nice. Like they're retaining the beautiful simplicity of folk, but translating it into the unusual soundworld of contemporary jazz.
2) The way they use piano couldn't possibly be further from silly Cecil Sharp drawing room. It's innovative. Drones on piano are a bold thing to do. Using it as a bell-like sound. Holding the sustain pedal for a ridiculously long time is just not the done thing but it works. Playing high up in the piano register while the singers sing lines beneath. That's quite quirky. Then all the Tin pan alley pastiche. It's not the commonest thing in folk is it?
3) Feet in very high heels as percussion. Enough said.
4) I think Becky and Rachel's voices are unique and powerfully honest and communicative. But this is a particularly subjective point I realise.

I don't really see what's so different about the cello...

S


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 12:13 PM

"Feet in very high heels as percussion. Enough said"

a variation on step dancing

didn't Belinda O' Hooley (the piano player) quit, recently?


I'm not convinced....

Charlotte (isn't rushing to be under the Unthank umbrella)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 12:18 PM

the trouble some of us making the negative comments have is we can't fathom (well sort of) "the best in folk music".

Remarkably no-one on this thread has described them as such. They have been nominated for a number of awards - the results of which will be known on Monday night. If we believe John Lennard and Smooth Operations these are the distillations of over 150 judges - all of whom have connections with the world of folk music. I suspect RUATW will get best newcomers. But at the moment they have won nothing.

If people don't like their singing - then switch them off when they come on the radio, and don't buy their CD. But don't slag them off for wearing floaty dresses (in all pictures two do and two don't) or for signing a distribution deal with a major label. Martin Carthy's first record was on Fontana.

And go and read what Rachel says on Salut:Live.

Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall - PM
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 01:25 AM

will take you there.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 12:40 PM

I've read, I even provided a link in my post as Colin Randall's link was broken...

As for the rest.

I don't actually dislike their singing or their music.

I've no opinion over floaty dresses.

I do have opinions over big companies and the power of marketing,


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM

And how do big companies and the power of marketing relate to RUATW? Tell me what folk singers do wrong mixing with big companies?

Do you seriously believe it was clever marketing to get born in a hot bed of traditional music like the North East? To parents who are steeped in folk music? To go to loads of festivals when they were younger? To perform with rapper and clog teams when younger? To do festival and clubs as a duo for little return? etc. etc.....I booked them in 2003 and they were not with EMI then. They were with Adrian and they were starting to get well-known before that.

They were a success before EMI - that's how they are on their second record. The EMI thing is about distribution - clearly they will then fall in with publicity - why is this is so wrong?

Thirdly, this sort of thing works in the pop world hence the dozens of overnight successes who then disappear - it does not work in the folk world - which is why you rarely see it.

If you sincerely believe RUATW are a product of marketing you are seriously mistaken. And if you don't why are you banging on about it?

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 01:42 PM

I've not said a folk artists do wrong by being involved with a big company...

I seriously believe marketing can have an impact on everything. There was a time when I believed that folk music was somehow different and completely unaffected but I no longer believe that to be the case.

I am not banging on about anything. You are.

You had banged on in your previous 2 posts about people criticising them for floaty dresses and for EMI (neither of which I had mentioned). Your last post seemed (well you had quoted me in it) directed at me so I decided to give an indication of my feelings on the issues you were banging on about.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 02:37 PM

There was a time when I believed that folk music was somehow different and completely unaffected but I no longer believe that to be the case.

When was this? Pre-Playford possibly? Certainly the Dancing Masters of the 18th and 19th century did a lot of "marketing" of their wares.

Sharp wanted folk music into schools and did it a lot to promote folk music both into schools and the theatre. Read his introduction to his music for Midsummer Night's Dream. He "marketed" morris dancing by forming a team and having it travel around the country.

I used a quote from someone else at the top of the post.

The rest was not aimed at you.

Care to sign your name?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 04:33 PM

When? For me, in more naive days. I had even more naive days btw. I used to believe the quality of any product was always the most important factor in success but I was persuaded otherwise. Folk then had to be a sort of "magical exception". I suppose I could liken it to a belief that "folkies" were sort of some special breed of "super nice" people.

As it happens, I still retain a fair amount of faith in "folk" and "folkies" but I no longer believe either are exempt from the usual "rules" of the world we live in. To believe otherwise now would seem to be as realistic as a belief in the tooth fairy.

I seen now re the quote: It used came from me. Someone else did quote me in reply to my comments but that I was quoted was not clear.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 05:02 PM

I have argued long and hard that quality in folk music is most important and that we have put up with "good enough for folk" as Diane Easby characterises it for far too long.

Whether I like RUATW is irrelevant to that.

I am not a great fan of "Show of Hands" which to some people is real heresy.

I quite like RUATW and have done since they were a duo.

Rachel and Becky have - as far as I am concerned - been brought up as folk people and are not the result of some marketing guru. I cannot speak for the other two.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 05:22 PM

Not to me re SOH. I go a step worse as not only do I not particularly enjoy what I've heard of their theirs, I have found this material to be outside what I would personally think of as folk. But that leads to other suggestions, eg. You don't like listening to it because you don't think it's folk...

What I've heard of RUATW is actually well within what I would normally consider to be folk and I don't think they are that bad. I don't dispute the backgrounds of the sisters either.

Whether marketing can elevate a group I find "competent but average" and whether things may be explained simply by matters of tastes matching (or otherwise) are things I do ponder. And I believe I tried to express earlier in this thread.

Diane's comments in reply to me were of most interest to me in this thread. She indicated she finds them better live than on CD. Perhaps I'd find the same. Who knows?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM

OT but re "good enough for folk".

Personally I'm glad that folk music is capable of allowing participation at all levels of ability and can be friendly and encouraging for beginners. This to me is a special feature of folk music.

What I don't get on with are interpretations that work along the lines of:

"folk is not worth the effort of trying your best at"

or

"as it's folk, there should be no "entry level" requirement for participation/performance at any event".


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 05:34 PM

"I have found this material to be outside what I would personally think of as folk"

As much as I've read about Show of Hands, the only people I've ever seen refer to them as folk are the "folkies" No where have I seen either gentleman that make up Show of Hands refer to themselves as folk musicians. Actually, it all comes back to a person's personal definition of folk, and that's an arguement that will never be settled.

Charlotte (just plain folks)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Gene Burton
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM

200


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 07:52 AM

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset is my favourite band at the moment. I was sad when Jackie Oates left and I'm gutted that Belinda has left. I wonder if they'll still be playing her songs?

I don't see why any of us thinks we've got the right to criticise the way they dress. The first time I saw them, Becky had some new shoes which she liked because they had red spots on and a bow. She insisted on showing them to the audience so we could admire them.

They are brilliant musicians, red shoes or not. I actaully think it's quite nice when musicians dress up to perform, but it doesn't deter from the music in any way.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Cuddles
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 08:02 AM

I think they look very pretty. Nowt wrong with that, each to their own.

I wish they'd sing some more cheerful songs though, going by what's on their Myspace page I feel like Eeyore all of a sudden. Those songs are all so gloomy.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Pete Sumner
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 11:51 PM

I'll be glad when it stops snowing and blowing over there so some of the sad sods who have contributed to this thread can get out more....this sort of stuff really smokes them out doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:39 AM

This feels like digging up a dead thread but an opinion is forcing its way out. Much of the vitriol is down to two things IMO, firstly that Rachel is marketable and secondly the band appear to be the 'creation' of Adrian McNally. A folk Svengali may be an oxymoron but reading between the lines that looks like what we have, someone who's seen an untutored purity in Rachel's voice and has invented a format to accomodate it.
Admittedly its a creaky, impure commodity which is probably what the wider world finds so attractive and enthusiasts compare unfavourably to exemplars. Would the band be popular if Rachel looked like the back end of a bus? No. Would they be crossing over without McNally's single mindedness? Very doubtful, they'd probably be doing a singaround upstairs in a boozer. Are they any good? Certainly.
A lot of this thread reads like the columns in the music press when punk emerged; rock people missing the point and using virtuosity as the only yardstick.

If the band encourage more people to listen or even to play traditional music more power to them. These are just views, I know now't.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Villan
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM

I am looking forward to seeing them at The Gate To Southwell Folk Festival soon, for the first time.
I will be watching them with an open mind.

I can only make the a similar comment as I did for Kate Rusby recently

"If you like what Rachel Unthank & The Winterset do, then enjoy and bollocks to anybody else."

So if you don't like them, get off their backs and concentrate on the performers you do like.

I often suspect that people who make such nasty comments about performers are not fit enough to fill the boots of the performers they are criticising and could just be plain jealousy.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: the button
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM

I'm off to see them on 23 April for an "alternative St George's Day" thingy at The Barbican. Looking forward to seeing how they sound without Brenda.

(Billy Bragg's also appearing, but hopefully he'll be on last, so me & my good lady can sneak out. ;-)).


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Cardboard cutout
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:24 AM

Loath though I am to return this to the top of the threads for yet more attention, I have to say it's interesting that this thread has been resurrected just when the band return to the Northern Hemisphere: steered by a folk Svengali indeed.

Most of what Guest "glueman" says is accurate.

And, "the button", it's Belinda, not "Brenda", that was previously in the Unthanked band.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: the button
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 08:34 AM

Oops. Thanks for that. I really should know, since I'm on *Belinda's* e-mail list.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM

Belinda added much needed acid to the brew, it's a shame she's gone although it's hard to see such a larger than life person staying in that set up. I hope she doesn't disappear into musical ghettoes licking her wounds for too long, she's much too talented.
Rachel seems a personable young woman and she undoubtedly has something and not only things the camera likes. The jaded me sees the Winterset fading and Rachel going very mainstream but that's not necessarily a swear word in my book.
I don't know whether there was a hint that I'd bumped the thread for commercial reasons, I'm just a music buying punter. Good luck to all concerned.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Graeme
Date: 12 May 08 - 07:43 AM

Saw them at The Round in Ouseburn last night. I first heard them when my wife got The Bairns and was quite impressed but not totally overwhelmed. However seeing them live was something else. They seemed to genuinely enjoy performing and had a honesty and innocence that captivated the audience.

I don't understand this attitude that a folk act can't be successful or popular, if more people get into the music because of band like the Winterset than that can only be a good thing.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: the button
Date: 12 May 08 - 07:46 AM

Off to see them tonight at the Shaw Theatre in London.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Villan
Date: 12 May 08 - 08:55 AM

There was a big write up in the (I think) Saturday Express about them last weekend.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: black walnut
Date: 12 May 08 - 09:34 AM

The Villan - would it be possible to copy/paste or otherwise post?

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Graeme
Date: 12 May 08 - 09:44 AM

I think the article might be the one on their website

http://www.rachelunthank.com


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Villan
Date: 12 May 08 - 11:15 AM

Graeme it wasn't that review.

It was written by Charlotte Heathcote and the heading was Unthank-you for the music and it is on page 74/75 of the Sunday Express on May 11th 2008.

Its too much for me to type. There is a big photo of them walking around at the Criche Tram festival.

I don't know if anybody can magic up the article.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: glueman
Date: 12 May 08 - 11:19 AM

A search on The Express web site for 'Rachel Unthank' revealed a fat zero.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: The Villan
Date: 12 May 08 - 12:15 PM

Yes, I know, so thought maybe somebody who has a subscription, might be able to do it.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Euthryphro
Date: 12 May 08 - 02:38 PM

I'm glad someone else has mentioned Adrian McNally; his influence is common knowledge amongst those who would claim to be "in the know", but the wider world seems to miss this. "Single-minded" is one way to put it, certainly!


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: the button
Date: 12 May 08 - 07:24 PM

Just got back from the Shaw Theatre, and they were the best I've seen them yet -- they've really come on since the tour to promote The Bairns (when I first saw them "live").

If anything, they were a bit more "traddie" than they used to be -- we had more unaccompanied stuff, including a song about whaling I haven't heard before (thought I knew 'em all ;-)) sung by the sisters with different (and breathtaking) harmonies for every verse. They also gave the fiddler a solo spot, singing something in a mixture of Irish and English, and all unaccompanied. Lovely stuff.

Maybe it was the venue or just a good night, but Becky's voice tonight was a revelation. I've always preferred her voice to Rachel's, but tonight she was amazing.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: glueman
Date: 31 May 08 - 06:04 AM

Elvish or Chaucer?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: black walnut
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:09 AM

SEPTEMBER 23 - 2008 Just announced - Rachel Unthank and The Winterset at Hugh's Room in Toronto! We've already got our tickets. I'm so glad they're crossing the ocean to sing at a great folk venue!!!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:37 PM

I saw them last week at Bristol's Venn Festival - loved their live performance (and slightly disappointed that the CD I bought there didn't quite live up to it). I really enjoyed their voices and harmonies - didn't hear one wrong note, and the passion and engagement were unmistakeable.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 08:39 PM

Oh...and I couldn't get any of the links to Colin's interview with Rachel to work, and on his site I couldn't find the interview. Please can someone hand it to me on a plate? :)


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 12:15 AM

Suegorgeous:

The first part of the Rachel Unthank interview at Salut! Live should be accessible at....

http://www.salutlive.com/2008/02/rachel-unthank.html

The article contains links to the subsequent instalments. Each of the three parts also has its own link down the right hand sidebar when you reach any page of the site, which is at http://salutlive.com

I knew people sometimes had trouble reaching my sites here in Abu Dhabi, which I attribute to the UAE's disapproval of Flickr (which I sometimes use), but this is the first time I have heard of anyone being unable to get into them from West.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,jane hogg
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:24 AM

I hope people don't mind if I express my opinion on this subject.

I'm a big fan of rachel unthank & the winterset - I find their music captivating and engaging, especially the passion and honesty in rachel and becky's voices against the stark musical background of piano and fiddle.

I do however think it a shame that such talented women have to be driven, organised, recorded, told what to wear, sing, by their manager/sound engineer, bus driver, fiance, record company owner adrian mcnally. It reminds me of the svengali managers of the 1970's and also worries me that such an admission of his power by rachel on stage, though humerous, suggests they are completely dependent on him. Always better to keep your options open in my opinion.

Could there be more to Jackie Oates and Belinda O'Hooley leaving this band than what has been written on the band's myspace? Perhaps the degree of control exerted on the band was not seen by all as favourable? It seems odd that two such talented people that helped create their individual stark sound didn't stick around to enjoy the success of recent times for the band.

That said, I think the winterset are hugely talented women and look forward to their next project.

JH


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 10:54 AM

I do however think it a shame that such talented women have to be driven, organised, recorded, told what to wear, sing, by their manager/sound engineer, bus driver, fiance, record company owner adrian mcnally.

Rachel has been with Adrian for over five years at least since when when I first came across her and Becky singing together as a duo - in 2003. I'd let her make her own mind up.

As for most of the functions you are talking about there - that's what some managers do. Otherwise they drive themselves? I see nothing "controlling" in driving them, organising them, etc. Unless you want them to do it - or a succession of complete strangers. Which would you prefer - a fiance or a stranger?

Adrian has been doing their sound for all that time for them and other groups.

As for telling them what to wear etc. - if he is controlling four young intelligent women and telling them what to do - then he is doing better than 99.99% of all the men I have ever known. I suppose it's possible but if true, quite an insult to the girls I'd say.

I seem to think there was some ccorrespondence on here claiming that Adrian had sold them out to EMI. Now he gets the blame for controlling them. I suspect that the truth is neither.

Rachel and Becky's Dad George went on their Australian tour - does he get some of the blame too?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,More of the same
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 01:06 PM

"Could there be more to Jackie Oates and Belinda O'Hooley leaving this band than what has been written on the band's myspace? Perhaps the degree of control exerted on the band was not seen by all as favourable? It seems odd that two such talented people that helped create their individual stark sound didn't stick around to enjoy the success of recent times for the band."

Jackie and Belinda were both sacked by Adrian, they didn't leave. Make of that what you will.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 01:20 PM

Jackie Oates and Belinda O'Hooley have real talent. Make of that what you will


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,more of the same
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 04:34 PM

exactly - perhaps they aren't so easily controlled...


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folknacious
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 05:39 PM

Hi Belinda


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:52 PM

Jackie Oates and Belinda O'Hooley have real talent. Make of that what you will

What does that say about Niopha and Steph then?

Whereas Rachel and Becky after five years of succesful singing in public don't have real talent - it's just that the audiences that go to see them often on a repeat basis haven't got any taste. It's just that festival organisers who book them all over Europe and elsewhere haven't got a clue what they are doing.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Colin Randall
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 10:22 PM

Just when you thought Mudcat had regained its senses, the more ludicrous "I don't like 'em so they're crap/sold out to EMI/shafted Belinda" theorists are out and about again.
For the record, this is what Rachel had to say about the debate in her interview with me for Salut! Live


"I do try and avoid message boards as a rule, but you intrigued me so I had a look. Well, what can I say! People are truly divided, it's quite unsettling to be the subject of such controversy! Some people obviously think we can't sing for toffee whilst others think we are breath of fresh air!?! In our defence we do like a clashy harmony or two and enjoy bending the odd few notes. But who am I to say? As for the EMI debate, mmm I don't quite get it. Maybe people aren't aware that it only a licensing deal we have with them. We researched, recorded, produced our album ourselves on a limited budget and a vocal booth which consisted of our under the stairs cupboard. We have complete artistic control in everything from music to artwork and definitely pick our own frocks! I am tempted to think that some people in their internet universe may not be aware of the current fashions in the outside world, it's not unusual for young women to wear frocks!! However, this is probably very judgemental of me, I shouldn't join their ranks! Perhaps we should start wearing jeans and woolly jumpers on stage to look a bit more authentic. Quite seriously though, people might think that wearing posh dresses is about marketing and glamour, but with us I think it comes more from of an old fashioned, working class hang up of always wearing your best frock when in public, and by god if standing on a stage isn't a good excuse to get your spangles out, then what is! As for Belinda, none of us wanted her to leave the band and EMI certainly didn't push her out. She has been an important part of our soundscape and we've loved having her in the band. The creative process has always involved the five of us however (me, Becky, Niopha, Adrian and Belinda), and was never led by one individual. I'm sure our sound will change, but her departure won't signify a sudden dearth of creative ideas. Just been back to Mudcat and it's all turned a bit vicious!! I suppose reading these chat rooms is a bit like over hearing people talking about you in a bar. Sometimes it'll be a pleasant experience, sometimes not. I think I might avoid them in future though. It's a bit like they don't think we are real people, just sport. It's important not to believe the hype about yourself or the mud slinging if you are going to remain sane."


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 05:24 AM

Colin, do not try pointing out facts from the people who know like - Rachel herself. Not good enough for Mudcat.

And this thread - which I must say I thought was moribund - was revived by someone whol ikes them!!

With friends like these...................


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: glueman
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 03:37 PM

FWIW I reckon Belinda and Rachel are both excellent performers. Questions surrounding arrivals and departures are inevitable and the 'press release' after Belinda left could have been handled better, IMO. Things like that make it seem like the Winterset is a vehicle for Rachel's voice and persona rather than a band.
I doubt very much whether anyone involved gives a flying one what people on a folk message board think, that isn't their bag. Is it?


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 05:31 PM

Having seen them perform at Gate to Southwell, Wychwood and Dent in the last few weeks or so, the answer about message boards can be gathered from their replies on here.

Or not as the case might be.

They said what they wanted to say on their own message board. But people seem to know better.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,jane hogg
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 03:11 AM

Gosh, I seems to have caused offence here which was unintended. I'm sure they will all do great things and are doing already!

JH


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: glueman
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 03:40 AM

"They said what they wanted to say on their own message board."

I didn't realise they had one of those already. They are certainly going places.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folkiedave
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 04:48 AM

"They said what they wanted to say on their own message board."

I meant interview of course.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Folknacious
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 06:31 PM

Rachel Unthank & The Winterset got a nomination in the Mercury Music Prize today (for The Bairns).

Story here


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: dj bass
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 11:24 AM

I saw RUATW at Exeter a while back. The Bairns is a terrific album, but nowhere near as good as they are live. I'll be going out of my way to see Rachel at Sidmouth the week after next, when I'm sure I won't be short of other things to do!

DJ


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: dj bass
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:01 PM

OOps, no I won't, they aren't on at Sidmouth. I must have imagined that!

dj


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for sharing that announcement, Folknacious! I wouldn't have otherwise known...over here on the other side of the pond. That's great!

Now I REALLY REALLY can't wait to hear them live in Toronto!!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: Alio
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 01:43 PM

Rachel and the band are appearing at Shaw Playhouse 2 Theatre again - Thursday, July 31, as part of the Oldham 7 Songs event (7 concerts in 7 different places). I'll be playing some tracks from their latest album on Sounds of Folk Monday evening.

She and her sister are very down to earth, and certainly have their own views on everything, so there's no way they'd let a mere man tell them what to wear!!

Ali


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,Brian James
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 07:13 PM

Read some of the thread at the beginning. When I realised it was vitriolic crap from a bunch of saddo's, I scrolled down to the bottom to add my comment rather than read the rest. There are some great songs on the Bairns album. Having a short attention span, I really like some of the the distinctive sounds. As a middle aged man, I better get used to performers younger than myself, or I'm in for a lonely old age musically. And like the music or not, abuse is not the same thing as critique.

Brian James


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: GUEST,caitlín
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 09:19 PM

You must have a very short attention span. Or else you read selectively. Not all of this thread is vitriolic crap - even at the beginning which is the only bit you could be bothered with. And not all the negative comments are vitriolic. People have a right to prefer what they prefer.

I've always liked their music, but not everyone does. I can live with that. But you probably feel better now you've sorted us all out.


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Subject: RE: Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 10:24 AM

LAST NIGHT - TORONTO CANADA SHOW - FABULOUS - ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!!!!

~b.w.


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