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Rachel Unthank & The Winterset

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Review: The Unthanks (14)
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black walnut 18 Jan 08 - 03:35 PM
Leadfingers 18 Jan 08 - 05:29 PM
Georgiansilver 18 Jan 08 - 05:39 PM
gnomad 18 Jan 08 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,JohnB 18 Jan 08 - 09:49 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Jan 08 - 09:42 AM
Santa 19 Jan 08 - 11:01 AM
Banjiman 19 Jan 08 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,cardboard cutout 19 Jan 08 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 08 - 01:08 PM
black walnut 20 Jan 08 - 10:19 AM
GUEST 21 Jan 08 - 07:29 AM
the button 21 Jan 08 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,not a geordie 21 Jan 08 - 07:44 AM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 07:55 AM
mattkeen 21 Jan 08 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless) 21 Jan 08 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,not a geordie 21 Jan 08 - 08:55 AM
mattkeen 21 Jan 08 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,not a geordie 21 Jan 08 - 09:34 AM
the button 21 Jan 08 - 10:16 AM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,The Mole catcher's Apprentice 21 Jan 08 - 11:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM
Gene Burton 21 Jan 08 - 12:19 PM
Georgiansilver 21 Jan 08 - 01:23 PM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,not a geordie 21 Jan 08 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 21 Jan 08 - 01:55 PM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 02:14 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Jan 08 - 02:57 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 08 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's "Guest" Apprentice 21 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM
Folkiedave 21 Jan 08 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Female Apprentice 21 Jan 08 - 04:32 PM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 04:45 PM
Colin Randall 21 Jan 08 - 05:05 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Jan 08 - 05:12 PM
Santa 21 Jan 08 - 05:16 PM
Georgiansilver 21 Jan 08 - 06:31 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 08 - 06:53 PM
The Borchester Echo 21 Jan 08 - 07:31 PM
SarahNash 22 Jan 08 - 11:37 AM
GUEST 22 Jan 08 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Another Guest 22 Jan 08 - 02:37 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jan 08 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Another Guest 22 Jan 08 - 04:38 PM
John Routledge 22 Jan 08 - 05:42 PM
KeithofChester 23 Jan 08 - 05:13 AM
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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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