The Unthanks - Vicar St
THE UNTHANKS - How Wild the Wind Blows
The Songs & Poems of Molly Drake
25 May 2017
“I’m glad to be around at the same time as them” Martin Freeman
"The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded jazz: as a launch pad for exploring the wider possibilities.” Uncut
‘Intimate, epic, overflowing with feeling and musical intelligence’ The Independent
A wistful mother in the 1950s makes some simple home recordings in her family sitting room. Little could she have known that decades later, her son would become one of the most poetic and influential songwriters ever, or that more than sixty years later, the dust would be blown off her own songs. On the surface, the 2013 release of Molly Drake’s work could easily have been perceived as just a curious footnote and jigsaw piece in explaining the enormous talent of Nick Drake. In the eyes of The Unthanks however, and increasingly amongst others, Molly’s work is extraordinary enough to rank alongside and independently of her brilliant son.
The songs of Molly Drake certainly share plenty of common ground with Nick's - charming and bittersweet, yet dark and pensive. Never intended for public release, the quality of her recordings was modest, and the ideas more like sketches than fully formed results. In a climate where films, stories and music are being rehashed for spurious repeat exploitation, if ever a body of work actually merited reappraisal and fresh presentation, surely the work of Molly Drake is it.
With active encouragement from the Drake estate and with the full blessing and enthusiasm of celebrated actress Gabrielle Drake (Molly’s daughter and Nick’s sister) The Unthanks are bestowed with the responsibility and honour. The Mercury nominated mavericks of British folk music are bound to treat the challenge with the same love and diligence for their subject as they did when reinterpreting the work of Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnson's. This tour of her reimagined work will be accompanied by an album release of Molly Drake's work - Diversions Vol 4. - the latest in a growing line of intrepid projects by The Unthanks.
“Rachel and Becky's voices are one of the true wonders of 21st-century music" NME
“It is their ability to pare back extraneous matter and to stare unflinchingly into the very soul of a song that makes them a spellbinding experience" BBC Music
“Just beautiful” Lauren Laverne
“Haunting, original and magnificent” The Guardian
"Once in a blue moon type of every now and again, you hear music that is so complete, so wonderful, unique and yet familiar that it stops you in your tracks. They have that blue moon magic about them, and they have it in spades" BBC Music
“Music as tough as it is gentle, as ancient as it is modern, and as coldly desolate as it is achingly intimate.. a sensationally graceful sound that can be epic and subdued, dreamy and specific, as well as supernaturally ancient and defiantly modern”. Paul Morley, Observer Music Magazine
Tickets priced €28 go on sale this Friday 9 December at 9am through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.