Unthanks celebrate ten years with a box of memories

Unthanks celebrate ten years with a box of memories

“If folk music is life, and for life, then ten years is nothing, right? We mean to go on, for as long as our togetherness supports and not stifles our mutual creativity. No need for best-of cash-ins or fond retrospectives just yet. This collection is more an exercise in housekeeping. The potential riches gathering dust on my studio shelves have long needed investigation and order. I’ve spent many hours in the last month listening back (not all of it was good!), to bring together a small selection of snapshots across our first 10 years. It’s a little ‘warts and all’ in places, but we hope you enjoy it for that. We’ve also tried to round up some pieces that until now have only been available on disparate sources and bring them together for you in one place. Rather than a summary of the last 10 years (whole chunks of our history are absent from it), this record is more like the missing jigsaw pieces. It’s satisfying that our brief period with Stef Conner at the piano gets some documentation here, for instance. It could easily have been a double CD, so it’s not completist exactly, but certainly we can now go forward with slightly tidier studio shelves and head space to relish the next 10 years.” – Adrian McNally, Oct 2015.

Taken from the sleeve notes of Archive Treasures (2005-2015)

In quiet, understated celebration of their 10th anniversary, The Unthanks release a 76 minute CD of rarities, exclusive live tracks, demos and outtakes. It is the only item available for individual purchase from The Unthanks Memory Box – a limited edition 10th anniversary box of Unthanks treasure, including this CD, a
live DVD, 3 books, a 7” single, prints, postcard and photos, all hand-finished and signed by the band. They’re almost sold out already.

Archive Treasures (2005-2015) could be described as a fan album and really illustrates how free and uninhibited the musical philosophy of The Unthanks has been over 10 years. There is no greater contrast on the record than listening to snapshots of childhood folk clubs recordings, next to a previously unreleased live version of Robert Wyatt’s ‘Alifib/Alifie’, illustrating a bravery and willingness to weather judgement from listeners and critics with musical vocabulary and listening habits less expansive, but ultimately a readiness to believe in the universality of music and the open-mindedness of their audience.

Organised on the record in sections, the album features never-before-heard Winterset recordings, live recordings of the 10 piece Unthanks from Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre, radio session tracks, childhood folk-club snapshots, a new Christmas single, a very different work-in-progress version of ‘Queen of Hearts’, three years before it appeared as a single on Last, plus tracks which have previously only been available on compilation albums featuring other acts, such as crowd favourite ‘Tar Barrel In Dale’, The Beatles’s ‘Sexy Sadie’, Peter Bellamy’s ‘Oak, Ash And Thorn’ and from Adrian McNally’s Harbour Of Songs album, a collaboration with fellow Barnsleyite, poet Ian McMillan.

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The Unthanks – ‘2000 Miles’ / ‘Tar Barrel In Dale’

The Unthanks release a dark, wintry version of 2000 Miles by The Pretenders, backed by the much loved Tar Barrel in Dale, written by Rachel & Becky Unthank’s dad George Unthank about the New Year’s Eve fire tradition at Allendale, Northumberland, featured live every year for a good few now, on BBC Radio 6 Music’s Christmas outside broadcast with Radcliffe and Maconie.


The Unthanks Memory Box

A Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Box of Unthanks Treasures

Only available direct from the band and bursting with exclusive, unreleased content, The Unthanks Memory Box will arrive hand-finished, stamped, numbered, signed and posted with the owner’s name on it. Pre-orders will leave our studio on December 7th and arrive in time for Christmas. There are 1500 copies and all but around 100 have sold as pre-orders already.

The box includes:

The Unthanks Archive Treasures (2005-2015) A 76 minute + CD of rarities, exclusive live tracks, unreleased demos and outtakes.

– The Unthanks On Film A 90+ DVD including a feature length film of the Mount The Air tour, live from Newcastle City Hall, plus archive extras including beautiful footage from Abbey Road of Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, the Shipyards films from Horncliffe Mansion and animated single videos.

– The Unthanks Songbook A 60 page book of song words, including original handwritten cuttings from the personal songbooks of Rachel and Becky Unthank.

– The Unthanks Kitchen At last! By popular demand of our singing weekenders, a recipe book of dishes made at The Unthanks Northumberland winter weekends.

– The Unthanks Unsung A 30 pages for you for you to start your own songbook.

– The first ever Unthanks 7” single ..featuring the only physical copies of the Christmas single, 2000 Miles and Tar Barrel in Dale.

– 2 Signed Art Prints by Becky Unthank and Natalie Rae Reed (artist for Mount the Air cover) and 2 postcards by Natalie Rae Reed

– A handful of snaps and a signed screen-printed card

* A scrap book of tour diaries and never before seen photos released next year, will complete the box. This is not included in the price of the box. *

So that’s a 70 min CD, 90 min DVD, 3 books, 2 postcards, 7″single, signed card, 2 prints and a bunch of photos…

** All for just £35! ** Pre-Order this limited edition box now at