Sunday 22 April 2012 at 7:30pm
Royal Exchange Theatre
Saint Ann's Square, Manchester, M2 7DH, United Kingdom
For the third in our new series of Sunday night concerts at the historic Royal Exchange, Hey! Manchester and Edge Street Live present An intimate evening with The Unthanks.
Tickets are available directly from the Royal Exchange box office (no booking fee for cash payment), Royalexchange.co.uk and on 0161 833 9833. They will also be available shortly from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange (both on Oldham Street), Ticketline.co.uk and Seetickets.com
Don’t miss this opportunity to see The Unthanks close-up and pared down. For the past three years, The Unthanks have toured as a ten-piece troupe, bringing their peerless sound to the stage in full glory. During that time they have performed in the atmospheric surroundings of some of the UK’s finest cathedrals, concert halls and churches.
Following a recent collaboration with the massed ranks of national champions Brighouse and Rastick Brass Band, the Mercury-nominated Tynesiders now return to where they began, playing cosier venues, in the guise of their core quintet – the creative nucleus – for a more intimate and close-up musical and personal experience.
Fronted by sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, The Unthanks prefer to see folk as an ongoing unwritten history, rather than a style of music, drawing on myriad influences to story-tell in Technicolor – from the minimalist eccentricity of Steve Reich, Antony & The Johnsons, Robert Wyatt and Miles Davis, to the singers of their Geordie native North East of England. The Unthanks prove that staunch traditionalism and sonic adventure need not be opposites.
Special guests will be Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell, who were such a hit on The Unthanks’ 2009 Here’s The Tender Coming tour. Jonny and Lucy will be performing songs from their debut album Kite, released autumn 2011 and described by Lauren Laverne as ‘absolutely gorgeous’.
The Royal Exchange Theatre has existed in one form or another since 1792, including at its current site in St Ann’s Square. The building was seriously damaged during World War II when it took a direct hit from a bomb during a German air raid at Christmas, 1940. The interior was subsequently rebuilt but trading ceased in 1968, and the building was threatened with demolition. It remained empty until 1973 when it was used to temporarily house a theatre company. The Royal Exchange Theatre was founded in 1976, and formally opened by Sir Laurence Olivier.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Royal Exchange Theatre, which seats upwards of 700 people in the round across three tiers, welcomed the likes of John Martyn, Fairport Convention, Loudon Wainwright III, Cowboy Junkies, the Durutti Column, Penguin Cafe and Christy Moore among others. The building was later damaged on 15 June 1996 when the IRA bomb exploded less than 50 yards away in nearby Corporation Street. Repairs took over two years and cost £32m, but the theatre was named ‘Theatre of the Year’ in 1999 and continues to thrive.
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