The Unthanks The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons, Live from the Union Chapel (Diversions Vol. 1)

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Released 07 Feb. 2012
1. Bird Guhl
2. Man Is The Baby
3. You Are My Sister
4. For Today I Am A Boy
5. Paddy's Gone
6. Spiralling
7. Stay Tuned
8. Dondestan
9. Lullaby For Hamza
10. Lisp Service
11. Free Will and Testament
12. Out of the Blue
13. Cuckoo Madame
14. Sea Song
15. Forest (Excerpt)

The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons, Live from the Union Chapel (Diversions Vol. 1)

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A live album exploring the songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony Hegarty

“I am flattered and mystified! Their voices are so pure.” Antony Hegarty

“I love the idea. It makes me happy just thinking about it” Robert Wyatt

It was December 2010 when The Unthanks staged a concert that was at once both a slice of fun and probably their most daunting project yet. Over two sold out nights at the Union Chapel, London, their exploration of music by Antony & The Johnsons and Robert Wyatt was an irreverent joy, and those London shows are now captured on a live album for all to hear.

From the sleeve notes by Unthanks pianist and producer Adrian McNally: “Maybe it’s not possible to perform without ego, but Robert and Antony exclude so much commitment and integrity in their music, their conversation with the human condition seems entirely selfless to me. There is never a spare note played or one struck to impress. They appear entirely consumed with the search for beauty and truth in a way that nourishes our philanthropic souls and reflects how we feel about folk music in its broadest sense. We’ve got a bit of a nerve associating ourselves with such beautiful men, but it’s the music and words we want to learn from and share with other people. We don’t look at this project as a major artistic accomplishment or statement.. we were just hoping to become more intimate and fascinated by music that we love and respect.”

Geordie sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank have long found kindred energies in the proudly maverick English soul of Robert Wyatt. Their interpretation of his “Sea Song” was one of the real jewels of their Mercury Music Prize nominated second album “The Bairns” and regarded by Wyatt himself as the finest interpretation by another artist of his songs. Wyatt was helpful and enthusiastic to the band in their preparations for this project, pleased that his songs are being performed live, given that he himself chooses not to perform these days. Similarly, they have previously dipped their toe in the water with Antony Hegarty’s music. “For Today I Am A Boy” was a showstopper in the early days of Rachel Unthank & The Winterset.

Bird Guhl
Man Is The Baby
You Are My Sister
For Today I Am A Boy
Paddy’s Gone
Stay Tuned
Lullaby For Hamza
Lisp Service
Free Will And Testament
Out Of The Blue
Cuckoo Madame
Sea Song
Forest (Excerpt)