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Festivals of arts always give us the opportunity to dip into a smorgasbord of genres we may not otherwise take the trouble to encounter. Jenny and I celebrated belatedly her birthday by having a night out with the Unthanks, a unique folk group blending traditional and contemporary music from the north east of England – (Unthanks is the surname of the two lead vocals – not a disposition!). The setting was great – a warm balmy night on Perth’s esplanade, a mob of happy Egyptian born Aussies celebrating at one end and us gathering at Beck’s Music Box at the other. The Unthanks connected quickly with the audience with their wry, self-deprecating humour and their repertoire of lullabies, clog dancing, sea shanties and ballads depicting historical and contemporary social commentary. It is true what the reviews said – they “inhabit” their music. It was a marvelous and winsome 90 minute immersion in Geordie song and dance. Here’s a taste (from a file clip):

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