Congratulations to the Festival organisers for having the courage to think outside the box.
It was a refreshing change to hear music from a different genre which was provided by the award winning folk group from Newcastle – The Unthanks – on their first visit to King’s Lynn on Wednesday at the Corn Exchange.
Initially the words were indistinct but the technical issues must have been resolved (or the ears attuned) as the words became clearer making the stories told through the songs both interesting and enjoyable.
The backing group (with occasional tuning problems) consisted of a string quartet, bass/banjo/guitar, piano/keyboard and percussion with a solo trumpet and these admirably complemented the two vocalists. The percussionist in particular was very empathetic with the feel of the music.
With an odd tap dance thrown in for good measure the vocalists gave a wide variety of songs, albeit with seemingly the same measured pace and volume, from the north of England and Scotland.
They were joined in a couple of songs by other members of the group which gave a greater depth to the harmonies. Even the audience was required to partake at the end of the song leading to the interval but no words were involved!
It was clear that a proportion of the audience had followed the fortunes of the group enthusiastically but all were appreciative of the performance and were rewarded with a couple of songs as encore. In all it was a good evening’s entertainment.