The Unthanks


Purchase on Amazon
  1. The Romantic Tees (Prelude)
  2. A Great Northern River
  3. Black Trade
  4. Fairfield Crane
  5. Big Steamers
  6. All In A Day
  7. The Romantic Tees
  8. Shipbuilding
  9. Monkey Dung Man
  10. Taking On Men
  11. Only Remembered


“A riveting, rigorously unsentimental yet deeply moving experience. It’s surely a future classic.”

“This exquisitely realised record is so heavy with a sense of time and place that one might be on the docks. Sorrowful and magical.”
Mail on Sunday Albums of 2012

“They’re never better than when singing about dignity in the face of adversity. Every crushed knuckle and slide down a slipway is elegantly evoked. There really is no better folk band in the land”
Q Magazine

Diversions Vol. 3 contains the music created by The Unthanks for the Tyneside Cinema commissioned film of the same name, Songs from the Shipyards – a beautiful and moving film, tracing the story of shipbuilding.

Made by internationally acclaimed North-East filmmaker Richard Fenwick, Songs from the Shipyards is made from archive footage from the past 100 years, and illustrates in microcosm the highs and lows of Britain’s industrial journey. Fenwick and The Unthanks collaborated on the film from the start of the creative process, devising a strong political and human narrative to the story, and creating a unique, powerful, live audio-visual event, in which The Unthanks would perform a live soundtrack to the film.

Diversions Vol. 3 is a studio album that documents a non-sequential ‘best of’ the live soundtrack.

Having performed as no less than a 10-piece live band since 2009, and more recently with an entire brass band on stage, Songs from the Shipyards is a much more sparse and intimate affair, bringing the vocals of Rachel and Becky sharply back to the fore, and is the first record to capture purely the core 5-piece unit that is The Unthanks. The centrepiece of the record is The Romantic Tees – a self-penned piece devised by Adrian McNally, inspired by the poetry of the late Teesside writer Graeme Miles, written to accompany a part of the film called Launch – the beautiful, iconic, cult 1973 film made by Amber Films. The album was the last of three Diversions volumes released inside a prolific 12 month period, and with little time to squeeze it in, The Unthanks recorded most of the album during a tour, finding Vale Studios more or less ‘on route’; an old country house in Worcestershire converted into a studio full of vintage gear and mics.

(2012 RabbleRouser)