Rachel Unthank & the Winterset

Forging links between folk worlds old, new and other, Rachel and her set have blown a bracing northeasterly gale through traditional English song, casting it in an endlessly inventive and playful new mould.

Transcendent and grounded music folds around unsentimental old, new and imaginatively borrowed stories of booze, brawls, abuse, loss, fear, infantile death, depravity, and sorrow.

Dancing down the leftfield and singing in their own lilting Geordie accents, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset are the “inheritors, curators and gleeful distorters” (Ian MacMillan) of Tyneside’s traditions. Discreetly provocative arrangements draw on elements of blues, jazz, music hall, burlesque cabaret, classical, and leftfield contemporary music, making their take on folk music peerless, fearless and wholeheartedly brave.

Fans as disparate as Robert Wyatt, Kate Rusby, Paul Morley, Nic Jones, Phil Jupitus and Joan As Policewoman have joined the chorus of adulation from the press.

Further reading

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at WOMAD 1985: Were you there?

Nusrat's concert at the festival in 1985 was the first in front of a primarily non-Asian audience

9Bach acoustic EP ‘Noeth’ out today

Welsh band 9Bach's acoustic EP Noeth is available digitally today.

Real World at the British Library Sound Archive

The British Library Archive have been recording artists at the WOMAD Festival for over 30 years.

7 East African artists performing at this year’s Ongala Music Festival

Named after the late Remmy Ongala, the event showcases exciting new East African talent.