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Rachel unthanked in the end

I had to admit to someone who entered the Eliza Carthy competition that I had heard of, but not from, Laura Marling, the "other" folk inclusion in the Mercury music award nominations.

As I wrote here when the shortlist was announced, there was never really a snowball's chance in hell that Rachel Unthank and the Winterset would actually win. With no disrespect to Elbow - to whom I offer Salut! Live's hearty congratulations - the role of the novelty folk act is just that: to provide novelty and a sense that good music is good whatever its genre.

Seth Lakeman, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy can testify to that (though look at the fascinating revelation which has appeared in Comments since this article was posted: Rachel's band came a very close second, and some judges wanted to announce as much but were overruled)

In any event, the chivalrous knight in me - not that it's there very much - hopes all those people who have devoted so much of 2008 to hectoring and harrumphing about the Unthanks & Winterset will now graciously concede that she/they richly deserved their moments of mainstream exposure.

The interview clip shows what delightfully natural lasses, all the more because they are burdened with a desperately sad football allegiance, Rachel and Becky happen to be.

And for our second - YouTube's second clip - I have chosen my favourite song performed by the girls, Fareweel Regality, not because the sound is captured especially well (it isn't) but because it reveals again the qualities that attract some of us to them.

Bravo, unthanked ones. And Laura? Get a record in the post and you might one day feature on Salut! Live, too........



"there was never really a snowball's chance in hell that Rachel Unthank and the Winterset would actually win"

They were in fact a very close second. So close that many judges argued it should be announced (unfortunately overruled).

So I guess that snowball nearly made it. :)


I suppose that was my knee-jerk reaction to folk being allowed to get to the finals but never actually winning. But thanks Dave. Your snippet has the look of a Salut! Live world exclusive!

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