Here's the Tender Coming

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Here's the Tender Coming
Studio album by The Unthanks
Released 14 September 2009
Genre Folk
Length 55:02
Label Rabble Rouser
Producer Adrian McNally
The Unthanks chronology
The Bairns (2007) Here's the Tender Coming (2009) Last (2011)
Singles from Here's the Tender Coming
  1. "Lucky Gilchrist"
    Released: 30 November 2009
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Guardian 4/5 stars[1]
UNCUT 4/5 stars[2]

Here's the Tender Coming, the third album by English folk group The Unthanks, and the first under The Unthanks moniker, was released on 14 September 2009.[3] It was Folk Album of the Year for MOJO magazine and also for The Guardian,[4] who gave it a four-starred review.[1] In the sleeve notes for the album, Rachel Unthank said that although the Tender in the album's title track refers to the boat that is on its way to press men to sea, "the title of this song seemed to encapsulate for us the feeling of our new album, which is perhaps calmer and a little warmer in contrast to the stark bleakness of The Bairns".


Sid Smith, of BBC Music, described it as an "astonishing record", "beautiful”, “haunting” and “beguiling".[5] In a four-starred review for The Guardian, Colin Irwin said: "This album may not be quite as bleak as The Bairns, and the sound is more sophisticated, but they still sound like nobody else... Tracks build slowly and mysteriously, but all are in service of the song. Their arrangement of the title track − a traditional song about the emotional devastation wrought by press gangs − brilliantly encapsulates the story's fraught desperation. Their version of Nobody Knew She Was There, one of Ewan MacColl's lesser-known songs about his mother, painstakingly paints a similarly dramatic backdrop with more atmospheric brass, and they put their own stamp on the Nic Jones classic, Annachie Gordon."[1] Neil Spencer, for UNCUT, said: "It’s an often exquisite mixture of light and dark, instinct and artistry, that honours both the power of old songs and the stoicism of the lives that shaped them. Rarely has the deep past sounded so stirring, or so modern."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Because He Was a Bonny Lad" (Traditional) (2:36)
  2. "Sad February" (Graeme Miles) (4:36)
  3. "Annachie Gordon" (Traditional) (8:15)
  4. "Lucky Gilchrist" (Adrian McNally) (4:52)
  5. "The Testimony of Patience Kershaw" (Frank Higgins/The Unthanks) (4:05)
  6. "Living by the Water" (Anne Briggs) (6:08)
  7. "Where've Yer Bin Dick?" (Traditional) (0:47)
  8. "Nobody Knew She Was There" (Ewan MacColl) (5:53)
  9. "Flowers of the Town" (Anonymous) (3:06)
  10. "Not Much Luck in Our House" (Traditional) (0:48)
  11. "At First She Starts" (Lal Waterson/Oliver Knight) (3:38)
  12. "Here's the Tender Coming" (Traditional) (5:28)

Hidden track: "Betsy Bell" (Traditional, arranged by The Unthanks) (4:14)
Album length = 55:02


The Unthanks
  • Rachel Unthank – voice, cello, ukelele, clogs
  • Becky Unthank – voice, feet, autoharp
  • Niopha Keegan – violin, voice, accordion, mandolin
  • Adrian McNally – piano, dampened piano, plucked piano, drums, marimba, chime bars, autoharp, Wu-Han tam tam, Chinese temple gongs, Tubular bells, backing voice
  • Chris Price – guitar, bass, ukulele, dulcitone, marimba, backing voice
Additional musicians
  • Jo Silverston  – solo cello
  • Rosie Biss  – quartet cello
  • Mike Gerrard  – viola
  • Andre Swanepoel  – violin
  • Iona Brown  – violin
  • Jenny Chang  – violin
  • Dan Rogers  – bowed double bass
  • Graham Hardy  – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Simon Tarrant  – trumpet
  • Chris Hibberd  – trombone
  • Adam Sinclair  – drums, cymbals, shaky egg
  • Julian Sutton – melodeon
  • Neil Harland – double bass
  • Shelley Thomson – backing voice
  • Jane Pollinger – backing voice


  1. ^ a b c Colin Irwin (6 September 2009). "The Unthanks: Here’s the Tender Coming". BBC Music, BBC website. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Neil Spencer. "Uncut Album Review: The Unthanks – Here’s The Tender Coming". UNCUT. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Steve Drayton (4 September 2011). "BBC Introducing: New name and sound for The Unthanks". BBC Local/Tyne, BBC website. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Unthanks: Biography". The Guardian (London). 4 June 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Sid Smith (2 October 2009). "Here’s the Tender Coming raises the group’s standard higher still". BBC Music, BBC website. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 

External links[edit]