2019 album. Folk roots. Also available on CD.
Show of Hands fans can rejoice as the duo Steve Knightley and Phil Beer, two undisputed and most prized kings of the folk, roots and acoustic scene reunite with long-term collaborator Miranda Sykes for a brand-new album - and their first release in 3 years - ‘Battlefield Dance Floor’ and tour for 2019. Bass and vocal queen Sykes was much-missed during her recent sabbatical, and excitement is building around her return to the fold. And there’s more, because the trio is expanding to include master percussionist Cormac Byrne who returns with his blistering additions by popular demand. There’s no doubt that Show of Hands the four-piece, now something of a supergroup, and their combined musicianship is guaranteed to sound nothing short of magical.
‘Battlefield Dance Floor’ is the bands 18th studio album and the 13-track album brings eight keenly awaited new songs (and a co-write) from the pen of Steve Knightley , widely acknowledged as one of the country’s most inspired and original songwriters.
Possibly their most commercial release to date, ‘Battlefield Dance Floor’ is an exuberant, lush, full-blooded album co-produced by the in-demand Mark Tucker and Knightley - Show of Hands’ first release since 2016’s ‘The Long Way Home’.
A classy cornucopia, it’s an album that successfully melds vintage Show of Hands and brand new material, infusing influences old and new and this time - as a four strong band - with even greater depth and panache. Says Steve: ”With the heartbeat and harmonies that Cormac and Miranda add, we are at last creating a sound we’ve dreamed of making for twenty five years!”
Show of Hands was formed by Steve Knightley, acclaimed as one of Britain’s greatest songwriters and Phil Beer, widely celebrated for his dazzling multi-instrumental virtuosity, after a chance meeting in 1986. Their songs whilst firmly rooted in folk tradition have timeless relevance. Nuanced, thoughtful and often witty, they can nail social issues whilst delivering beautiful harmonies and rousing sing-along choruses. Their track “Arrogance Ignorance and Greed”, voicing public outrage with the banking crisis lobbed them into the mainstream media including a feature on The Andrew Marr Show. Knightley had previously been labelled “The gravel voiced spokesman of the rural poor” for their album ‘Country Life’. Performing as a duo and since 2004 as a trio with Miranda Sykes, (double bass/vocals) they’ve sold-out London’s Royal Albert Hall five times, (unprecedented for a folk act) and draw audiences across the world.
Absorbing influences from their international tours and from collaborations with fellow musicians, their music is shot through by American, Latin, Celtic, Indian and Asian influences. Given its deep local roots they call it ‘world music from the West Country.’