With its arresting cover of a felled marionette, Battlefield Dance Floor is the 18th studio album from Proper Records latest signing and one of the most prized acts on the folk roots circuit, Show of Hands.
The 13-track album, their first key release in more than three years, 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.
Phil Beer is the ‘master decorator’ of the songs – a brilliant, consummate multi-instrumentalist while long term third member Miranda Sykes is back on board with her eloquent double bass and vocals after her sabbatical – and Cormac Byrne and his feted percussion skills (witnessed on last autumn’s UK tour) bring a vibrant fresh dimension to the party.
Rolling Stones collaborator Matt Clifford adds his keyboard skills to some tracks and an impromptu collective known as The Bridge Hill Shanty Men are the icing on the cake, weighing in with rousing choruses.
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. It's an album of broad brushstrokes which mixes songs of despair and displacement, emphatic songs, tongue-in-cheek songs, poignant songs and carefully chosen covers into a classic Show of Hands package with wide appeal. 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 will showcase songs from Battlefield Dance Floor on their 22-date autumn-winter tour of England and Wales, find all of the dates below.
2. Battlefield Dance Floor
3. Just Enough To Lose
4. Mother Tongue
5. You'll Get By
7. First We Take Manhattan
8. Make The Right Noises
10. Next Best Western
11. Swift And Bold
12. My True Love
13. No Secrets
Vinyl bonus tracks: Jenny's Waltz/Gwennap/Breakfast For Altan and Along The Lanes And O'er The Lea