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Dark Fields


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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Steve Knightley and Phil Beer are widely acknowledged as the finest acoustic roots duo in England. Knightley, who writes most of their inspired material and Beer, a dazzling multi instrumentalist, have built up a huge following which has seen them sell out the Royal Albert Hall three times, headline major festivals from Glastonbury to WOMAD and playing all over the world, from Europe to ... Read more in Amazon's Show Of Hands Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Nov 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hands On Music
  • ASIN: B00001ZWHF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Cousin Jack 5:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Longdog 2:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Shout 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wessex Medley 3:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Dark Fields 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Train 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Flora 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Crazy Boy 5:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Warlike Lads Of Russia 2:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Farewell Angelina 5:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Bristol Slaver 3:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. High Germany / Molly Oxford15:51Album Only

Product Description

Studio album from 1997 featuring Kate Rusby, Chris Wood and Andy Cutting amongst others.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb 2002
Format: Audio CD
After the small-scale critical acclaim of "Lie of the Land", Steve Knightley and Phil Beer attempted probably the nearest thing they could get to a commercially challenging album with "Dark Fields", and in places it works exquisitely well. The title track, a duet with Chris While, is a heartbreaking, spine-tingling ballad of love gone wrong, of the sort that sadly never makes the charts. "Longdog" is an infectious piece of West Country tall-story-telling, "Crazy Boy" (which was actually released as a single - it got nowhere) a beautiful, understated reminiscence on the wildness of youth ("You don't believe it, but it gets better"), and the stand-out album opener, "Cousin Jack", is a chillingly vitriolic protest song dedicated to Cornishmen in exile everywhere. There are proportionately fewer original songs on the album than in "Lie of the Land", some 50% of the material being genuine traditional songs and instrumentals (allowing Phil Beer, often eclipsed by the sheer emotion of Steve Knightley's singing, to show his virtuosity) or cover versions (a particularly good one of Dylan's "Farewell Angelina"), but in my opinion this is actually somewhat to the detriment of the album as a whole. The strength of Show of Hands has always lain in their ability to interpret traditional material in a way that makes it accessible and relevant to people preoccupied with Today; against that background the multitude of fiddle solos (virtuosity notwithstanding) and a song about Napoleon's army seem just a little self-indulgent and unnecessary. Perhaps it was an attempt to get the "trad" folkie audience on-side - but Show of Hands have so much to say that in places it does feel as if they've missed an opportunity here. Still, the album is worth having for the title track and "Cousin Jack" alone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "jdd32" on 24 Oct 2004
Format: Audio CD
Show of Hands remain a much under-appreciated band, which is a shame. This album has some excellent songs on it, from traditional folk instrumentals to songs that could pass for mainstream, if the lyrics were less alive and the musicians less talented- although I haven't encountered any other artists who paints so vivid a picture of a culture as do Show of Hands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Clews on 21 Aug 2011
Format: Audio CD
This was the first SoH album I ever bought, and it remains my favourite, especially for Cousin Jack which is a favourite at their gigs (I've been to six). Special tip: let the CD play on after the last track 'ends' - be patient and you're in for a real treat!
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By The Soft Machine Operator TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of Show of Hands' stronger albums, but still suffers from the band's ability to congregate the best stuff in the first half of the album, leaving the second half to fizzle out. Knightley's original songs are the stars - Cousin Jack, a tale of economic exiles, Longdogs, the story of a Poacher and the quite stunning Dark Fields, a duet with Chris While. Phil Beer's playing of various instruments brings the lyrics to life, especially in The Train, a haunting song about the partitioning of India. Occasionally, on tracks like Crazy Boy, you get the feeling that they want to plug in and go electric.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Classic Folk 19 Jun 2001
By "thebelfrey" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a classic folk cd. I went out and ordered it the day after I first heard it and loved it instantly. The use of different instruments to combine over the harmonies of Phil Beers voice are well mixed and worked. The different tracks include some from other cds, like Cousin Jack and the Bristol Slaver, but the mixes on this cd are smoother than previous. It seems that there was more money spent in the studio, and as such, a more rounded cd has eventuated. A 100% recomendation from down-under.
Dark Fields, Bright Stars 4 Sep 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It is hard not to be biased towards the work of Show of Hands, when I remember them as members of the under-rated and short lived 80's group 'The Arizona Smoke Review'. I have very fond memories of Phil Beers and I sitting by the fire playing music together until 4am on a frosty Lincolnshire morning. That aside, the recordings on this offering are nothing less than a wonderful example of where traditional and modern folk music meet. The traditional tracks are well interpreted, the original tracks are emotive and will probably be performed by generations to come as examples of the best of folk to come from this age. I give it five stars, and encourage anyone interested in Show of Hands not only to give this CD a try, but also their Live at the Albert Hall recording, which is the only one I would recommend above this one. Blessings!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Kate Rusby Alert! 11 Dec 2003
By T. Carrolan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In addition to be a very nice album, the High Germany cut has great tradtional instrumentation and vocalizations involving the white-hot Kate Rusby and therefore should be of great interest to her legions.
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