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Witness

Show Of Hands Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 9.38 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Music

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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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for 16 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Witness + Arrogance Ignorance and Greed + Country Life
Price For All Three: 32.32

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 May 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hands On Music
  • ASIN: B000FG635K
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,114 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. Witness 3:310.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Roots 4:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Dive 4:410.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. The Falmouth Packet/Haul Away 5:360.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Undertow 5:180.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. If I Needed Someone 3:330.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Innocents' Song 4:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Union Street (Last Post) 4:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Bet 4:200.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Ink Devil 5:010.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Scratch 3:390.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. All I'D Ever Lost 5:370.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

Their most innovative studio album to date - Show of Hands as they've never been heard before. All the Show of Hands trademarks are there - intelligent lyrics, startling melodies, a plethora of instruments and impeccable presentation. But 'Witness' marks a confident new direction for the band - more melodically adventurous, edgier and assured. Over a year in the making, it gives a new twist to the Show of Hands sound - the result of an inspired collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Simon Emmerson and Mass (Simon Massey) of Afro Celts fame. Says Simon Emmerson: "Show of Hands have an uncanny ability to create fresh, contemporary music that is also deeply rooted in the traditional music of England and the West Country, and Steve Knightley is without doubt one of England's finest song writers - a storyteller of passion and integrity."

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Phil Beer and Steve Knightley(and the Afro Celt production team Emmerson and Mass, and Miranda Sykes) have produced a fabulous album that blurs a lot of musical boundaries.

Witness is likely to be bought and enjoyed by any fan with open ears and an interest in folk music or the wider world of rock, world music or Americana. It may seem controversial for folk purists because it doesn't always sound like folk music, and with politicans and other people who see the world in pure black and white terms.

It reminds me of some of REM's softer rocking moments, of Richard Thompson's best early work. And if you liked Seth Lakeman or Kate Rusby and the Afro Celts you should like this

It's a difficult task to produce music which spans the range I've described, but they pull it off. As the album runs from the rhythmic acoustic power and depth of ideas of Witness, Roots and the Falmouth Packet/Haul Away Joe medley to the quieter emotional stories of the Dive and Union Street(Last Post), there is the consistency of well written music and great singing .

The songs sound fully developed, mostly honed in live performance, and lifted from the acoustic sound of two excellent musicians by intelligent sympathetic production and overlaying in the studio .

And there are quirky gems:

-Innocents song/ Gwithian mixes original poetry (Charles Causley) with an overdubbed fiddle sound that could be the Velvet Underground

- ironically, when Bruce Springsteen is trying on folk for size, SOH have produced "Undertow", a perfect West Country song that Springsteen would be very proud of if he had been born in Cornwall.

If this goes on much longer, even a broadband modem will give up - listen to some samples and make up your own (broad)mind
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
A lot of my peers tell me that folk music is boring, lacking musically and totally irrelevant these days - thankfully to save my credability Show of Hands have produced a gem of an album. It is an album which sees the band effortlessly blurring musical boundaries and taking them to higher level than their last album Cuntry Life - something which I thought they would not do.

The opening two tracks immediately set the listener up for a musical rollercoaster ride with two upbeat tracks - Witness and Roots. The production by Afro Celt is noticable with much better production value and bass levels than previous outings. Next up is the more laid back Dive before the tempo rises again for The Falmouth Packet which is one of those songs you want to get up and jig along to. The fifth track Undertow is an excellent ode to a young persons take on country life. If I Needed Someone follws before the almost perfect traditional folk blend of poetic lyrics and simple musical accompaniment.

Union Street (Last Post) is a beautiful duet ballad of lost love which provokes many emotions, whilst The Bet is folk storytelling set to music. Ink Devil moves back to more folk rock that would not seem out of place on a Richard Thompson LP - it's moments like this that give Show of Hands a wide ranging appeal. Scratch is possibly the weakest track on the LP and doesn't quite have the same feel as the rest of the album. However closing track All I'd Ever Lost is simple and laid back but is still able to evoke feelings like the rest of the album.

For me it is difficult to see how anyone could dismis this album as 'boring, musically lacking and irrelevant'. Musically it is a fine recording taking influences from many genres and artists, yet still keeping a sense of originality about it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mix of songs. 16 May 2006
By Neal42
Format:Audio CD
This latest album from SoH is an excellent mix of traditional folk songs and ballards telling stories of modern day life in England. The highlights for me are "The Dive", "Undertow" and the stonking "Roots" which will have you yelling along as Knightley gets more and more angry about the state of the country. The Cd hasn't been out of our stereo for 2 weeks now. If you're a Show of Hands fan you need to get hold of this one now! If you're new to the band or to the folk scene in general then this would be an excellent introduction...highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A outstanding modern folk album 20 Sep 2006
By Tom
Format:Audio CD
If you know Show Of Hands already then you won't need this review. If you haven't heard them yet, then this album is a good place to start. It is modern Folk Music that should appeal even to those not used to english folk music.

The first and starting track, Witness, sets the tone for the album - good lyrics, a good tune and well produced. The second track, Roots, provides to me one of the strongest songs they have recorded - it's a view of modern life for young people and the lack of knowledge of our own heritage: "without our stories or our songs, how will we know where we've come from". Together with a strong tune and catchy chorus, it turns into almost a sea shanty at the end (accompanied by the Fishermans Friends chorus from Cornwall). Could/should be a single perhaps?

Dive is based on a true story and it is worth listening to the words carefully, expecially the first time you hear it. The Falmouth Packet contains a wonderful lyric about King Louis of France and is followed by Haul Away Joe. Undertow is haunting.

If I Needed Someone is a cover of the George Harrison song from Rubber Soul that was done for Mike Harding's Rubber Folk project on Radio 2 and leads into a melancholy view of Christmas (Innocents' Song) sung by Phil with words from (I believe) a Devonshire poet and ending with an instrumental (Gwithian).

There ends the first half of the album which is what I personally listen to the most. The other 5 songs are all good in their own right and round out a very worthwhile album.

I would recommend the album to any one interested in real music but more so I'd recommend seeing Show of Hands live.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great group, great music
Published 1 month ago by A. Durham
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistent Quality
Got this opne on the basis of hearign "Roots" at Casmbridge folk festival and the rest of the album was every bity as good. Read more
Published 21 months ago by S. Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Sooo good.
I've been a fan of Show of Hands for a while, and am slowly working my way through their back-catalogue. This album is simply amazing. Every song is wonderful. Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2012 by I have a stalker called Alison Priest from Solihull
4.0 out of 5 stars Untypical, but still good
I have, and like, all the Show of Hands CDs, but this one struck me as more "Steve Knightley's experiments in recording techniques" than their more normal folk club-based style -... Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2011 by P. Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is SOH GOOD ! ! !
I don't usualy bother doing reviews if there are loads already BUT I'll make an acception for this one! Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2009 by Pagan Ronnie
4.0 out of 5 stars Epiphany
Witness is the album that convinced that I should leave rock behind and go down the folk route. This became clear when I choked up to The Dive and All I'd Ever Lost - perhaps Id... Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2009 by F. L. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not their best album.
As much as I enjoyed this album in part, there are some songs which just don't hit the spot in my opinion, especially towards the end of the album where there are a few wishy washy... Read more
Published on 22 April 2008 by MilleR
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthy folk at it's best
This really is great stuff. From the impassioned (Roots) to the wistful (Union Street) this CD doesn't put a foot wrong in my opinion. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2008 by T. Houghton
5.0 out of 5 stars Witness
This is an absoloutly magical album, as all Show of Hands ones are. The songs are fantastic, very lively and energetic, which is great as there have been quite a few slow tracks in... Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2007 by Silven
4.0 out of 5 stars another great record
A couple of the reviewers on this page are making the same old mistake of confusing English and British - Show of Hands are the former but they are not the latter. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2007 by skywatcher
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