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SHOW OF HANDS "Lie of the Land" ISIS Records Ltd CD IS09

Pretty slick stuff this - probably a result of the virtually constant touring that this pair have been undertaking in recent years. However, while on the subject of undertakers, Steve Knightley could easily be earning himself a reputation as the "Morrisey" of popular folk music without really trying - some of these tracks are so "down". This isn't a criticism, merely an observation.

The highlight for me is probably the instrumental "M Ferguson", although the Knightley song "Safe As Houses" does tug the old heart strings in several directions at once. Phil Beer's accompaniments are so tight they almost hurt at times but then again they always were, nothing new there!

This album does not break down any barriers, and probably wasn't expected to but deserves its fair share of critical acclaim - but I sure need a stiff drink after listening to it a couple of times in succession. Anybody got some Prozac to spare?

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 14 of The Living Tradition magazine.