Show Of Hands - Wake the Union [2012] [EAC,log,cue. FLAC]

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Had they begun in the mid-1970s, a time when the public seemed rather taken with weathered-yet-fiery acoustic music, Show of Hands would surely have been as massive as Steeleye Span.
Instead, the duo of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer came along in the early 1990s, when mainstream tastes didnΓÇÖt much care for such rootsy sounds. Thus, their audience has always been relatively compact. Yet thereΓÇÖs no denying that their fans are fiercely committed. TheyΓÇÖve sold out the Royal Albert Hall. Four times.
It would be very easy for Show of Hands to simply coast on this loyalty. Instead, they have deliberately evolved to challenge their audience. In 2004 they augmented the group with double-bass player Miranda Sykes, and with 2009ΓÇÖs album, Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed, they stripped back the Show of Hands sound, evoking a politicised post-folk, pre-punk grittiness.
Wake the Union has its fair share of overtly political moments. The cleverest one, and the albumΓÇÖs overall highlight, is Aunt Maria, featuring slide guitar from Martin Simpson.
ItΓÇÖs about the titular Aunt meeting song collector Cecil Sharp. Maria allows her song to be recorded and her history told, but is uneasy about the difference in class between herself and Sharp, and anxious that she shouldnΓÇÖt be the only one to whom the collector talks. ΓÇ£ThereΓÇÖs lots more folk like me, sir,ΓÇ¥ Knightly sings as Maria. ΓÇ£Why donΓÇÖt you come and see, sir?ΓÇ¥
ThereΓÇÖs another notable guest star: Seth Lakeman. He pops up on a few songs, including a co-write on the albumΓÇÖs paean to stalkers, Haunt You, and he also totes his viola on the (rather pointless) cover of Bob DylanΓÇÖs Seven Curses.
More successful is SykesΓÇÖ vocal contribution to Coming Home. She interjects two verses from the traditional song, Bonny Light Horseman, subtly complicating this otherwise simple tale of a familyΓÇÖs bad seed.
There are certainly a few filler tracks, but overall this is a solid, sometimes great, set. ItΓÇÖs unlikely to win over many new fans, but those already under the bandΓÇÖs wingspan are, once again, richly rewarded with another thought-provoking collection.		
01 - Haunt You .flac 28.805 MB
02 - Company Town .flac 19.313 MB
03 - Now You Know .flac 28.769 MB
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