Beat about the Bush

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Beat about the Bush
Studio album by Show of Hands
Released 1994
Recorded January 1994 at Wytherston Studios, West Dorset
Genre Folk
Length 55:20
Label TWAH! records Twah105 (1994)
Hands on Music HMCD08 (1999)
Producer Mike Trim
Show of Hands chronology
Live '92
Beat about the Bush
Lie of the Land

Beat about the Bush is a 1994 studio album by English acoustic roots duo Show of Hands. It is their debut studio album to be released on CD, following the discontinued cassette albums that are Show of Hands from 1987, Tall Ships from 1990 and Out of the Count from 1991.

Following Mike Trim's successful recording engineer work on Show of Hands Live, the joint vision on Beat About the Bush was to produce the elusive "radio friendly" folk/roots album that retained the band's live album whilst adding a rhythm section. Steve Knightley said in 2007 "lots of friends were drafted for the sessions and after one boozy late night with Ralph McTell [the duo] were in no state to face the cameeras for the CD cover shot the next day. The suggestion to cover [the duo]'s faces with instruments came from George Wright, the photographer and save the world from a sorry spectacle. However, despite Mike's best efforts, radio reaction was minimal and another ten years were to pass before we dipped our toes once more into the world of bass and percussion."[1]

The track "The Galway Farmer" would later be a staple on every live performance by the duo (and Steve Knightley solo). It is one of the band's better known tracks, and would end up being on various other albums in different recordings (such as its appearance on the band's well known live album of their 24/3/96 gig at the Royal Albert Hall, where it closed the main set.) The song "Day Has Come" would be completely re-arranged for future live performance. "The Oak" has continued to be played live amongst other songs on the album, including the tradition "Blue Cockade".

The album was originally issued as the band's fourth studio album (at the time the only one remaining in print) on 1994 by TWAH! Records. Following the band's formation of the Hands on Music record label, the album would eventually be re-released in 1999. These days, the band's previous three albums are overlooked, due to them being out of print cassettes, with Beat About the Bush being named their debut album.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Steve Knightley, except where noted.

  1. "Beat about the Bush" – 4:41
  2. "The Class of Seventy Three" – 3:09
  3. "Armadas" – 4:31
  4. "Nine Hundred Miles" (Trad) / "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" (Trad) – 4:19
  5. "Shadows in the Dark" – 3:51
  6. "The Galway Farmer"  (Knightley/Phil Beer)– 5:48
  7. "White Tribes" (Knightley/Matt Clifford) – 2:38
  8. "Day Has Come" – 4:39
  9. "The Hook of Love" – 4:18
  10. "Cars" – 3:55
  11. "The Blue Cockade" (Trad) – 6:11
  12. "Mr May’s" (Beer) / "Gloucester Hornpipe" (Trad) – 4:06
  13. "The Oak" – 3:07



  1. ^ Liner notes for Roots: The Best of Show of Hands
  2. ^ Show of Hands website

External links[edit]