No journey is travelled alone and on my musical journey I’ve travelled with a number of musicians and songwriters that have moved me, and helped to influence my music over the years. From Ireland’s Phil Lynott, to the USA’s John Denver, Scotland’s Dougie Maclean the trail now leads onward to England’s Show of Hands and this fourth post of the series. These posts open the door into my own journey, and that’s how I love to be with anyone who enjoys the music I write. So let’s talk about Show of Hands.
I’d heard of the duo for some years but for one reason or another I didn’t search them out. The first time I heard their music it wasn’t even a Show of Hands tour. The main songwriter of Show of Hands is Steve Knightley and he was touring and playing music with another solo musician Martyn Joseph – taking a break from Show of Hands, but during the set they played a lot of Show of Hands songs, and I fell in love immediately. As a lyricist Steve is a genius, a storyteller, a creator of characters with lives as real as you or I. I don’t think there are any Pagan leanings at all, but again, some of their songs such as The Oak, The Well, and the Man in Green, do speak to the Pagan heart.
Another thing I loved about Show of Hands was, like Dougie Maclean, they had never signed a major record deal. They created their own label, and have remained independent – guiding their own musical journey. This has to be an inspiration for any budding musician in this age of iTunes, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where the power to create and reach out to an audience has returned to the musician. It’s something I have always done, and I too would never sign my music away to a label, even if they came sniffing at my door.
Show of Hands were also the band who gave me the idea of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. They do one every few years, and again have done this all on their own. After a few setbacks I’ve put that idea on hold, but it’s still there at the back of my mind, and I know that one day it’ll happen.
I hope you enjoy the songs I’ve chosen to share.