Don't Lute Back In Anger

Steve Knightley

Steve is the principal songsmith, writing, or occasionally co-writing, most of the tunes other than the ‘trad arrs’ (or ‘trad ar-harrs’ as they are known to West Country pirates). Steve’s other main contribution to the performances is to sing and play all sorts of unfeasible stringed, guitar-ish, musical implements. These include the legendary mandocello, a hybrid device that is half musical instrument, half Peter Mandelson.

The mandocello is so rare that it can only be captured by way of an Arthurian style quest (a la Holy Grail). Steve acquired his after many months of living wild in the West Country bush waiting for a vision that would lead him to the lair of the legendary mandocello. 

During these wilderness years he was sustained by supplies scavenged for him by Sonic and his woodland chums [see foot, sorry, hoof note below]. Steve subsequently recorded an album with fellow folkster Martyn Joseph retelling the tales of his great vision quest. It is called The Hedgerow Sessions.

Steve wrestles heroically with the mandocello while Phil sneaks off to the pub!

Steve wrestles with the fearsome mandocello!

Beer, Knightley … again!

As well as his work with SoH, Steve has also released solo oeuvres such as Track of Words and Cruel River and has also collaborated with other West Country artists, such as Seth Lakeman* and Jenna Witts** on the Western Approaches album.

* Obscure Factlet No. 1:

Seth Lakeman is a direct descendant of West Country Arthurian legends, Sir Lancelot du Lac and the Lady of the Lake. 

** Obscure Factlet No. 2

Back in the mists of antiquity, Jenna’s ancestors were two brothers who lived in the West Country. During a time of hardship and deprivation (i.e. any time between then and now) the older brother, from whom Jenna is descended, decided to stay put, while the younger brother decided to move up country to the Big Stench. 

Although the younger brother’s descendants soon adjusted to permanent life in the big city they still feel a primal ancestral urge to migrate back to the West Country every Summer, during the skool holidays. These people are referred to by the locals as Half-Witts.

Hoof Note:-

You may very well be wondering how Sonic met Steve in the hedgerows. Although he is, of course, internationally rich, famous and successful as a result of his work in the video games industry, Sonic still does charity work on behalf of poor, disadvantaged hedgehogs and other woodland creatures.

Thusly, one day Sonic was rummaging through Steeple Woods above St Ives looking for grubs and bugs to feed needy hedgehogs when he came across a Track of Worms that Steve had recently laid down [see The Wild West (Country)]. To be honest 'tis a bugger to get hold of a copy of it now but fret ye not because Steve has just decided to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their momentous meeting by promulgating it again as Track of Worms Re-filleted (he's cut the flabby bits out).

Steve continues to fight the good fight. The fearsome mandocello continues to fight back!

Track of Words - Retraced

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