Show Of Hands
Formed in 1991 by Steve Knightley and Phil Beer, both highly regarded musicians in their own right. They are widely viewed as the best acoustic roots duo on the current scene.
One of the hardest touring acts around, they do a major tour every year, taking in large and small venues, as well as several festivals.
Both multi-instrumentalists their music feature guitars, mandocello, fiddle, cuatro, viola and concertina. Their passionate and powerful music is set against the virtuosity of their vocals and harmonies. Their recordings of original material (and trad arrangements) often take their subject matter from the Westcountry where they are based, 2003's The Path is an instrumental celebration of the sights and sounds of that coast line.
In some ways their defining album is Country Life. Compressing a huge range of musical styles into its thirteen tracks, from the politically charged title song to the soft summery spanish guitar on Suntrap. It is of such a consistently high quality that it won praise across the board, Q magazine naming it their folk album of the year.
Released in 2006, the album Witness marked a collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Simon Emmerson and ‘Mass’ (Simon Massey) of Afro Celts fame. It delivers a new twist on the genre- defying Show of Hands sound – rich and deliberate with an increasingly inventive and bold musicality that often leans more towards rock than folk.
Show Of Hands also pride themselves on their closeness to their fans, their web site has in-depth info on the band, downloads and reviews. They have had over 17,000 signups to their email newsletter, and have a huge fan community known as the Longdogs.
They played their third sell-out gig at the Albert Hall on Easter Sunday 2007; They were voted greatest ever Devonians and played 20 festival dates across the summer.
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Show Of Hands Peter Gabriel Medley
This is the medley of Peter Gabriel songs Show Of Hands performed at the BMI awards in October 2007. Click here for our news article.
Links & Articles
Show Of Hands Tour changes
Contemporary Song for Remembrance Day
Steve Knightley Cruel River tour, part 2
RootsReaction - The song grabs the headlines
Live Review - Bristol St George's Hall gig 15.11.06
Witness - album review
Albert Hall gig April 8 2007
Show Of Hands 'Country Life' becomes soundtrack for rural fears...