Made for the BBC by independent production company Maya Vision, it will include footage of Show of Hands playing Knightley’s anthemic song of Cornish miners Cousin Jack, as performed on May 15 at the Daphne du Maurier Festival in Fowey, Cornwall.
Wood will travel the length and breadth of the UK witnessing a rich diversity of dialects and languages from Cornish to Scots Gaelic and getting to the heart of numerous communities – from the tin miners of Penwith to chain-makers of the Black Country and sailors of Derry. See www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00s7j12
The Cousin Jack performance is due to feature in episode 7 of the 8 x 60 minute series, but before that Knightley will be heard performing three other songs illustrating the history of these islands.
One of acoustic roots music’s leading wordsmiths and performers, Knightley studied history and politics at Coventry University and subsequently taught history and music.
His first contribution to The Great British Story will in episode 3 when he sings a song about an Anglo-Saxon thane called Breme (meaning “renowned”). Breme, who hailed from Suffolk, was killed in the Battle of Hastings.
This is followed in episode 4 by Steve’s rendition of a song about the Peasants’ Revolt, with lyrics from an original 14th century text. Finally in episode 6, Steve – well known for his pull-no-punches songs – will sing The Diggers’ Song – a 17th century protest song about land rights inspired by the Diggers and Levellers movement and composed by one of the movement’s leaders, Gerrard Winstanley.
Show of Hands will be at a whole load of festivals over the Summer:
* Denotes headline appearances
Tues 15 FOWEY Daphne du Maurier Festival*Tickets 01726 879500
Fri 18 EXETER Royal Albert Memorial Museum 01392 265858
Sat 19 DERBY Bearded Theory Festival 08432 081835 or online www.beardedftheory.co.uk/shop
Saty 9. GREAT TORRINGTON RHS Rosemoor *01805 624624
Sun 10 CHELTENHAM Wychwood Festival 01993 772580*
Fri 15 MIDDLEWICH Folk & Boat Festival* http://www.midfest.org.uk/
Sat 16. MANCHESTER Band on the Wall (Standing gig)0845 2500 500
Sun 17. WALTON-UPON-TRENT Big Session Festival www.bigsessionfestival.com
Fri 18 TOTNES Home Festival, Dartington Hall* 01803 847070
Sat 7 ABBOTSBURY Sub-Tropical Gardens Show of Hands Summer Family Festival * Tickets 01305 871130
Fri 13 DRIFFIELD Moonbeams Wold Top Festival* www.woldtopbrewery.co.uk
Sat 14 ELY Folk Festival *01353 669985
Sat 21 WESTBURY Village Pump Folk Festival* www.villagepumpfolkfestival.co.uk
Sun 22 HATFIELD Folk By the Oak Festival* 01432 355416
Sun 29 HEVER CASTLE, Kent* www.brandywinemusic.co.uk
Mon 30 WEYMOUTH Bayside Festival https://weymouthbaysidefestival.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
Fri 3 SIDMOUTH Folk Week, Devon *01395 577952
Sat 4 WICKHAM FESTIVAL, Hants 02380 711818
Sat 18 ESCOT PARK, Devon – Beautiful Days SOLD OUT
Sat 25 SHREWSBURY FOLK FESTIVAL * SOLD OUT
Sun 26 BIGGLESWADE Rhythm Festival www.rhythmfestival.com
Sun 02 FLEETWOOD Fylde Folk Festival *www.marinehall.co.uk