On November the 9th, 2020, I ran a YouTube show entitled ‘The Blues Hour’. It was by request and the object was to show the Blues influence in what I do. The show proved to be very popular and a large number of people asked for a hard copy of the music and chat. This is the CD version. I’ve edited the songs in order and separated the chat element out so that you can listen to the music uninterrupted by my ramblings. You can subsequently choose, or indeed, choose not to listen to the talking element. I hope it demonstrates the influence of the Blues on my guitar playing and general musical output. It also demonstrates the historical context. I applied myself to learning to play the guitar after hearing an album by a man called Davy Graham. I heard it a year after it came out in 1965. I was 12. It was one of those moments in time that changed everything. Davy Graham’s ‘Folk Blues and Beyond’ never fails to enthral me even to this day. This album can still be found on Fledg’ling Records together with extra tracks that were not on the original. http://fledglingrecords.co.uk The You Tube show will remain on my channel https://youtu.be/HrtP_xQiY18 and on the Show of Hands channel https://www.youtube.com/user/officialshowofhands as long as either I, or indeed the channels exist. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it. All the best Phil B
Recorded and edited by Phil Beer Jan 2021 Cover picture by Odette Michell Rear Cover by Jolyon Holroyd All other pictures by Phil Beer
In early December 2020 Show of Hands joined together with a group of friends and musical collaborators in a beautiful medieval barn in Dartmoor to record a selection of seasonal songs for the solstice. The concert, which was streamed online on 21st December, is now available to purchase in high quality DVD format. ‘Celebrate the Solstice with Seasonal Songs and Carols from a candle-lit medieval barn overlooking the Moors.’ Artists: Steve Knightley and Phil Beer with Geoff Lakeman, Rob Murch, Miranda Sykes, Chris Hoban, Jim Causley, Paul Downes, Odette Michell, James Studholme and Seth Lakeman.
The DVD is Region 2 & not compatible with Region 1 DVD players in USA and Canada
On Saturday October 31st Steve and Phil were joined by Cormac Byrne and Miranda Sykes at Exeter’s prestigious Northcott Theatre to capture what promised to be a very special occasion. A small, restricted audience were present as the band filmed and performed the show they would have been playing to thousands this Autumn.
The DVD is Region 2 & not compatible with Region 1 DVD players in USA and Canada
Banish the lockdown blues and immerse yourself in a double CD of Show of Hands taken from the most successful tour of their long and illustrious career. 'Now We Are Four' Live is a chance to re-live the complete 2019 sell-out show featuring Miranda and Cormac including the famous opening Duos set. Old favourites like ‘Cousin Jack’, ’The Galway Farmer’ and ‘Santiago’ are all here alongside soon to become classics ‘Next Best Western’, ‘Berlin’ and 'You’ll Get By’.
Tracks: Duo Set: 1. You'll Get By 2. Sea Glass 3. Varsovianna 4. The Leavin' Blues 5. Don't Be a Stranger 6. Irish Jig / Cor's celebre 7. The Setting / Mary from Dungloe 8. The Train / Blackwaterside Band Set: 1. Haunt You 2. Battlefield Dancefloor 3. My True Love 4. Just Enough To Lose 5. First We Take Manhattan 6. Make the Right Noises 7. Country Life 8. Dreckley 9. Next Best Western 10. Cousin Jack 11. Santiago 12. The Galway Farmer 13. Lost
Battlefield Dance Floor is the 18th studio album and was co-produced by Mark Tucker and Steve Knightley. It features 13 tracks which include 8 new songs (and a co-write) from Knightley as well as four reinterpretations of songs from Leonard Cohen, Kirsty Merryn, Richard Shindell and Adrian Mannering.
“There are highlights aplenty in these thirteen tracks… This is a brilliant album and you’ll buy it – you know you will.” - RnR ★★★★★
Released in 2012, this album beautifully balances the English and North American influences which lie at the heart of Show of Hands music. Born out of the band’s love of the acoustic and roots music of both countries, the CD is a journey through the heart of two landscapes united by a common tongue and musical heritage. A touch of Folk, a hint of Blues and a tiny pinch of Country are all here. Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, BJ Cole, Andy Cutting, Paul Sartin, Cormac Byrne, Leonard Podolak, Paul Downes, Phil Henry, Hannah Martin, Rex Preston and Jenna have all been enlisted to help us kick-start the old Ford Mustang down the A303 on its journey West! As ever, Miranda adds her wonderful double bass and vocals.
Track Listing: 1. Haunt You (Knightley/Lakeman) 2. CompanyTown (Knightley) 3. Now You Know (Knightley) 4. Katrina (Hoban) 5. Cruel River (Knightley) 6. Aunt Maria (Knightley / Cecil Sharpe Project) 7. Coming Home (Knightley) 8. Reunion Hill (Shindell) 9. No Mans Land (Knightley) 10. Seven Curses (Dylan) 11. Home To A Million Thoughts (Knightley) 12. Who Gets To Feel Good (Knightley) 13. Stop Copying Me (Knightley) 14. King of The World (Knightley) 15. Thanks (Knightley/Gilbert)
In Summer 2011 the ‘Longdogs’ were asked to select twenty songs they would most like to hear performed and re-recorded. A temporary recording studio was set up in deepest Suffolk at the house of our good friends Richard & Lin Patterson, and Steve and Phil took on the task of capturing eighteen of the songs in just two days with the help of engineer and producer Mark Tucker. A ‘house concert’ on the second night was recorded and there are three live songs from this session on the second CD. The songs are recorded simply with no extras, effects or overdubs.
Track Listing CD1 1. Cold Frontier (Knightley) 2. The Bristol Slaver (Knightley) 3. High Germany (Trad. Arr. Knightley/Beer) 4. Captains (Knightley) 5. The Oak (Knightley) 6. Armadas (Knightley) 7. Cold Heart of England (Knightley) 8. The Preacher (Knightley) 9. The Warlike Lads of Russia (Trad. Arr. Nic Jones)
Track Listing CD2 1. Crazy Boy (Knightley) 2. Cut-throats, Crooks and Con-Men- Live (Knightley) 3. Don’t It Feel Good (Knightley) 4. Man Of War – Live (Knightley) 5. Roaring Water Bay (John Richards) 6. Sit You Down (Knightley) 7. Unlock Me – Live (Knightley) 8. The Man In Green (Knightley) 9. You’re Mine (Knightley)
Show Of Hands are England’s most successful acoustic roots duo – Steve Knightley and Phil Beer. Their widespread appeal is based on the combined power of Steve’s original songs, the quality of their vocals and harmonies, and their multi-instrumental virtuosity. Their performances feature guitars, mandocello, fiddle, cuatro, viola and concertina. In 2003 they were nominated as both ‘Best Group’ and ‘Best Live Act’ at the Radio 2 Folk Awards. “Country Life” is their most ambitious and exciting project to date. The keenly awaited new studio album of 13 original songs includes a bonus ‘enhanced CD’ featuring the promotional video for the title track and footage of Show of Hands live at the Royal Albert Hall. This in a smartly packaged, eight-fold digipack with a 12 page illustrated lyric booklet.
Disc: 1 1. Country Life (Knightley) 2. Hard Shoulder (Knightley) 3. Suntrap (Knightley) 4. Smile She Said (Knightley) 5. Reynardine (Knightley, lyrics trad) 6. Seven Days (Knightley, Witts) 7. Tommy (Phelps) 8. Be Lucky (Knightley) 9. Drake (Knightley) 10. I Promise You (Knightley) 11. Adieu, Sweet Lovely Nancy (Knightley) 12. Red Diesel (Knightley) 13. Don’t Be a Stranger (Knightley)
Disc: 2 1. Country Life – The Promo CD
Recorded at the Bull Hotel in Bridport in 1992. Tracks include some great early Knightley originals, along with a version of the ‘Blind Fiddler’ and ‘Exile’, a duet with Polly Bolton.
Track Listing: 1. Silver Dagger (Trad) 2. Blind Fiddler (Trad) 3. Don’t It Feel Good (Knightley) 4. I Still Wait (Knightley) 5. Exile (Knightley) 6. Yankee Clipper (Trad) 7. Man Of War (Knightley) 8. Bonnie Light Horseman (Trad) 9. I’ll Put A Stake Through His Heart (Knightley) 10. Low Down In The Broome (Trad) 11. Six O’Clock Waltz (Knightley) 12. Sit You Down (Knightley) 13. Wolf At The Door (Knightley) 14. Caught In The Rain (Knightley / Clifford) 15. Santiago (Knightley) 16. It’s All Your Fault (Knightley)