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Folk phenomenon Show of Hands Newbury gig to be live-streamed

THE West Country duo Show of Hands are something of a phenomena in the folk world, writes Stephen Ottner.

Show of Hands
Show of Hands

Over their three decades on the road, they have clocked up around 4,500 gigs across 14 countries; released 35 albums; sold out the Albert Hall six times; received three BBC Folk Awards and two honorary Doctorates.

This duo of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer announced last year that they were calling time on such relentless touring and marking this milestone with a hugely ambitious Full Circle tour.

Part one of the tour happened at the tail-end of last year. For that Phil and Steve were joined by Miranda Sykes who has been touring with them since 2004.

Part 2 of the tour runs from mid-February through to mid-May, taking in village halls, folk clubs, small arts centres, and community venues.

These are the very places where they honed their craft, building their following from the grassroots up.

Included in the almost 60 gigs are two local venues – Harwell Village Hall and ACE Space, both of which sold out months ago.

However, the ACE Space gig on February 24 will be live streamed by Live To Your Living Room, an organisation dedicated to making the very best of the folk, roots, and acoustic music accessible to all. It was born out of Folk Weekend: Oxford when that was the first UK festival to go online due to lockdown.

Show of Hands first appeared locally in the 1990s at the Corn Exchange and returned around 2010, with Miranda Sykes, at Arlington Arts.

In 2015 ACE Space managed to secure one of the evenings on Steve Knightley’s Grow Your Own Gig solo tour. That gig was largely responsible for kickstarting the regular monthly gig at ACE Space. Since then, Steve has performed solo gigs at both ACE Space and Arlington Arts and Phil Beer has performed two solo gigs at ACE Space.

Show of Hands’ ACE Space gig on Saturday, February 24, has sold out, but it will be live streamed live by www.LiveToYourLivingRoom.com

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