Heading fast towards 25 years in the business (to be celebrated at Royal Albert Hall next Easter), the incomparable Show of Hands reunite for a bumper autumn-winter tour of England and Wales starting November 1.
The multi award-winning, Albert Hall quadruple sell-out duo (stand-out singer songwriter Steve Knightley and inspired instrumentalist Phil Beer) will be joined by their long-standing double bassist/vocalist Miranda Sykes for the 23-date “Walk With Me” tour.
Kicking off at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre in Somerset the tour finale will be no less than three nights back in their home county of Devon on December 8, 9 and 10 at Exmouth Pavilion – just yards from the folk club where they first started playing. They will also play a flagship gig at London’s Hackney Empire.
Opening for them will be 27 year-old Oxfordshire singer songwriter Megan Henwood winner of the 2009 BBC Young Folk Award. Her rich, distinctive voice and niche-defying music has come to fruition in her latest album Head, Heart, Hand and in her sublime new duo with fellow songstress Jackie Oates.
Recognised as leading ambassadors for roots music, Show of Hands will be performing songs from their latest studio album The Long Road Home which was nominated for Best Album at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and which includes Knightley’s BBC Radio 2 playlisted Walk with Me (When the Sun Goes Down) from which the tour takes its name.
* Hear ‘Breme’, the opening track from the album:
On sale on the tour will be a new CD recorded live at stunning Exeter Cathedral on July 1st. On that night Show of Hands performed a special concert marking the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. They were joined by one of Britain’s best-known and best-loved acting couples, Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton along with Chris Hoban and Devon’s Lost Sound Chorus, raising funds for the West Country project Shrouds of the Somme.
The three will also each perform solo and they will unveil a quartet of contrasting new songs written by Steve over the past month – Make the Right Noises, Mad Dog Mcrea, Have No Secrets and Break Sweat. Through September Steve used social media to share the songwriting process getting feedback from Facebook followers. Says Steve: “I hadn’t written any new songs for a while so I gave myself the challenge of writing a song a week for a month.” At the same time he had another target – to abstain from alcohol and sugar on weekdays! “It was a “get healthier, get songwriting” campaign – it worked well and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
“Walk With Me” tour dates
Nov 1: TAUNTON Brewhouse T: 01823 283244
Nov 2: CARDIFF St David’s Hall T: 029 2087 8444
Nov 3: HIGH WYCOMBE Swan Theatre T: 01494 512000
Nov 4 CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange T: 01223 357851
Nov 9: LONDON Hackney Empire T: 0208 985 2424
Nov 10: BIRMINGHAM Town Hall T: 0121 345 0600
Nov 11: GATESHEAD Sage T: 0191 4434661
Nov 12: HARROGATE Royal Hall T: 01423 502116
Nov 13: TRURO Hall for Cornwall T: 01872 262466
Nov 16: MANCHESTER Royal Northern College Music T: 0161 907 5555
Nov 17: LIVERPOOL Epstein Theatre T: 0844 888 4411
Nov 19: SALISBURY City Hall T: 01722 434434
Nov 20: BRISTOL Colston Hall T: 0844 887 1500
Nov 23: PORTSMOUTH New Theatre Royal T: 02392 649000
Nov 24: ST ALBANS The Alban Arena T: 01727 844488
Nov 25: TUNBRIDGE WELLS Assembly Hall Theatre T: 01892 530613
Nov 26: WORTHING Assembly Hall T: 01903 206206
Nov 30: PETERBOROUGH The Cresset T: 01733 265705
Dec 1 : OXFORD New Theatre T: 0844 8713020
Dec 2: DORKING Dorking Halls T: 01306 881717
Dec 8 EXMOUTH Pavilion T: 01395 222477
Dec 9: EXMOUTH Pavilion T: 01395 222477
Dec 10: EXMOUTH Pavilion T: 01395 222477