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Show of Hands Rule!

this is what they do:

Catch them in London at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, they are 'supporting' an acoustic show by some chaps from the Levellers, I fully expect them to overshadow the main act. Sunday 12th August.

Also at the Bloomsbury Theatre 25th November 2007.
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Show of Hands Part Three: Arts Depot, Finchley Thursday 18th May 2006

Congratulations to all involved at Barnet Folk Club for an excellent evening in a superb venue, the Arts Depot in Finchley.

Steve, Phil and Miranda were on cracking form again, though I think we as an audience took a little while to warm up? I wondered after if it was something to do with being a London audience and self-conscious/ reserved, but hopefully it was because a large proportion were seeing SoH for the first time or were not yet acquainted with the new tracks from Witness. Whatever the case with tunes like Soldier's Joy at the end of the first half and Haul Away Joe in the second, everyone soon got involved with the sing-along choruses and clapping(more or less in time by me...). Steve remarked that he hadn't realised that there were so many 'shanty-men' in Finchley after Haul Away Joe!

The evening went really well and the lads and Miranda got a warm and vocal reception.

First Half

The Oak
You're Mine
Be Lucky - with some added lines from Scratch
Crow on the Cradle
Union Street
The Soldier's Joy

Second half

Widecombe Fair (acoustic)
Country Life
Innocent's Song
The Dive
Nautical Medley:
Wreckers' Prayer into Tall Ships, (plus, i think, Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy), and Falmouth Packet / Haul Away Joe
All I'd Ever Lost
Cousin Jack


The Train into Are We All Right

Also Miranda performed "When You Think It's All Over It's Just Begun" but this was the only track that I didn't write down in my running order.

And on that that subject this was the first and last gig where I actually scribbled down the set list during the show. I am going to stop myself from doing it again otherwise I'm afraid that I'm going to turn seeing, hearing and enjoying SoH perform into some sort of SoH 'spotting' hobby!

Furthermore last night's gig was proof that Steve and Phil's policy of allowing copying and sharing of their music pays off. Two people who came last night hadn't heard of SoH before the beginning of this year until I pressed a copy of "As You Were" onto them with the polite suggestion that they would like it, honestly!

The Album Witness is on iTunes, and other outlets I think, the single Witness / If I Needed Someone is available this week too.

The only difficulty we had was getting home but then that's the Northern Line for you...But really what's all that malarkey about changing trains at Camden, first Bank branch train on this platform, no we meant that platform, no we really meant the first platform you were at. Annoying.
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Last sunday I had one of those lucky moments that you always remember because they seem to happen so rarely.

Checking my mail at 10pm I received an email from the SoH crew saying that that there were 30 free places for fans on the guest list at an 'industry' Showcase gig on the Tuesday to be held in the salubrious surroundings of the BBC Club just off Great Portland Street. I replied within 30 seconds and asked for two places.

I found out the next morning I had got them which more than slightly annoyed George as she had a meeting that clashed and would be unable to go.[livejournal.com profile] n3dst4 however was in town for interviews and staying at ours, and was press-ganged into attending. "you'll really like it , honest."

I organised an extra hour for lunch and prayed that the Jubilee line might be operating at somewhere near peak efficiency so that I could dash from Canary Wharf and back again.

There was a good turnout of friends, family, fans and neutrals.

Based on the number of free drinks vouchers and copies of the new album Witness handed out it looked like there was a good turnout of 'industry' types.

We stood at the end and to one side of the bar. We were only about 12 feet from the performers, which certainly gave it the feeling of an intimate gig. I was a little jealous of the couple who had snagged the sofa slap bang in front of the 'stage' area. But I have since found out that they travelled from Redditch, (a couple of hundred miles round trip) to get there, so good luck to them.

Phil, Steve and Miranda performed, to a good reception,

Are We Alright,
Cousin Jack,
Union Street,
Country Life,
Falmouth Packet / Haul Away Joe

Encore: Witness.

Fun Incident: Tom Robinson had to duck out after FP/Haul Away Joe, and as he left Steve started into an ironic few bars of "2,4,6,8 Motorway"

Having fans in amongst the invited guests, was a good plan IMHO, as it made sure that the songs were well received and that there was singing along to all the right bits, i.e. atmosphere!

One of my very coolest lunchtimes ever.

On the guest list and everything.

And [livejournal.com profile] n3dst4 enjoyed himself too.
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Gig Review: Show of Hands, Salisbury Arts Centre, Saturday 6th May 2006

(mostly recycled from my posting on Longdogs.co.uk, if you are interested in SoH and don't know about longdogs, where have you been?)

Salisbury was an excellent gig, there was so much banter between the songs it was clear that everyone was really relaxed, including Miranda who had to be fetched from the dressing room as she hadn't remembered that she was meant to be on stage playing after Widecombe Fair (unplugged), the first song after the interval, had finished.

I wonder, though, if there isn't a disinformation campaign going on though as I had a sneaky peek at the setlist on the sound desk during my interval trip to the facilities and I am sure that on that set list it was Mary from Dungloe/ The Setting on after Widecombe Fair. So did they change the setlist at half time and forget to tell Miranda...? Or have they started using 'dummy' setlists to fool eagle-eyed punters

I think the ' Dear Show of Hands...' jokes were among the best, but the story about Phil getting his boat and pirate jokes ad infinitum were good. It was also the first time I had heard of the Roman general Maximus Pastius and his brush with the savage men of Cornwall.

I took two dragees with me, my mum and her friend. They are converted. End of story.

We got to the venue at about 10 past 7, and there were already a dozen people in front of us. by the time the doors were opened just after half past 7 there was a huge queue. with my ex-barman's head on I am wondering how many extra drinks they could have sold by opening the doors twenty minutes early. Also I overheard someone connected with the venue saying that they could have sold an extra hundred tickets!

The venue itself is a converted church with unallocated seating. We managed to get seats three rows from the front and so the dragees had an excellent view.

The songs: The Oak is always great live, the Marine Medley and singing along to 'Haul away Joe' were a highlight, all of the songs from the new album work well live, 'All I've ever lost' gets me just like it did the first time I heard it at the Bloomsbury show last autumn.

Among the songs I can remember and in no particular order, Undertow, Witness, Roots, Cousin Jack, Crow on the Cradle, Tallships?/ Falmouth Packet/ Haul Away Joe, The Blue Cockade, The Dive, All i've ever lost, Union Street, Be Lucky, The Innocents Song, Santiago, and Miranda's song, the encore was The Train / Are We Alright.

Image of the evening: the concentration on Steve's face as he played second fiddle (this maybe a viola?) on Innocents Song, I think I even noticed him moving half into a spotlight so that he could see what his left hand was doing.

Anyone who reads this and likes strong, well written and lyrical songs backed by superb musicianship and stagecraft should see Show of Hands at their earliest opportunity. You will not be disappointed. Haven't you heard? "Folk is the New Black."
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The second half of our excellent weekend was topped off by going to see a superb gig by Show of Hands at the Bloomsbury Theatre.

Never less than excellent, Phil Beer, Steve Knightley and not forgetting Miranda Sykes came up with the goods once more. This was the fourth time we have seen them in eighteen months.

This is real music, played on real instruments with real skill. Great songs about things that matter. Check them out at www.showofhands.co.uk

They also have a refreshing view on ripping their music, they want as many people to know as possible about their music, and feel that copying their cds to share with a friend is an act of generosity not piracy!

here's the setlist as far as i can remember it, a few of them might be out of place but i am pretty sure that they played all of these

Bristol Slaver (i really like this atmospheric ghost story)
Undertow *
Galway Farmer (classic track)
All I ever lost * (new track: first listen: very emotional)
Longshot * (good story telling track, i like the link to Galway Farmer)
Gloucester Hornpipe? / rocky road to chudleigh
The Dive *
The Oak (sounds great with Miranda adding depth to the sound)
Blue Cockade
Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy
Are we alright?
I promise you (I think Phil snuck a few bars of Here Comes the sun into this one!)
Roots * (new but already gets the house going like a standard)
You're Mine
Crow on the Cradle (a powerful song performed with intensity)
Remembrance Sunday medley The Somme/The Keeper/Time after Time
(the first tune is a tune for bagpipes payed on the guitar by Mr Beer, the Keeper is Steve's song of the gamekeeper going to the trenches of WW1, and the final track sounds odd in this context but the lyrics reall work well)
Cousin Jack. (keeping the ex pat cornish happy!)
When you think it's all over (Solo by Miranda, bluesy and impressively sung)
Country Life


the unplugged knightley version of Widecombe Fair which sends shivers down your spine, especially when the violin comes in

then a Beatles cover from the Radio 2 project of covers of Rubber Soul "If i needed someone"

* marks new songs that will likely be on the new album that they are about to start recording shortly, produced by a chap from the Afro Celt sound system.

Go and See them Live if you can, do not be put off by the 'folk' tag, they are great and will restore your faith in music if you are fed up with current commercial X factor style pap.


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