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You are in: Devon > People > Profiles > The Best of Show of Hands

Show of Hands

Phil Beer and Steve Knightley

The Best of Show of Hands

Devon roots duo Show of Hands mark their 15-year partnership with the release of a Best Of compilation.

Best Of - track listing

Roots
Are We Alright?
Cold Frontier
Country Life
Exile
The Falmouth Packet / Haul Away Joe
Santiago
The Preacher
Hard Shoulder
The Blue Cockade
Crow on the Cradle
Cousin Jack
Widecombe Fair
Armadas
Captains
The Galway Farmer

Bonus CD:

Columbus (Didn't Find America)
You're Mine
The Blind Fiddler
The Setting / Mary From Dungloe
The Bristol Slaver
Port Isaac
The Train / Blackwaterside
Be Lucky
Longdog
The Keeper
The Downeaster 'Alexa'
The Oak
Innocents' Song / Gwithian
Tall Ships

Fifteen years after releasing their first album, Devon acoustic roots duo Show of Hands have brought together a collection of their favourite tracks in a compilation double CD.

Roots - the Best of Show of Hands - was released on 19 November 2007.

The double album has 30 tracks spanning the partnership of East Devon-based Steve Knightley and Phil Beer.

One disc contains 16 songs, some of which have been remastered.

There are also four new song treatments - Are We Alright?, Crow on the Cradle, Santiago and a Steve Knightley solo song, Exile.

Show of Hands - live

Some of the tracks are from live shows

The second disc has 14 tracks of recordings - chosen entirely by fans.

Phil and Steve first gigged together as teenagers, after meeting in Exeter where they both grew up.

Their musical collaboration continued on and off until 1991, when they formed Show of Hands.

Their debut album was in 1992, a live show recorded in Bridport, called Live '92.

They have released 14 albums together, as well as solo recordings.

Steve writes the songs, while Phil is renowned for his multi-instrumental skills.

Steve says it was difficult choosing which songs to include and which to leave off the Best Of album: "We've left loads off," he told BBC Devon.

"We've chosen the best studio recordings, and the fans chose the live tracks which I suppose made it a bit easier for us.

The front cover of the Best Of CD

The front cover of the Best Of CD

"It's great to release this album - although we've never had a greatest hit! This collection is nice for the fans.

"There are four songs on it which are concert standards which we were never entirely happy with and we've re-done those, so there are four new songs on it in that sense."

Steve released a solo album in 2007, Cruel Sea, and he and Phil hope to release a new Show of Hands album soon - perhaps in late 2008.

Although - as Steve says - Show of Hands have never had a chart hit, they are a hugely popular live act.

The duo have played to sell-out audiences at the Royal Albert Hall on three occasions.

Radio 2 2008 Folk Awards

For the third year running Show of Hands have won a nomination for Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. They are also in the running for Best Live Act, a title they won in 2004.

The awards are voted for by a panel of around 170 broadcasters, folk journalists, festival organisers, agents and promoters.

The 2008 awards ceremony takes place in London on 4 February.

last updated: 11/03/2008 at 14:47
created: 02/10/2007

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