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From United KingdomPassionate English roots music from riotous West Country duo
One of the finest live bands around (they were voted Best Live Act by the public at the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards), Show Of Hands continue to produce music that champions their West Country home while somehow avoiding the parochial trap that could easily have limited their audience. This, after all, is a band that's sold out the Albert Hall while singing songs like Cousin Jack, a tribute to Cornish miners. Perhaps it's all down to the pure ebullience of their performance, with Phil Beer swapping instruments with an effortless virtuosity, and Steve Knightley's songs always billowing with pride, anger and a definite sense of celebration. There's an attitude here, certainly. Aided by Miranda Sykes on double bass and backing vocals, this is anthemic folk music that embraces the traditional music of England's past while acknowledging the contemporary landscape. Knightley's lyrics on Roots, for example, lament the fact that the only songs most English know are Rule Britannia and Swing Low. "It's my flag too and I want it back," he sings.
Biog by Rob Williams