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Double Win for Show Of Hands @ BBC Folk Awards

February 10, 2010 by  

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Double Win for Show Of Hands @ BBC Folk Awards

England’s acclaimed acoustic roots band, Show Of Hands, have clinched both the Best Duo and Best Original Song titles at the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The enduring and hugely popular 18-year partnership of Devon’s Steve Knightley and Phil Beer beat off strong competition from Martin Simpson and The Unthanks in the Best Original Song category and from Megson, Damien Barber and Mike Wilson and Belshazzar’s Feast in the Best Duo section to win the coveted double award at a ceremony in London. They received the Best Duo award from singer songwriter and broadcaster Tom Robinson (inviting their regular line-up guest Miranda Sykes to receive on their behalf) and the Best Original Song trophy from poet Ian McMillan.

The Knightley penned winning song Arrogance Ignorance and Greed – due to be released as a single on February 22 – is probably one of the most astute original songs to have come out of the recession. Taking an unflinching swipe at global bankers and bonuses, MPs and inventive expenses (“you’re on your yacht; we’re on our knees”) it perfectly captures the current mood of the nation. See new video of the track:

The title track of their latest acclaimed studio album was performed live at the awards ceremony in London (with double bassist and vocalist Miranda Sykes joining them on stage).

Two of the most popular ambassadors for roots music, they formed Show of Hands in 1991.
Knightley, who writes most of their inspired material and Beer, a dazzling multi instrumentalist, have built up a huge following which has seen them sell out the Royal Albert Hall three times, headline major festivals from Glastonbury to WOMAD and play all over the world, from Europe to America, Australia and India.

The duo won the Best Live Act title at the 2004 Awards – the only year it has been voted for by members of the public – and were also nominated for Knightley’s Country Life – the rock rant title track of a previous album.

In 2006 they were also nominated for “Best Original Song” for Knightley’s storming Roots – an impassioned defence of England’s musical heritage and identity, triggered by minister Kim Howells’ comment that his idea of hell was listening to “three Somerset folk singers” – while in 2009 dazzling multi instrumentalist Beer was nominated for “Musician of the Year” .

The day after the 2010 Folk Awards Show of Hands made a sold-out debut at the oldest live music venue in London – Oxford Street’s 100 Club – a rare appearance in the capital to celebrate the upcoming single release of Arrogance Ignorance and Greed on February 22. The bonus track will be their stunning version of the traditional The Keys of Canterbury – performed as a duet between Knightley and 2010 triple Awards nominee Jackie Oates.

Following current solo tours and a tour of Germany, Knightley and Beer will be back on the road next April with a Show of Hands “Standing Room Only II” UK standing gig tour, supported by West Country-based singer songwriter Ruarri Joseph.

Ports of call will include The Brook, Southampton, 53 Degrees in Preston and Cheltenham Town Hall as well as Torrington and Exmouth in their home county, Swindon, Bristol, Yeovil, Leeds, Wrexham, Sheffield, Brighton, Norwich, Folkestone, Sevenoaks, Leicester, York, Holmfirth, Wolverhampton, Cardiff, Leamington Spa, Andover, Bridport and Manchester. In May they also play a seated gig at Guildford’s Electric Theatre and make a welcome return to Scotland to play Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket.

• Highlights of the Awards and live performances can be seen at and at



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