Steve Knightley and Phil Beer are widely acknowledged as the finest acoustic roots duo in England. 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 playing all over the world, from Europe to America, Australia and India. Voted Best Live Act by the public at the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the jury is still out on just what kind of music they play. A genre defying mix of rock, roots, blues, country and trad, and often influenced by the music of other countries, it is played out on an array of instruments from slide guitar to fiddle, mandolin to South American cuatro.
At the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Steve and Phil received a prestigious double accolade when they were named ‘Best Duo’ and also clinched the ‘Best Original Song’ award for Steve’s punchy ‘Arrogance Ignorance and Greed’ title track which has gone on to be one of the most acclaimed – and continually topical! – songs in the SoH repertoire.
“Formidable operators in the roots arena. A class act”
The most innovative studio album to date – Show of Hands as they’ve never been heard before.
The result of a collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Simon Emmerson and Mass of Afro Celts fame it’s a new take on the genre-defying Show of Hands sound and has been winning accolades for Knightley’s songs and astonishing fiddle, guitar and mandolin playing from instrumental wizard Beer.
In October 2003, the new album ‘Country Life’ was released. This studio recording also features a special ‘bonus’ CD which includes the video for the track ‘Country Life’ and much more.
Show of Hands have a strong commitment to remaining directly accessible to their followers. Over 15,000 fans have signed up to the mailing and e-mailing lists, and receive regular updates on gigs, merchandise and general news.
As well as being part of Show of Hands, Steve and Phil both have successful musical careers in their own right.
Phil Beer is much in demand as a session musician, and his other live shows include ‘Feast of Fiddles’ with Peter Knight and Dave Mattacks, ‘Ridgeriders’ with Ashley Hutchings and Chris While, and the ‘Phil Beer Band’.
Steve Knightley was invited by Mick Jagger to work on the recording of the album, ‘Goddess In The Doorway’, and was also part of a collaboration with Martyn Joseph and Tom Robinson called ‘Faith, Folk & Anarchy’.