SHOW OF HANDS RELEASE ‘THE GAMEKEEPER’ TO MARK CENTENARY OF FIRST DAY OF BATTLE OF THE SOMME
Show of Hands, one of the leading acts in British folk, are to release a single and video to mark the centenary of the first day of WW1’s Battle of the Somme.
BBC award-winning singer songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer will offer one of Knightley’s finest songs, The Gamekeeper as a download single from July 1, tying in with a day-long tribute in their home city of Exeter to the 19240 Allied servicemen lost on the opening day of one of the worst battles in history.
That night, the Devon duo, and long-term collaborator Miranda Sykes, will perform a special centenary concert in Exeter Cathedral, joined by one of Britain’s best-known and best-loved acting couples, Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton.
While Jim has been Emmy-nominated for his role as Carson the butler in TV’s ratings-topping Downton Abbey, Imelda won ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ Olivier Awards for her performances in both Sweeney Todd and Gypsy, and is known to many for her role in the Harry Potter films.
Devon’s Lost Sound Chorus will also take part in the event which will raise funds for the West Country project Shrouds of the Somme with profits to be donated to armed forces charity SSAFA and The Exeter Foundation – the Exeter Chiefs rugby club charity – to be distributed among local and military causes.
Tickets for the 7.30pm concert, price £15 to £25, are available from Exeter Cathedral on 01392 285983 or online at
The concert will feature songs and poetry from Show of Hands’ acclaimed album Centenary –Words and Music of The Great War, described by one critic as “uplifting and redemptive”. The double album, which also featured Carter and Staunton, includes ‘The Gamekeeper’, with its moving WW1 analogy.
See and hear the video and song here: