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Roots-and-folk heroes at Royal Festival Hall

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

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DEVON'S Show of Hands are to make their debut at London's Royal Festival Hall in February.

They will take part in a special Southbank Best of the West double header with fellow Westcountry act, Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends.

Following 2012's celebratory 20th year of their partnership, singer songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer will start 2013 with this one-off capital show on Sunday, February 3, joined by regular bass player and vocalist Miranda Sykes.

It will be the second key London venue to welcome the multi award-winning band, following their four sell-outs at the Royal Albert Hall.

Following a year which saw their new Anglo-American album Wake the Union acclaimed by many critics as their best yet, the band will reunite with high-profile Cornish shanty choir Port Isaac Fisherman's Friends, who have previously supported them at the Albert Hall.

The band continue to go from strength to strength. Show of Hands played London's Royal Albert Hall for a concert in April 2007, their third performance there. This was to celebrate their 15-year partnership as Show of Hands.

In July 2008 the duo, who both come from the Exeter area, played at the first folk proms concert in the Welsh Proms season in St Davids Hall, Cardiff.

In July 2008, they played at the Evolve 08 festival in Lodmoor Park, Weymouth, along with Miranda Sykes.

In October 2009, the band's 10th studio album, Arrogance Ignorance and Greed was released.

In February 2010, the group won both Best Duo and Best Original Song for the track Arrogance Ignorance and Greed at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Previously unreleased Show of Hands compositions before 1987 – and some from after 1987 – appeared on Phil Beer's box set, Box Set One, in 2010.

In November 2010, they released their 11th studio album, Covers 2, also their second covers album after Covers from 2000. The album was credited to Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes, the first time Sykes got a leading credit on one of their albums. They did a tour with Texan guitarist Rodney Branigan following the album's release. Their song Roots appeared on the compilation album The Best of British Folk.

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