One of Mrs F's presents to me for my birthday was tickets to see Show of Hands. The Marlow Theatre in Canterbury was back and Mrs F had excelled herself with tickets in the third row :-)
Show of Hands have over the last three years or so become one of my favourite folk acts. There is something just so unpretentious about them, a working class ethic within many of their lyrics and performance I really like. They are stunning musicians to boot. Now mostly they perform as a trio the original duo of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer augmented by Miranda Sykes on double bass and vocals. Three musicians only, acoustic instruments but what a sound they can produce. Phil is a master multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, guitar, mandolin etc. and both him and Steve have incredible voices that work so well alone or together. Miranda adds terrific bass playing and singing to the mix to. Hats off to the sound engineer again - this is the second time I've seen them live and both times blown away by the quality of their live sound.
The first half was to showcase the new album The Long Way Home, which I snapped up a signed pre-release edition at the interval! They played a lot of the new material off of that including an incredible a cappella three way version of Keep Hauling which made the hairs on my neck stand up. After the break it was more of a Greatest Hits compilation going back through their long back catalogue.
All too early it was the last song and encore and they were off but isn't that the sign of a great gig when you're left thinking it flew by.
If you can get to see them I fully recommend they may not have had the notable chart success of others but for me they are one of the best folk acts about in the UK today.