NOTICE: Raised Hand, Lighthouse, Poole


A little over a month ago came the unexpected and sad announcement that financial considerations (a.k.a. public reluctance, with a third of the numbers down) had kept this fall tour from being the line of four pieces with a newish look all singing and all dancing Show of Hands – on top.

So no Miranda Sykes on bass and vocals, or Cormac Byrne typing stuff – instead it was the core of SoH, Steve Knightley and Phil Beer left to fend for themselves to avoid a tax disaster.

That’s not a bad thing in and of itself as the deadly duo have been walking the boards for 30 years, released numerous albums and sort of know the ropes now.

Hopefully if and when the world calms down, the quartet can hit the road again, adding a different dynamic to the beloved songs, as evidenced by the astonishing live album Now We Are Four.

Back to the Present – Named after the lockdown single, the summer anthem The Best One Yet, this 22-date tour features two sets, starting with iconic tracks from a long and winding career. – as will be featured on the upcoming album Singled Out – followed by rarities and classic songs from SoH.

The set was interesting, composed as a front piece with a dresser, hat rack, umbrella stand, floor lamp, drinks cabinet and two stools – and as a play by Agatha Christie, according to Knightley (or Phil’s front room) – for no apparent reason.

SoH entered through the side doors, singing speechlessly Keep Hauling, took the stage, and launched into Roots. Good start.

Knightley explained that the first half will be a series of singles that the group has released over the years. While not known as a singles group, SoH has taken to mainstream stardom and released quite a few (sorry kids) singles, few, if any, troubling the charts or the charts. playlists.

That they are all reunited on the new album is quite a coincidence. The rarely heard Crazy Boy is the culmination of an interesting first half starring Columbus (Didn’t Find America), The Gamekeeper, Aunt Maria, Company Town and Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed.

It’s all punctuated by witty repartees between the protagonists, stories behind the songs, and even a few jokes that regular SoH fans have never heard before.

Refreshed, in Knightley’s case, by an herbal tea, as evidenced by his interval post on Facebook from behind the scenes, the duo Devon reappeared for a challenging and different second set staged in mini-themes – the nautical, the Irish, Cajun and ultimately the classic back catalog.

Lost was followed by Cold Frontier, which gave way to Roaring Water Bay, then Ralph McTell’s The Setting / Mary From Dungloe – which sparked an untold story, through those ears anyway, of the SoH tour with McTell in the early ’90s and arrived in Bournemouth – where, in the same location, Take That also appeared, on the main stage.

The girls pestering the entrance were decidedly unimpressed when Knightley and Beer got off the tour bus, but the screams resumed when McTell appeared – a hero for the young on his children’s TV show – and apparently as worthy of worship as Robbie Williams and co. .

Knightley then hilariously attempted to play his guitar without plugging it in before SoH ran through You’ll Get By, Are We All Right, and Best One Yet (including snippets of Drift Away, Here Comes The Sun, and I Can See Clearly Now) before the inevitable last issue, the singalong Cousin Jack.

It was good to see the boys again – it had been a long time. Catch them in Bridport on November 17th if you missed that.

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