Heading fast towards 25 years in the business, Show of Hands reunite for a bumper autumn-winter tour of England and Wales.
Supporting them will be special guest Megan Henwood (Assembly Hall, Worthing, Nov 26, 01903 206206).
“I have been aware of Show of Hands for a long time just by being on the folk scene,” Megan says. “But a good friend who does the sound for Show of Hands passed my album Head, Heart, Hand which I released last year, to Steve Knightley and that’s how Steve got in contact.
“It was my second album. The first album was called Making Waves in 2010, off the folk awards (she and her brother Joe won BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Award in 2009).
“And then I had a bit of a break after that. It had been a bit a whirlwind for a couple of years with the awards, and I wanted just to really concentrate on really defining my sound and exploring it.
“I ended up taking nearly two years for the album. I made the album that I wanted to make. I think it is more progressive in terms of there being no genre barriers.
“We were just quite brave with it. We didn’t want to get bogged down. We wanted just to do what the song needed. I am really proud of it.
“It draws on many influences. It’s certainly not just folk, though folk is the running line.
“There are some African influences in some of the songs and maybe even some hiphop. There are just lots of different things.
“On both albums I have been honoured and blessed to have many amazing musicians come to play, but on Making Waves there was certainly more folk music involved.
“But with this album, I took the time I needed and I learnt a lot about the direction I wish to take my own song-writing, the open-minded approach that I wanted to take. I think the most important thing for me is for it to be genuine and honest. If you get too bogged down in commercial pressures, then I think you can become very limited.
“With Head, Heart, Hand, I know I have still got a long way to go in terms of where I want to be.
“When I say I have made the album I want to make, that sounds like there is no progression, but I know I learnt a huge amount from it.
“I am now three-quarters of the way towards writing the next album. The next album will be out some time next year.
“I think that lyrically I have learnt a lot and that it flows now and is true to myself. I have got ideas, but until I get into the studio, I won’t know which way they will go… but I know it is going to be more stripped back. My brother is going to be involved a lot more. He will be playing guitar a lot more, which is an absolute joy because he is a fantastic musician. And with people like Steve Knightley backing me and helping me, it is going to mean that I can keep developing and exploring.
“Steve is very good at that circle of trying things on stage. A song might feel good but you have got to take it on the road, and that’s an important part of the progression.
“And that’s one of the reasons I am not finishing the album until January. I want to take some of the songs on the Show of Hands tour.”
The multi award-winning, Albert Hall quadruple sell-out duo (stand-out singer songwriter Steve Knightley and inspired instrumentalist Phil Beer) will be joined by their long-standing double bassist/vocalist Miranda Sykes for the 23-date Walk With Me tour.
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