A frosty night in mid January at Newton St Cyres Village Hall was the destination for over 120 people who were going to see celebrated acoustic musician Steve Knightley help raise funds for Devon Air Ambulance. Ably organised by Exeter Rotary Eastgate Chairperson – Nicola Baker and her team, it was a very successful evening as in excess of £800 was raised from the gig, raffle and selling of homemade cakes and refreshments.
As part of Steve’s Grow Your Own gig crop of gigs, he was delighted to start his 2015 tour for this favourite Devon Charity. One half of Show of Hands – Steve and his sparring partner – Phil Beer have some time of the year to do solo gigs and a fantastic gig it was too.
Steve interspersed his songs with banter, some serious but mostly hilarious, including the tale of the backdrop that had been painted by a Russian lady who a friend of his had met in a park!
Some old favourites of Show of Hands were in the set including ‘Ratcliffe Highway; (going back to 1995), ‘Romeo and Juliet’, bankers protest song ‘AIG’, ‘Reynardine’ on the Mexican Quatro and a personal favourite ‘Galway Farmer’, which Steve said although was his self penned number, it now figures in Ireland as a traditional folk song. He was going to see Exeter Chiefs on the following Saturday and was interested to see if he started singing the song in the pub, what they would say about it! This ended the first half.
Show of Hands anthem – ‘Roots’ – was changed from a rocky number to a finger picked ballad and kicked off the second half. Lots of audience participation songs were included whereupon the audience raised the roof! A little bit of Bob Dylan was in the set – ‘Don’t Think Twice its Alright’ – as a hero of Steve’s in his early days of picking up the guitar. The penultimate song was another Show of Hands anthem – ‘Cousin Jack’, and the encore to riotous applause was a requested song by Nicola’s husband Michael who had been baking cakes all day – ‘Now You Know’.
After the gig Steve was on hand to sign CD’s and merchandise and to chat with all. He had clearly enjoyed his evening as had the audience whilst raising the princely sum they did.
Artist’s website: http://www.showofhands.co.uk/
Devon Air Ambulance Trust: http://www.daat.org/
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