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Here's to another 10 years!

Folk group Show of Hands
Folk group Show of Hands

Show of Hands

St Mary's Church, Ashford

After a fantastic anniversary party at Kingston Barn last month, Folk in The Barn continued to celebrate 10 years of promoting Folk & Roots music in East Kent with a concert by the band that started it all - Show of Hands.

Unlike 10 years ago this time Mr Knighley was in full voice and Phil Beer did not get lost on route.

The venue of St Mary's Church was much grander than the first concert which took place in the Barn at Kingston which gave its name to the promoters, but though the space was much larger the intimacy of Folk in the Barn's “all friends together“ concerts remained.

A supporting set was played by Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston with the unusual mix of double bass, bouzouki and vocals. They played tracks from their new album ‘Sing a Full Song, an interesting mix of their own arrangements of songs plus some written especially for them including two by Boo Hewerdine, another artist who has appeared locally for Folk in the Barn.

The Show of Hands set started with a fully acoustic rendition of Steve Knightley's Widecombe Fair, which he sang almost exclusively from within the audience with eerie violin from an unseen Phil Beer. This set the stage for a great evening with Miranda accompanying them on double bass and vocals they showcased many tracks from their latest album Wake The Union as well as some Show of Hands staples. Personally I thought the best number of the evening was ‘KATRINA’ a most atmospheric song of the lost and heartache felt by a survivor of the 2005 hurricane of that name, truly moving. No show of Hands gig would be complete with out audience participation and we all joined in on ‘Aunt Maria’; ‘Country Life’; ‘Ignorance Arrogance & Greed’ and the encore of ‘Cousin Jake’. This was a great gig with outstanding performances which gave wonderful evening of entertainment which was enjoyed by all.

Folk in the Barn continues to go from strength to strength, producing friendly gigs in unusual venues, still to come this year: The Chris Wood Trio; Fairport Convention; Gigspanner and in the autumn Mabon; Lau and the amazing Celtic Folk Rock Band Iona.

I firmly believe that Folk in the Barn are East Kent’s best Folk and Roots Music promoter! Here’s to another 10 years and I intend to be at as many of concerts they produce as I possibly can.

Stephen Palmer

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