Village Hall Welcomes Performance from Folk Legend

Hernhill Village Hall in Kent had the opportunity to enjoy a concert by one of England’s most acclaimed musicians on 27 February when Steve Knightley of acoustic folk/roots duo Show of Hands appeared there for a solo performance.

The gig was sponsored by The Band Company, a “boutique live entertainment agency” which places live music acts for weddings, clubs, pubs and special functions like festivals and corporate events. They’ve provided bands for a wide variety of clients, including BBC Radio 1, Mount Ephraim Gardens, Kent County Council and the Canterbury Food & Drink Festival.

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One of the company’s owners, Liz Jeffery, says they ran the sold out event “to entertain Steve’s fans and music fans in general, and to make a bit of money!” The show included a raffle to fundraise for the hall and help them pay for children’s play equipment for the grounds. That raffle brought in over £200 to help the hall reach its goal.

Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer formed Show of Hands in 1991, with Knightley as “the songwriting force” behind the band. They went on to record 17 albums and gain nominations for several awards, winning the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Live Act title, the only category voted for by the public.

Together the duo has been called “formidable operators in the roots arena” and “a class act” by The Independent. Their popularity has led to four sold out shows at Royal Albert Hall, a first for an act of this kind.

Mike Harding of BBC Radio called Knightley “one of England’s greatest songwriters,” and on his own he’s released four solo albums. The most recent of which, Off the Beaten Track, is a recording of the set list he’s been using for his Grow Your Own Gig solo tour throughout village halls in England.

While Jeffery offers “set realistic goals” as a key piece of advice for others hoping to plan events like this, her company also used many different types of publicity to get the word out about the show. A Facebook event page, social media posts, word of mouth, posters, giving notice to local folk music groups and local radio spots all played a part in advertising his concert.

Jeffery adds that Knightley was “an all-round entertainer. He told some hilarious stories in between singing some amazing songs,” and provided a “fantastic evening” for everyone with a “great performance.”

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