REVIEW: Show of Hands at The New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

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Pesky parking problems meant I missed the first couple of numbers by the support; Megan Henwood.

This was a shame since her thoughtful lyrics and nervous jokes made her set an unexpected joy. The final song, about her uncle, was touching and the crowd were pleased to join in.

Show of Hands opened with, what turned out to be, the only track from their current studio album. Fortunately it was the dark, sombre The Old Lych Way.

Their rousing set contained a couple of new songs including the wry Make The Right Noises, several covers: a poignant solo tribute to the late Leonard Cohen from Steve Knightley in the shape of Suzanne, a little dig at Donald Trump from Phil Beer before a terrific take on Paper Round and the trio breathed new life into Cyndi Lauper’s 80’s smash Time After Time.

No show would be complete without the hits that, sadly, never were. Tonight: Galway Mare, Roots, Cousin Jack and for a slow burning encore: Santiago.

Almost a year to the day since my first Show of Hands gig in the same venue the band have impressed me again. The musicianship is top notch, the between song chatting is funny and conversational and with a vast back catalogue the setlist is always going to entertain.

Show of Hands seem to be on the road semi-permanently, long may that continue. I urge you to see them when you get a chance.