Steve Knightley

Steve Knightley

Steve Knightley (born 1954) is a singer-songwriter, musician and one half of English acoustic roots duo Show of Hands.

Knightley was born in Southampton, Hampshire, but by the time he was 5 years-old his family had moved to East Devon, where he attended school in Exeter and Exmouth.

Knightley was first attracted to acoustic music through listening to early Joan Baez and Bob Dylan records, and he started playing the guitar and mandolin at the age of 14. Whilst still at school he performed in folk clubs and bars in and around East Devon, and came to know multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer. After leaving school Knightley studied politics and history in Coventry, and then completed a postgraduate certificate in education at Sussex University near Brighton. Whilst he was studying at Sussex University Knightley teamed up with double bass player Warwick Downes, and for two years the duo performed around the Brighton area.

From 1979 until 1985 Knightley lived in London, where he worked as a supply teacher, and performed regularly on the pub rock circuit with his three bands "Short Stories", "The Cheats" and "Total Strangers". On occasions Phil Beer would stand-in for absent band members, and Knightley returned the favour by playing bass (under the pseudonym 'Gene Vogel') for the Arizona Smoke Revue, the group Beer was in at the time.

Knightley left London in 1985 and moved to rural Dorset, where he and his first wife opened a guest house. He also worked as a supply teacher at Beaminster secondary school, and gave guitar lessons, most notably to Polly (PJ) Harvey. The following year Knightley met up again with Phil Beer, who was then a member of the Albion Band. When Beer's Albion Band commitments would allow, the two of them performed as a duo and worked on what would become the first Show of Hands recordings.

Phil Beer left the Albion Band in 1991, and from then on Knightley and Beer performed regularly as Show of Hands in pubs, clubs and bars. In 1992 the duo got together with a group of exiled Chilean musicians, and toured and released an album under the name Alianza. Knightley continued working at Beaminster with Elliott Dunworth as a part-time teacher of media studies, history and music until 1994, when Show of Hands became his full-time job.


*"Track of Words" (1999)
*"Faith, Folk and Anarchy" (with Martyn Joseph and Tom Robinson) (2002)
*"Western Approaches" (with Seth Lakeman and Jenna Witts) (2004)
*"Bridgerow Sessions" (with Martyn Joseph) (2005)
*"Cruel River" (2007)


*"Alianza (1992)

how of Hands

*See Show of Hands

External links

* [ Show Of Hands Official Website]

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